COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State synchronized swimming team posted another memorable and historic season in 2010 and celebrated that success Thursday night at its annual team banquet at The Ohio State University Golf Club.
Senior Barbara Nesbitt earned the Most Outstanding Swimmer award for the third-consecutive year. Nesbitt, the Individual High Point Champion at the U.S. Collegiate Synchronized Swimming championships, won the silver medal at collegiates and the U.S. National championships in the solo event. A 2010 Big Ten Medal of Honor finalist, Nesbitt was instrumental in helping the Buckeyes win the inaugural combo event at nationals. Nesbitt, a native of Riverside, Calif., also was part of the gold-medal Scarlet team and trio squad at the collegiate championships. Nesbitt also captured the Scarlet and Gray Award. An honor not presented annually, which makes its meaning all the more prestigious, it goes to the swimmer who has gone above and beyond in their dedication to the program.
The Most Improved Swimmer honor was presented to senior Asia Luke. Hailing from Comox, British Columbia, Luke consistently swam with the Gray team in 2010 and helped them to a fourth-place finish at the Collegiate championships, as well as a runner-up finish at North Regionals.
Demonstrating improvement throughout the 2010 campaign, freshman Paige Ramsey earned the Most Improved New Swimmer honor. An All-American in her rookie season, Ramsey proved valuable to the Scarlet Team in its impressive and history-making endeavors throughout the season. Ramsey also was part of a trio that captured the bronze medal at the U.S. Collegiate Synchronized Swimming championships.
Seniors Jackie Mundy and Liz Derr and junior Monica Finnigan were the Buckeye Awards recipients. The Buckeye Award is presented to athletes who exhibit outstanding Buckeye spirit, a strong ability to work well with teammates and coaches, excellent motivation and a clear vision of what it means to be a team player.
An honor that recognizes the swimmer who is a quality student-athlete who is friendly, helpful and respectful of others, the JoAnn Ferguson Kale Award was given to Rita Gillan.
In addition to her Buckeye Award, Derr was presented with the Carmen Ohio Award, which is given to the senior athlete who exemplifies outstanding leadership and team spirit.
Last, but not least, Finnigan earned the celebrated Jessica Beck Award. In honor of Jessica Beck (2003-05), who died in 2005, the honor is presented to the athlete who possesses the qualities of respect, dedication and “sunshine” spirit of our forever teammate, Jessica Beck.
The eight seniors – Derr, Gillan, Luke, Mundy, Nesbitt, Hannah Shively, Emilie Siemer and Caitlin Stewart – also were honored during the evening. This is a group that helped the Buckeyes to two collegiate national titles and three team-routine U.S. collegiate championships.