COLUMBUS, Ohio – When the Ohio State synchronized swimming team begins competition at the 2010 U.S. National Championships Thursday, it will exactly be one month since it captured its historic 26th U.S. Collegiate Synchronized Swimming title. Hoping to feed off that momentous occasion, the Buckeyes will seek their second-consecutive U.S. national title at the Huntersville Family Fitness & Aquatics center in Huntersville, N.C.

The 2009 U.S. National Champions, Ohio State is prepared to face some of the best collegiate and club teams from around the country this weekend. The following is a breakdown of Buckeyes competing and in which events.

Raquel Aguado
Barbara Nesbitt
Kayley Colville

Barbara Nesbitt and Caitlin Stewart

Team Free
Raquel Aguado, Kayley Colville, Colleen Courtmanche, Liz Derr, Rita Gillan, Liana Litsky, Asia Luke and Samantha Schmidt

Team Combo
Raquel Aguado, Colleen Courtmanche, Rita Gillan, Jackie Mundy, Barbara Nesbitt, Samantha Schmidt, Deborah Shim and Hannah Shively 
(R) Emilie Siemer,
(R) Caitlin Stewart

Solo, Duet and Team Free Preliminaries

Solo, Duet, Team Technical and Combo Preliminaries

Solo, Duet, Team and Combo Final

For all events Friday (Solo, Duet and Team Free Preliminaries), a solo, duet and team free champion will be crowned. However, swimmers who compete in the Preliminary Free events only will not garner points toward the High Point title as either an individual or for their respective teams, nor will they earn All-America status.

The winner of the combined preliminary technical and final free routines, as well as the combo competition will be declared the U.S. National Champion in solo, duet, team or combo.

As a note, combo points will not be awarded toward the High Point title (individual or team). Swimmers competing in the combo will not earn All-America honors either.

Michelle Theriault and Meghan Kinney are members of the 2010 U.S. National Team Training Squad. Both Buckeyes will miss action at the U.S. National championships because of commitments to the national team.

Former Buckeye Leah Pinette (2006, 08) also is part of the U.S. National Team Training roster. 

The 2010 U.S. National Championships is in its 65th year overall. The duet and team titles have been contended for 65 years, while the solo competition is in its 61st year.

The Buckeyes, who won their 26th U.S. Collegiate Synchronized Swimming championship March 13, also added six All-Americans to their already impressive list following the competition. Meghan Kinney, Barbara Nesbitt, Paige Ramsey, Deborah Shim, Michelle Theriault and Caitlin Stewart (honorary) were named to the elite team.

In all, Ohio State has 100 All-America selections as determined by the U.S. Collegiate Synchronized Swimming championships.
For the 26th time in the history of the program, Ohio State was crowned U.S. Collegiate Synchronized Swimming Champions March 13. Behind wins in the team, trio and duet routines, the Buckeyes compiled 96 points at the Avery Aquatic Pavilion in Palo Alto, Calif. Host Stanford finished second with 82 points. 
We did great,” Linda Lichter-Witter, head coach of the Buckeyes said. “We did really well, but it wasn’t easy. We had a lot of support from people who travelled out here for us.”

It was the ninth title for the Scarlet and Gray in 14 seasons under Lichter-Witter. Following the event, senior Barbara Nesbitt was named the Individual High Point champion.

Six Buckeyes also earned All-America honors. Meghan Kinney, Nesbitt, Paige Ramsey, Deborah Shim, Michelle Theriault and Caitlin Stewart (honorary) were named to the elite team.

Considered one of the most dynamic and eye-catching events of synchronized swimming, the team routine final featured the Scarlet squad tallying a 95.500. The group of Lauren Robinson, Jackie Mundy, Nesbitt, Ramsey, Shim, Hannah Shively, Emilie Siemer and Stewart outdistanced Stanford’s 94.875 for its third-straight title and 28th overall. Raquel Aguado, Kayley Colville, Colleen Courtmanche, Liz Derr, Rita Gillan, Liana Litsky, Asia Luke and Samantha Schmidt of the Gray squad finished fourth with a 91.375.

A 93.125, a season high, was the magic score that propelled the trio of Nesbitt, Shim and Theriault to the gold medal. The Buckeyes have now captured 25 trio titles all-time and their second consecutive. Kinney, Ramsey and Stewart came together to earn a 92.750 for third place behind the Stanford group of Taylor Durand, Maria Koroleva and Olivia Morgan (93.000).
Kinney and Theriault, members of the U.S. National Team Training squad, proved why they are part of such a prestigious roster as they won the Buckeyes their 22nd duet title in program history. The duo executed a 93.875 performance, which served as their season high.

Nesbitt was .500 points short in her final quest for the solo gold medal. The Buckeye from Riverside, Calif., tallied 93.500 points for second behind Tarasova’s 94.000. However, Nesbitt’s score did serve as a personal best this season.