COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State synchronized (artistic) swimming team starts its 2023 season this weekend with the Zero Waste Invitational Saturday, Jan. 14 at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. Routine competition is set to begin at 2 p.m.
Saturday marks the start of the 47th season of the synchronized (artistic) swimming program at Ohio State. Head coach Holly Vargo Brown enters her 11th at the helm of the Buckeyes and is joined this season by assistant coach Monica Velazquez-Stiak. Velazquez-Stiak was a member of the Ohio State program from 2014-18 and helped the program to three national championships, winning four individual titles along the way.
Zero Waste Initiative
This year marks the sixth Zero Waste Invitational hosted by the Buckeyes. Beginning in 2017, the program has committed to the University’s goal of achieving zero waste by 2025. Ohio State synchronized swimming competitions held at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion have diverted, on average, over 70% of all waste from landfills through recycling and composting.
2022 Season Look Back
Ohio State enters the season as the reigning U.S. Collegiate national champion. At the 2022 national championship meet, held at McCorkle, the Buckeyes won the 33rd national championship in program history in front of a home crowd. The team swept all categories for 102.0 overall points. Nikki Dzurko won the solo national title and paired up with Laila Huric for the duet championship. In trio, Emily Armstrong, Cassie Neely and Ruby Remati took first for the Buckeyes. Team Scarlet completed the sweep with a national championship routine from Armstrong, Dzurko, Hannah Heffernan, Paige Hopper, Rachel Jager, Neeley and Remati. Armstrong and Olivia Malloy won the A and B Figures, respectively.
Armstrong earned the overall High Point Award. Seven Buckeyes were named to the USAAS Collegiate All-America team, including Armstrong, Remati, Dzurko, Huric, Neeley, Heffernan and Hopper. Vargo Brown was named the U.S. Collegiate Coach of the Year for the sixth time in her career.
This year’s roster features 14 returners from the 2022 national championship team. The roster features eight seniors, two juniors, four sophomores and four freshmen. The team hails from five states – Ohio, Massachusetts, North Carolina, California and Nevada – and two Canadian provinces – Ontario and Alberta.
The Buckeyes remain home for the start of the season, hosting the Jessica Beck Memorial Competition on Feb. 4 at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. Routines are set to begin at 2 p.m.