April 1, 2019

NATIONAL CHAMPIONS: Synchronized Swimming Sweeps U.S. Collegiate Nationals


Ohio State Synchronized Swimming added a 32nd National Championship to its list of accolades Saturday in San Antonio, Texas while becoming back-to-back-to-back victors. Under the direction of Head Coach Holly-Vargo Brown and Suzanna Hyatt, the Buckeyes swept the competition in all categories, claiming the gold in solo, duet, trio, team, and Overall Institution. The Buckeyes topped Stanford 98-88 for the Overall Institution award, claiming the title for the third straight year. Head Coach Holly Vargo-Brown was named the U.S. Collegiate Coach of the year, claiming the title for the fifth time in her distinguished career.

Ohio State is just one of three college programs to ever clinch four first-place finishes at the U.S. Collegiate Championship. Lindenwood and Stanford University are the only other programs to have achieved a collegiate sweep. Ohio State has garnered all gold medals five times before at the championship in 1988, 1991, 1997, 2001 and 2002. That is the most of any collegiate synchronized swimming program followed by Stanford with three and Lindenwood with one.

The Buckeyes did not wait until finals to prove themselves; OSU’s winning routines were all ranked in first after explosive performances in prelims on Thursday and Friday.

Ohio State Buckeyes

Freshman Nikki Dzurko emerged as an impactful rookie for the Scarlet and Gray this season, winning the Solo Championship in her first year competing at the collegiate level. Dzurko was also the recipient of the Individual High Point Trophy. Junior Laila Huric, who captured the silver medal at the championships last year, secured a third place finish. The pair combined to win the duet category. Wenjing Deng, Rachel Jager, and Stephanie Thielemann were awarded gold in the trio category as well, bringing a Trio Championship back home to Columbus for the first time since 2012.

Eight athletes garnered a spot on the Collegiate All-American Team: Nikki Dzurko, Laila Huric, Wenjing Deng, Stephanie Thielemann, Rachel Jager, Cassie Neeley, Camryn Carrasco, and Daria Torba.

Veteran leadership helped to propel Ohio State Synchronized Swimming to elite finishes in all categories with seniors Alex Meredith Le-Roux, Rachel Warren, Stephanie Thielemann, Lane Starrett, Wenjing Deng, and Elizabeth Walsh.

See how Ohio State topped the competition below. Visit the USA Synchro website for complete results.

Ohio State Buckeyes


  1.  Nikki Dzurko (The Ohio State University) – 85.2 pts
  2. Jacklyn Luu (Stanford University) – 84.8667 pts
  3. Laila Huric (The Ohio State University) – 84.4 pts
Ohio State Buckeyes


  1. Nikki Dzurko and Laila Huric (The Ohio State University) – 85.3 pts
  2. Jacklyn Luu and Alexandra Suarez (Stanford University) – 83.5333 pts
  3. Grace Alwan and Caitlin Klauer (Stanford University) – 83.1667 pts
Ohio State Buckeyes


  1. Wenjing Deng, Rachel Jager, Stephanie Thielemann (The Ohio State University) – 83.7 pts
  2. Karen Li, Jacklyn Luu, Alexandra Suarez (Stanford University) – 82.9 pts
  3. Grace Alwan, Natalie Fletcher, Caitlin Klauer (Stanford University) – 81.8 pts
Ohio State Buckeyes


FIRST PLACE: The Ohio State University (Scarlet) – 85.5667 pts

Nikki Dzurko, Wenjing Deng, Laila Huric, Rachel Jager, Alex Meredith Le-Roux, Cassie Neeley, Stephanie Thielemann, Camryn Carrasco (R) Kristin Stremlaw

SECOND PLACE: Stanford University – 84.6667 pts

THIRD PLACE: The Ohio State University (Gray) – 83.3667 pts

Phoebe Coffin, Breanna Malone, Lane Starrett, Renee Stehlik, Daria Torba, Elizabeth Walsh, Rachel Warren, Ava Lichter, (R) Kaitlyn Carboun and Sarah Walsh

Overall Institution

  1. The Ohio State University (98 pts)
  2. Stanford University (88 pts)
  3. Lindenwood University (70 pts)
  4. University of Incarnate World (68 pts)
  5. Wheaton College (51 pts)
Ohio State Buckeyes

A Figures

  1. Jackyln Luu (Stanford University)
  2. Laila Huric (The Ohio State University)
  3. Nikki Dzurko (The Ohio State University)
  4. Wenjing Deng (The Ohio State University)
  5. Kyra Hoevertsz (Lindenwood University)

Cassie Neeley and Camryn Carrasco also secured finishes in the top 10.

B Figures

  1. Rebecca Barlow (University of Incarnate World)
  2. Sarlota Lukovysky (Lindenwood University)
  3. Oyku Evliya (Lindenwood University)
  4. Sarah Walsh (Ohio State University)
  5. Rafaella Soares (University of Incarnate World)

Four other Buckeyes rounded out the top 10: Ava Lichter, Rachel Warren, Alex Meredith Le-Roux, and Lane Starrett.