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.
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.
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
Cassie Neeley and Camryn Carrasco also secured finishes in the top 10.
Four other Buckeyes rounded out the top 10: Ava Lichter, Rachel Warren, Alex Meredith Le-Roux, and Lane Starrett.