March 28, 2015


COLUMBUS, Ohio – For an unprecedented 29th time, the Ohio State synchronized swimming won the US Collegiate National Championship on Saturday at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion on campus.

On the strength of season-best performances across the board, the Buckeyes were able to top defending champion Lindenwood 93.0 to 89.0.

“I don’t have the words to truly say what this means,” said head coach Holly Vargo Brown. “We have a new coaching staff and we’ve fought for a couple of years to find our path. To have it culminate at home in this championship is indescribable. The athletes have worked so hard for this and it’s truly a reward to win it in front of our home crowd.”

The day started strong for the Buckeyes as their two trios squads finished second and third in the event. Lorraine Hack, Alyssa Hoying and Monica Velasquez-Stiak had an awesome trio routine, posting a season-best 86.0333 to take the silver medal. Their score was almost three points better than their prelim routine on Thursday. Emma Baranski, Elizabeth Davidson and Khadija Zanotto also saved their best for last as they too scored a season-best 85.6333 to finish in third place.

“Coming into today, we thought we were close in the team standings but we knew everyone had to step up,” Vargo Brown continued. “We had a feeling that our trio teams needed to come up big and they really did. They really set the tone. Then the Gray team performing so well in the team competition, it took the pressure off our Scarlet team. They then went out and put the icing on the cake at the end.”

In the duet finals, Hack and Hoying enjoyed another solid routine and again notched a season-high of 85.8333. That too was good enough for the silver medal behind Mary Killman and Vasilisa Mironova from Lindenwood.

The season-best performances continued with Baranski in the solo finals. She scored an 87.9333 and finished second only to Killman who has now won three-straight solo national titles.

Both the Gray and Scarlet teams performed well the in prelims on Friday night and they would need to duplicate those performances on Saturday to secure the team title. The Gray team of Jessica Giannuzzi, Samantha Golomb, Sarah House, Natalie Huibregtse, Kristine Irwin, Cory Justice, Heidi Liou, and Emily Muma scored an 84.6667 to finish in fourth place. That set the table for the Scarlet team which needed to best Stanford’s score of 86.8667 to not only win the event, but also the overall national championship. The team of Baranski, Morgan Boneberg, Davidson, Hack, Katie Spada, Noelle St. John, Velasquez-Stiak and Zanotto posted an 87.7667 to cap a tremendous day for the Buckeyes.

In addition to winning its 29th national championship, the most of any sport in Ohio State history, a number of Buckeyes took home individual awards.

Heidi Liou was named the US Synchro Athlete of the Year by the coaches. The award goes to the student-athlete that shows tremendous character, commitment, sportsmanship, academic and athletic achievements.

Eight Buckeyes garnered All-America honors for their performances at the championship. Senior captain Khadija Zanotto earned the award for the fourth-straight year. Sophomores Baranski, Hack, Davidson, and Boneberg earned the honor for the second-straight year while freshmen Velasquez-Stiak, Hoying and St. John earned the award in their first year.

Head coach Holly Vargo Brown was named U.S. Collegiate Coach of the Year for the third time in her career.

Overall Team Standings1. Ohio State                                   93.02. Lindenwood                                   89.03. Stanford                                     79.54. Incarnate Word                               64.05. Florida                                      50.5    Wheaton                                     50.5

Trio Routine Finals 1. Beaus, Killman, Ramirez (Lindenwood) 87.1333 2. Hack, Hoying, Velazquez-Stiak (Ohio State) 86.0333 3. Baranski, Davidson, Zanotto (Ohio State) 85.6333 4. McGovern, Ortellado, Slavin (Stanford) 84.7000 5. Haylor, Pons, Rodriguez (Lindenwood) 84.4000

Duet Routine Finals 1. Killman, Mironova (Lindenwood) 88.4000 2. Hack, Hoying (Ohio State) 85.8333 3. McGovern, Ortellado (Stanford) 85.5000 4. Gu, Slavin (Stanford) 83.5000 5. Sprinkle, Wiita (Incarnate Word) 82.5333

Solo Routine Finals 1. Mary Killman (Lindenwood) 88.7667 2. Emma Baranski (Ohio State) 87.9333 3. Sydney Sprinkle (Incarnate Word) 81.8000 4. Emilee Willis (Incarnate Word) 80.6667 5. Xinya Zhang (Minnesota) 80.1667

Team Routine Finals 1. Ohio State Scarlet 87.7667 2. Stanford 86.8667 3. Lindenwood A 85.8000 4. Ohio State Gray 84.6667 5. Lindenwood B 83.0333