April 21, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State synchronized swimming team celebrated the 2014 season Friday evening, holding its annual team banquet in the clubhouse at the Ohio State Golf Course. The Buckeyes wrapped up the 2014 campaign with six first-place and two second-place finishes and most notably, captured the program’s first U.S. Senior National Championship since 2011 in Oro Valley, Ariz., in their final event of the season.
The program began with academic awards, presented by Vicki Melnick, associate director/academic counselor for Student-Athlete Support Services (SASSO). Eight Buckeyes received academic awards from USA Synchro, including Alexa Aton, Chelsea Aton, Emma Baranski, Tori Baron, Samantha Golomb, Natalie Huibregtse, Heidi Liou and Katie Spada. Melnick also presented Chelsea Aton and Liou with Big Ten Distinguished Scholar awards, while strength coach Kim Dally Badgeley presented Spada with the Buckeye Power Club award.
U.S. Collegiate Academic All-Americans Baranski, Morgan Boneberg, Lorraine Hack, Elizabeth Davidson, Lauren Nicholson and Khadija Zanotto were honored for their performance at the 2014 U.S. Collegiate Championships in St. Louis, Mo.
Yuliya Maryanko collected her third-career Most Outstanding Swimmer team award. In her final season, the senior from Kharhov, Ukraine, earned the Individual High Point Award and U.S. All-Collegiate laurels at the U.S. Collegiate Championships in addition to silver medals in duet and team competition at the U.S. Senior National Championships.
The Scarlet Team Buckeye Award was presented to Zanotto, while Huibregtse earned the Buckeye Award for the Gray Team. The Buckeye Award is presented to a student-athlete who demonstrates outstanding Buckeye spirit, a strong ability to work well with teammates and coaches, excellent motivator and a clear vision of what it means to be a team player.
Amrian Johnson was presented with the Most Improved Swimmer honor, given to the student-athlete who has shown the most improvement since their first season with the Buckeyes. Hack was awarded the Most Improved New Swimmer, an award presented to the swimmer who has shown the most improvement during their first season with the Buckeyes.
Baron took home the Joann Ferguson Kale Award. This honor recognizes a swimmer who is friendly, helpful and respectful of others.
Baranski, the 2014 U.S. Collegiate Figures A gold-medalist, received the prestigious Jessica Beck “Sunshine” Award. This award honors a swimmer who exemplifies the respect, dedication, and “sunshine spirit” of former Buckeye letterwinner Jessica Beck, who passed away suddenly in 2005 prior to her senior season.
Big Ten Medal of Honor finalist Chelsea Aton was awarded with the Carmen Ohio laurel. The recipient of this award is a senior student-athlete who exemplifies outstanding leadership and team spirit.
2014 Ohio State Synchronized Swimming Team Banquet
April 18, 2014
Ohio State Golf Course
Most Valuable Swimmer: Yuliya Maryanko
Most Improved Swimmer: Amrian Johnson
Most Improved New Swimmer: Lorraine Hack
Scarlet Team Buckeye Award: Khadija Zanotto
Gray Team Buckeye Award: Natalie Huibregtse
JoAnn Ferguson Kale Award: Tori Baron
Jessica Beck “Sunshine” Award: Emma Baranski
Carmen Ohio Award: Chelsea Aton