COLUMBUS, Ohio – Defending U.S. national solo champion Barbara Nesbitt of the Ohio State synchronized swimming team is on pace to keep the title following her impressive first-place finish in the event in preliminary action at the 2010 U.S. Synchronized Swimming National Championships Thursday. Competing at the Huntersville Family Fitness & Aquatics, Nesbitt earned a 91.625, tying Mary Killman of the Santa Clara Aquamaids. 

In addition to the solo free preliminaries, the duet and team free preliminaries also were contested. The pair of Deborah Shim and Caitlin Stewart finished fifth with an 87.000.

The Buckeye group of Raquel Aguado, Kayley Colville, Colleen Courtmanche, Liz Derr, Rita Gillan, Liana Litsky, Asia Luke and Samantha Schmidt earned a fifth-place standing (89.000) in the team event. Two key swimmers are missing from this talented assembly that is going up against some of the best in the nation. Both Meghan Kinney and Michelle Theriault are currently training with the U.S. National Team Training Squad.

Action continues at 10:25 a.m. Friday with technical preliminary swims in the solo, duet and team, as well as the preliminary combo. The finals will take place Saturday.

2010 U.S. National Synchronized Swimming Championships
April 15-17
Huntersville Family Fitness & Aquatics
Huntersville, N.C.

Solo Free Preliminaries
1. Santa Clara Aquamaids – Mary Killman 91.625
1. Ohio State University – Barbara Nesbitt 91.625
3. Walnut Creek Aquanuts – Jillian Penner 90.375
4. Walnut Creek Aquanuts – Alexa Tchekmarev 88.500
5. Synchro San Antonio – Lyssa Wallace 88.250

Duet Free Preliminaries
1. Stanford University – Debbie Chen, Taylor Durand 89.500
2a Honor Mexico – Isabel Delgado, Nuria Diosdado 89.250
2. Walnut Creek Aquanuts – Emily Burkhart, Jillian Penner 89.250
3. Walnut Creek Aquanuts – Alyson Haylor, Alexa Tchekmarev 88.250
4. Univ. of Incarnate Word – Saki Fujise, Seyeon Min 87.875
5a Honor Mexico – Mariana Cifuentes, Evelyn Guajardo 87.500
5. Ohio State University – Deborah Shim, Caitlin Stewart 87.000

Team Free Preliminaries
1. Stanford University – Alexandra Bollaidlaw, Debbie Chen, Madison Crocker, Taylor Durand, Jessica Guenther, Gayle Lee, Corinne Smith, Kimiko Urata 92.000
2. Incarnate Word – Brianna Andreychuk, Hannah Creaser, Saki Fujise, Molly Knight, Seyeon Min, Anna Nelson,Alexandra Stensby, Rosilyn Tegart 91.500
3. Walnut Creek Aquanuts – Morgan Boneberg, Emily Burkhart, Vanessa Calle, Alyson Haylor, Jillian Penner, Suying Rothrock, Marisa Tashima, Alexa Tchekmarev 89.875
4. Santa Clara Aquamaids – Isabella Conrad, Ekaterina Frelikh, Phoebe Jen, Taylor Kitayama, Margo Sargent, Kathryn Spada, Evelyna Wang, Khadija Zanotto 89.500
5a Honor Mexico – Karem Achach, Jessica Becerra, Mariana Cifuentes, Isabel Delgado, Nuria Diosdado, Evelyn Guajardo, Ofelia Pedrero, Sofia Rios 89.375
5. Ohio State University – Raquel Aguado, Kayley Colville, Colleen Courtmanche, Liz Derr, Rita Gillan, Liana Litsky, Asia Luke, Samantha Schmidt 89.000