COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State synchronized swimming team took first place at the 2009 U.S. Synchronized Swimming National Championships Saturday held in Palo Alto, Calif., on the campus of Stanford University. The Buckeyes earned 43 points, outdistancing 2008 champions Santa Clara Aquamaids by six points (37). The Walnut Creek Aquanuts placed third with 19 points to round out the Top 3. The host team, Stanford, finished fourth with 17 points.

“This has always been a personal dream of mine,” Linda Lichter-Witter, head coach, said. “Ever since I started coaching I always dreamed of being the best team in the country.”

This was also my predecessor’s,  Mary Jo Ruggieri’s, dream. This is the greatest moment in Ohio State history. We won two national championships this year.”

Lichter-Witter is referencing the Buckeyes’ triumph at the 2009 U.S. Collegiate Championships in March. The Scarlet and Gray claimed the high point trophy with 98 points.  

In the nearly 40 years of competition in the U.S. Synchronized Swimming National Championships, only West Coast teams have captured the title. Ohio State became the first squad to dethrone a West Coast program.

The Scarlet squad, consisting of Jayme DeLancy, Becky Kim, Meghan Kinney, Carmen Moraes, Jillian Penner, Deborah Shim, Caitlin Stewart and Michelle Theriault, placed second in the team routine with a mark of 93.833. The Gray team of Katherine Green, Jackie Mundy, Lauren Robinson, Hannah Shively, Emilie Siemer and Kendra Sollars finished fourth in team with a 90.750.

Nesbitt competed in the solo routine where she scored a 93.750, ending her 2009 solo season with a first-place finish.

The Buckeyes had three squads representing Ohio State in the duet competition. Olympians Kim and Kinney placed first with a score of 93.750. Nesbitt and Stewart earned a mark of 90.833 to garner a sixth-place finish in the event while teammates Shim and Theriault placed eighth with a score of 89.000.

The 2009 U.S. National Championships marked the 64th year of national competition in the duet and team events and the 60th year of solo competition.

2009 U.S. Synchronized Swimming National Championships
Stanford University
Palo Alto, Calif.
May 2, 2009

Overall High Point Results
1. The Ohio State University 43

2. Santa Clara Aquamaids 37
3. Walnut Creek Aquanuts 19
4. Stanford University 17
5. Canisius College 13
6. Incarnate Word 7
7. Arizona Aquastars 3