COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State synchronized swimming team will compete in the 2009 U.S. Senior National Championships April 30 May 2 in Palo Alto, Calif., on the campus of Stanford University. The event will consist of team, solo and duet events. Last season, the Scarlet and Gray placed third overall behind Santa Clara Aquamaids and Stanford University.

Schedule of Events
Thursday, April 30

9:35 a.m.  Team Preliminary Free Competition
12:55 p.m.  Duet Preliminary Free Competition
3:55 p.m.   Solo Preliminary Free Competition

Friday, May 1
10:35 a.m. Team Preliminary Technical Competition
12:30 p.m. Duet Preliminary Technical Competition
3:00 p.m.  Solo Preliminary Technical Competition

Saturday, May 2
10:15 a.m.  Solo Final Competition
11:10 a.m.  Duet Final Competition
1:25 p.m. Team Final Competition

Tickets for preliminaries on Thursday and Friday are $8. Tickets for finals on Saturday are $15. A three-day event passes can be purchased for $25.

One year ago
Last season, the Buckeyes had five routines qualify for the finals at the 2008 U.S. Senior National Championships. After all five Ohio State synchronized swimming routines finished in the Top 10 in the finals of the championships, the Buckeyes concluded the event in third place (27 points). The Santa Clara Aquamaids and Stanford tied for first place with 40 points.

The Scarlet team finished second in the team routine with a mark of 95.833. The Gray squad finished sixth with a 91.417.

Ohio State placed in the Top 10 in the duet competition, finishing sixth and seventh respectively. Caitlin Stewart and Michelle Theriault concluded the championships with a score of 91.750, while Hannah Shively and Leah Pinette earned a 91.250. Barbara Nesbitt was the Buckeye representative in the solo finals and executed a fourth-place performance (93.083).

Number 25
The Buckeyes captured their 25th collegiate title after winning three of four events in the finals to post a score of 98 points and outdistance second-place finisher Stanford (80) by 18 points.

In the team competition, the Scarlet squad scored a 97.333 for first place. Barbara Nesbitt, Deborah Shim, Michelle Theriault, Jayme DeLancy, Carmen Moraes, Caitlin Stewart, Jillian Penner and Becky Kim make up the 2009 team routine national champions.

The Buckeye Gray squad of Kendra Sollars, Liz Derr, Rita Gillan, Jackie Mundy, Hannah Shively, Emilie Siemer, Lauren Robinson and Katherine Green finished with a mark of 95.333 for third in the team routine.

In the trio event, Ohio State had two squads compete. Nesbitt, Shim and Theriault were the first Buckeye group to perform and recorded a 94.667. Moraes, Stewart and Kinney earned a score of 94.667 as well.

In the duet competition and 2008 U.S. Olympians Kim and Kinney recorded a first-place mark of 95.333. In the solo competition, Nesbitt earned a silver medal with a mark of 94.667.

Simply the Best
Head coach Linda Lichter-Witter captured her eighth collegiate national title since becoming the Buckeyes’ head coach in 1996. Lichter-Witter concludes her 14th season at the helm of the Buckeyes with a career-record of 550-18-1 (.967).

Following the 2009 U.S. Collegiate Championships, senior Becky Kim was named United States Synchronized Swimming Collegiate Athlete of the Year.  

Leading 2009 National Team
Ohio State head coach Linda Lichter-Witter has been named head coach of the U.S. Synchronized Swimming National team. It will compete in world competition in July in Rome, Italy. 

The national team is comprised mostly of collegiate swimmers. Ohio State has 10 swimmers on a squad of 24 that will go through two more trials. The majority of the swimmers are from Ohio State, Stanford and Incarnate Word.

The first part of training will take place at the Bill and Mae McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion on the campus of the Ohio State University starting May 10.  Associate Head Coach Holly Vargo-Brown will assist Lichter-Witter for the first part of training while in Columbus, Ohio.

Denise Shively, mother of Hannah Shively of the Gray squad, will be the manager of the national team. Shively also was the manager for the 2008 Olympic team.

2009 National Team Trials
The Buckeyes have 10 student-athletes participating in Phase 2 of the Senior Duet and Team Trials for the 2009 National team. Jayme DeLancy, Katherine Green, Meghan Kinney, Barbara Nesbitt, Jillian Penner, Lauren Robinson, Deborah Shim, Hannah Shively, Michelle Theriault and former Ohio State synchronized swimmer Leah Pinette (2005-08) will compete for a spot on the national team. The second phase of trials will be held May 3, on the campus of Stanford University. Events will begin at 7 a.m.

High Marks
As the season has progressed so have the Buckeyes and their scores. Both the team and small routines posted season highs in the North Regional championships March 7 in the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.

Overall, the 103 points tallied by Ohio State was a season high. The Scarlet team’s 97.333 proved to be a team season best as well. The trio of Meghan Kinney, Carmen Moraes and Caitlin Stewart performed a routine worthy of a 95.333, while the duo of Becky Kim and Kinney’s 95.333 was enough for a 2009 season best. In solo, Barbara Nesbitt executed a season-high 94.667.

The season highs for team, duet and solo routines, were matched at the 2009 Collegiate National Championships.