COLUMBUS, Ohio After an incredible showing at the U.S. Collegiate National Championships in its home pool, the Ohio State synchronized swimming team heads to Tucson, Ariz., to compete at the U.S. National Championships Thursday-Saturday. The event is to be held at the University of Arizona and will showcase talent from around the nation in the solo, duet and team categories. The solo, duet and team preliminaries will be held on Wednesday, with the finals on Friday. The technical competition will be held on Thursday.
Thursday May 1
7:25 Solo Preliminary
10:25 Duet Preliminary
2:35 Team Preliminary

Friday May 2
8:25 Solo Technical Competition
10:25 Duet Technical Competition
2:05 Team Technical Competition

Saturday May 3
7:45 Solo Finals
8:40 Duet Finals
11:00 Team Finals

Ohio State is stacking the field this year at the 2008 National Championships, entering three routines in the solo competition, five routines in the duet category and both the Scarlet and Gray squads in the team competition. The following Buckeyes will be competing in each category:

Barbara Nesbitt
Hilary Deason
Erin DeMarco

Duet (free competition)
Nesbitt and Leah Pinette
Caitlin Stewart and Michelle Theriault
Jayme DeLancy and Michelle Benzie
Brooke Paul and Jackie Mundy
Liz Derr and Monica Finnigan

Duet (technical competition)
Stewart and Carmen Moraes
DeLancy and Deborah Shim
Paul and Mundy
Derr and Finnigan

Scarlet: Benzie, Moraes, Nesbitt, DeLancy, Stewart, Pinette, Shim and Theriault
Gray: Kaitlin Bolt, Julia Broadfoot, Derr, Paul, Mundy, Hannah Shively, Emilie Siemer and Kendra Sollars


Ohio State showcased its talents in a big way March 28-30 when it hosted the 2008 Collegiate National Championships. While Stanford took home the high-point team title, the Scarlet team accomplished its goal of capturing first in the team category. With a routine that earned season-best marks of 98.500, the team comprised of Michelle Benzie, Jayme DeLancy, Carmen Moraes, Barbara Nesbitt, Leah Pinette, Deborah Shim, Caitlin Stewart and Michelle Theriault, topped second-place Stanford by nearly two points. The Gray squad, pulling out its best performance of the season, earned stellar marks as well, taking third with a score of 95.333.

Going up against Olympic quality competition, the Buckeyes also earned top marks in the solo, duet and trio categories. Soloist Nesbitt recorded a score of 94.833 to take the bronze medal. In duet competition, the combination of Stewart and Theriault was fourth with a score of 93.833. In the trio category, two Buckeye teams finished in the Top 3. Nesbitt, Stewart and Theriault came together to claim second place with a routine that earned marks of 95.000, while teammates Moraes, Pinette and Shim took fourth with a score of 93.167.

For their efforts throughout the 2008 U.S. Collegiate National Championships, Nesbitt and Pinette earned All-America honors. Moraes, Shim, Stewart and Theriault were named honorary All-Americans.

The Buckeyes carry much clout when it comes to the national meet, finishing third last season in the high-point team competition. En route to its third-place finish, the Scarlet team averaged a 94.501 to finish second in the team competition, while the Gray squad took sixth with an 89.167. Sophomore Barbara Nesbitt contributed to Ohio State’s success by earning marks of 91.834 in the solo competition to finish third.

The Keuka College Invitational Feb. 16 and the Keuka College Tri-Meet Feb.17 was a chance for the Buckeyes to showcase their Gray team talent. The Gray squad captured its first team title of the year, scoring an 89.750 at the tri-meet.  The team, which also recorded a second-place finish in the invitational the previous day with a score of 92.167, is comprised of Kaitlin Bolt, Julia Broadfoot, Erin DeMarco, Liz Derr, Jackie Mundy, Brooke Paul, Emilie Siemer and Kendra Sollars. 

Ohio State also swept the solo, duet and trio competitions at the tri-meet. The trio of Bolt, Mundy and Paul earned 87.250 points to take first with teammates Gillan, Monica Finnigan and Diana Care coming in second with 87.000 points. Bolt, Mundy and Paul also pulled in a second-place finish at the invitational with marks of 86.333.

The pair of Asia Luke and Tayler Stachowicz was victorious in their first duet performance of the season, tallying 87.500 points. After capturing first at the tri-meet they garnered 85.500 in the invitational to add a third-place finish to their records. 

Rounding out the sweep for the Buckeyes was Hilary Deason, who recorded her first collegiate solo win with marks of 86.750. Deason’s solo performance also garnered marks of 87.500 in the invitational to put her in second place.

Ohio State had the privilege of welcoming the best synchronized swimmers in the nation March 28-30 when it played host to the 2008 U.S. Collegiate Nationals. 2008 marked the first year Ohio State has hosted the event since 2000 and the team’s first chance to show off the Bill and Mae McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. 

The Buckeyes may have hosted talent from around the nation, but they too proved they are some of the best. In the 31-year history of collegiate nationals, Ohio State has taken the crown 24 times, including five-consecutive titles from 2000-2004. This year, Ohio State fell short to Stanford, but accomplished its goal of claiming the title in the team category.

The Buckeyes will be missing a key contributor, not only this weekend, but for the remainder of the 2008 season. Soon-to-be senior Becky Kim, who competed for Ohio State in 2005 and 2006, has traded in her Scarlet and Gray for the Red, White and Blue. Kim is currently training with the U.S. National Synchronized Swimming Team in preparation for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. Kim will once again compete for Ohio State when she returns for her senior season in 2008-09.

Ohio State synchronized swimmers do not only experience success while wearing the Scarlet and Gray, many of them, like Kate Hooven, go on to compete with various teams after graduation. Hooven, a 2004 Ohio State letterwinner, is currently competing with the best of the best as a member and co-captain of the U.S. National Team. With the Olympics right around the corner, Hooven and her co-captain Kim Probst recently took some time out from training to teach Jim Caple of a thing or two about their extremely difficult and sometimes under-appreciated sport.