COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State synchronized swimming team is set to host the 2008 U.S. Collegiate National Synchronized Swimming Championships Thursday-Saturday in the Bill and Mae McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. The Buckeyes will attempt to capture their first national title since 2003 and 25th overall as they compete against top talent from around the nation.

2008 U.S. Collegiate Nationals Schedule
8:50 a.m.  Solo Semifinals
11:50 a.m. Duet Semifinals
3:50 a.m. Trio Semifinals

7:35 a.m.  D Technical Competition
9:35 a.m.   C Technical Competition
11:10 a.m.  B Technical Competition
12:55 p.m.  A Technical Competition
3:35 p.m.   Team Semifinals

8:30 a.m. Parade of Athletes
9:30 a.m.  Trio Finals
10:50 a.m.  Duet Finals
1:15 p.m.   Solo Finals
2:45 p.m.   Team Finals
5 p.m.   Awards Ceremony
Ohio State will have the privilege of welcoming the best synchronized swimmers in the nation this weekend when it serves as host of the 32nd United States Collegiate National Synchronized Swimming Championships in the Bill and Mae McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion Thursday-Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.

It will be the fifth time the Buckeyes will welcome the collegiate synchronized swimming community to The Ohio State University campus. The last time the Scarlet and Gray hosted the coveted event was in 2000 at the Peppe Aquatic Center in Larkins Hall.

The McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion is one of the premier facilities in the nation. The building has garnered nationwide recognition and served as host of the U.S. Synchronized Swimming Senior National Team Trials in December 2006.

The Buckeyes are seeking their 25th championship in the 32-history of the U.S. Collegiate National Championships. Since the inception of the championships in 1977, Ohio State has made historical runs, including capturing 13-consecutive titles from 1985-1997. The Scarlet and Gray also owned the championships from 2000-2004 under the direction of veteran OSU head coach Linda Lichter-Witter.

Ohio State also has strung together an impressive resume in the team competition of the collegiate nationals, winning 25 of the 31 team events. It also has earned a spot on top of the winner’s podium in the solo (11), duet (20) and trio (22) competitions.

Ohio State will appear live on WTTE Fox 28 Good Day Columbus beginning at 7 a.m. Thursday at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. Ohio State is serving as hosts of the 2008 U.S. Collegiate National Championships Thursday-Saturday. 

Host Johnny Diloretto will be on hand to interview Buckeye head coach Linda Lichter-Witter, as well as sisters Caitlin Stewart, who swims for Ohio State, and Courtenay from rival Stanford.

Diloretto will conclude the two-hour broadcast in the pool as he will participate in U.S. Synchronized Swimming’s “Synch … or Sink!” challenge.

In the 31-year history of collegiate nationals, Ohio State has earned the title 24 times, including five-consecutive titles from 2000-2004. Falling short to Stanford for three-consecutive years beginning in 2004, the squad is eager to take back the title this season and win its 25th collegiate national title at home.

Ohio State has recorded 57 national championships among its various varsity sports. Claiming 24 of those titles, synchronized swimming represents 42 percent of Buckeye title winners. 

The last time Ohio State was crowned No. 1 was in 2003 when they won the solo, duet and team competitions. For the next three seasons, the Buckeyes fell short of Stanford to record three-consecutive second-place finishes. This season, Ohio State is on the prowl to regain the No. 1 spot.

In 2007, the Buckeyes finished second in three of the four final events and tallied 84 total points en route to their second-place finish. All but one of the Buckeyes who earned second place are back to compete in the 2008 U.S. Collegiate Nationals.

Second-place soloist Barbara Nesbitt and runner-up trio teammates Leah Pinette and Hannah Shively return. Duet partners Carmen Moraes and Caitlin Stewart, who took third, also return.
Caitlin and Courtenay Stewart may have been teammates at Huntington Beach High School, but this week they will be competing for rival teams. Caitlin, a sophomore on the Ohio State synchronized swimming team will be competing in the duet and team competitions, while seeking her first collegiate national title. Mirroring her will be Courtenay, senior and three-time national champion for Stanford.

Once teammates, always sisters and rivals for this week, only time will tell whether Courtenay and the Stanford Cardinals will win their fourth national title or younger sister Caitlin and the Ohio State Buckeyes can take back the crown.
Columbus is a sports town and no one loves Ohio State athletics more than the local media. Have you ever wondered which of our local sports reporters loves this university and its 36 sports the most? The 2008 U.S. Collegiate National Synchronized Swimming competition may have provided us with the answer. When USA Synchro put out the challenge for local media to “test the waters” and learn a few synchronized swimming moves alongside the best in the nation, NBC 4 reporter Omar Ruiz volunteered to step up to the plate, or rather, the pool. Will Omar “Sink or Synch?” Come find out at 8 a.m. Friday at the Bill and Mae McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.
The Buckeyes will be missing a key contributor this weekend, an athlete they have been without for the entire 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.