The Buckeyes will travel again this weekend, this time to Fort Collins, Colo. for the North Zone Championship. This is the final step on the journey to US Collegiate Nationals. The grand finale of the season will take place in just 30 days, but first the Buckeyes have business to take care of in Colorado.
Synchronized Swimming programs across the country are split into regions by geographic location for the purpose of these regional competitions, with Ohio State belonging to the North Zone. Other schools with this distinction include Lindenwood University, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Carleton College, Hamline University, University of Illinois, and Colorado State University. Ohio State has met most of these opponents already this season and has come out victorious at every meet.
The North Zone Championship is used as a qualification for the US Collegiate National Championship that will take place in Texas at the end of March. Schools that placed in the top eight at 2018 nationals and have at least 50% of the same athletes returning do not need to pre-qualify their routines. This meet marks the last time athletes will be able to showcase national and international judges their team’s athleticism, artistry, and talent.
Of the teams attending, Lindenwood has proven to be a strong competitor. At last year’s nationals, Lindenwood placed fourth behind the Ohio State Gray squad by a fifth of a point. Ohio State hosted the Lions earlier this year at the 2019 Jessica Beck Memorial Competition. However, this weekend will be the first time the two schools compete against each other in the team routine.
Head Coach Holly Vargo-Brown on the preparation for this weekend: “This team has faced quite a bit of adversity over the last few weeks which, in my mind, has provided a strong opportunity for growth and full commitment to each other. I’m looking forward to seeing that growth play out into strong performances at the Regional championships.”