April 26, 2007
Stanford synchronized swimming turned in the most successful collegiate performance in U.S. Nationals history as they swept all three free program swims, Team, Duet, and Solo, becoming the first collegiate team to accomplish such a feat. This first day of competition was made up of free swims, which is the same type routines that are performed in collegiate meets.
Stanford placed first in the team free routine as Samantha Bongiovanni-Duclos, Sara Lowe, Elizabeth Anne Markman, Courtenay Stewart, Melissa Knight, Poppy Carlig, Debbie Chen, and Taylor Durand put together an outstanding performance, earning 48.5 points. Ohio State took second place as they posted a score of 47.834, while Santa Clara Aquamaids finished third with their score of 46.584.
The duet of Sara Lowe and Courtenay Stewart earned the top spot as they turned in a routine that wowed the judges during their swim. They were able to earn 47.917 points, while Santa Clara Aquamaids posted a score of 46.917 to finish second.
Coming in first place for the third straight event was Stanford's Sara Lowe, an incredible achievement after such a quick turn around from the other two events. Her score of 48.00 in the solo free routine was good enough to beat out Kenyon Smith of Santa Clara Aquamaids (46.917), and Barbara Nesbitt (46.084) of Ohio State who rounded out the top three. Stanford's Gayle Lee took 13th place in the event as she recorded a score of 43.167.
The face of the sport seems to be changing, as collegiate teams have become dominant forces in this national competition. This is exemplified by the fact that collegiate swimmers swept the top three in all three events.
The action continues tomorrow at 11:55 a.m. with the technical swims, which are not performed in collegiate meets. It will be very important for the Cardinal to have success again tomorrow, as the technical scores will count for part of the team's final score.