March 21, 2003
Ohio State earns another first place ranking in the team free routine preliminary event on Friday at the 27th annual U.S. Collegiate Synchronized Swimming Championships in Tucson, Ariz.
OSU scored a 94.500 to Stanford's 93.500 in the team event to defeat the west coast rivals in preliminaries. The Buckeyes will now head into Saturday's finals as leaders in solo, duet and team.
The same two teams tied at 96.500 in team prelims a year ago at the collegiate championships, with Ohio State pulling off a team event victory in the final and earning the Buckeyes' 22nd overall Collegiate championship.
Universities earn points based on placement at the U.S. Collegiate Championships, much like the scoring of a track meet. Though OSU currently holds the top spot in solo, duet and team a victory by Stanford in trio, coupled with second-place finishes in two other events, could give the west coast power a shot at the overall title.
Swimming for Ohio State are current U.S. National Teamers Victoria Bowen and Suzanna Hyatt, plus Carly Grimshaw, Chelsea Luker, Lauren Marsh, Lindsay Newbill, Emiko Takyu and Chisako Ukai.
Host University of Arizona's club team edged out the UAB B team and the University of Florida to qualify for finals in sixth place with a score of 84.667, making Arizona the top placing club-level team. Swimming for Arizona was Zeenat Ahmedi, Alia Arbas, Audra Arbas, Michaela Johnson, Adriana Lopez, Michelle Meyer, Jeanie Studer and Michelle Wilson.
The top eight entries from preliminary rounds advance to Saturday's finals.
More than 200 athletes from 24 universities are competing for collegiate national titles in the solo, duet, trio and team events. The championships are an open-class meet, combining competition for NCAA Divisions I, II and III, plus NAIA schools.
The Ohio State University is attempting to win its third consecutive, and 23rd overall title in the 27th year of the championships. Top athletes advance to the U.S. National Championships and 2003 U.S. National Team Trials, April 24-27 in Long Island, N.Y.
Competition continues Saturday at 10:20 a.m. with finals in all events. All events take place at the University of Arizona Aquatic Center in Tucson.
Complete results can be found at www.usasynchro.org. For more information, contact Jessica Wilkes at 317-407-0770 (cell).
Team Preliminary 1, Ohio State A, 94.500. 2, Stanford, 93.500. 3, UAB A, 91.666. 4, Ohio State B, 90.167. 5, Canisius A, 89.333. 6, Arizona, 84.667. 7, UAB B, 83.417. 8, Florida, 82.667.