March 22, 2003
Tucson, Ariz. - Ohio State swam to victory on Saturday, claiming the solo, duet and team event title and overall championship crown at the 2003 U.S. Collegiate Synchronized Swimming Championships at the University of Arizona.
OSU scored a 97.500 to Stanford's 96.500 in the team event to soundly defeat the west coast rivals. Swimming for the Bucks were Victoria Bowen, Heather Burdick, Carly Grimshaw, Suzanna Hyatt, Chelsea Luker, Lauren Marsh, Lindsay Newbill and Emiko Takyu.
Ohio State finished first with 94.5 points, followed by Stanford at 89. University of Alabama at Birmingham finished third in the overall standings with 65.5 points, edging Canisius College with 62 points.
"It was probably one of the toughest fields of competition I've ever seen at this meet," said local meet manager and head coach for the University of Arizona, Jill Ranucci. "The competition got pretty intense with more schools vying for spots on the podium. The final points distribution was much more evenly distributed than ever before."
Arizona pulled out an impressive performance in their home pool. The Splashcats finished fifth in the overall championships standings with 55 points. Arizona, a club-level team, placed higher than four varsity-level teams. The team routine earned a final mark of 88.666.
The overall title is Ohio State's fourth consecutive, and 23rd overall title in the 27th year of the championships. Top athletes now advance to the U.S. National Championships and 2003 U.S. National Team Trials, April 24-27 in Long Island, N.Y.
More than 200 athletes from 24 universities were on hand 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.