March 25, 2007
Stanford Synchronized swimming captured their 3rd straight national title Saturday, at the 2007 U.S. Collegiate National Synchronized Swimming Championships in Norton, Massachusetts at Wheaton College. The competition took place at Balfour Natatorium. Stanford ended with a total of 97 overall team points, 13 more than the 2nd place Ohio State Buckeyes, who ended with 84.
The Cardinal started off with a 1st and 4th place finish in the Trio Finals. Stanford's first team of Samantha Bongiovanni-Duclos, Melissa Knight, Poppy Carlig were given a tough early morning draw after getting a 2nd place finish in the preliminary rounds and swam to a fourth place swim. The second Stanford team consisting of Elizabeth Anne Markman, Sara Lowe, and Courtenay Stewart took the gold medal, giving the Cardinal momentum going into the duet event.
In the Duet competition, Stanford finished 1st and 2nd respectively. Sara Lowe and Courtenay Stewart had a flawless swim earning a 1st place finish and Seniors Elizabeth Anne Markman and Samantha Bongiovanni-Duclos finished second place in the competition.
In the solo competition, Sara Lowe was also able to capture the gold with a score of 97.833, two points higher than the second place soloist from Canisius College. In the team final competition, Stanford showcased their innovative choreography capturing first place with a score of 98.833, barely squeaking out the win over 2nd place Ohio State, who had a score of 98.167.
Stanford was also honored with many postseason awards at the competition. Courtenay Stewart was awarded an Honorary Collegiate All-American and also scored the most points at the event earning the Collegiate High Point Award. Sara Lowe, Melissa Knight, Poppy Carlig & Elizabeth Anne Markman also all received the Collegiate All American award. Academic All American Awards went to: Gayle Lee, Hilary Homenko, Samantha Bongiovanni-Duclos. Elizabeth Anne Markman also took an Academic All American and was named the Collegaite Athlete of the Year. Head Coach Heather Olson was given the Collegiate Coach of the Year award.
"The team had phenomenal swims in all of the events. I couldn't ask for anything more from our athletes," said Olson, "We had a lot of momentum with our success early in the semifinals, so we kept our focus on perfecting each event for the finals. I did not want the team to take that success for granted since 100% of their score would be based on the final events. "We came here hoping for a three-peat and our goal was to have the best swims of the year at this meet. Everything else took care of itself."