Jan. 17, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State synchronized swimming team opens the 2013 season as hosts of the annual Ohio State Invitational Saturday. The Buckeyes will compete against Miami University with the solo, duet and trio routine competition beginning at 1:30 p.m. at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. The event is the first of three home meets for the Scarlet and Gray this season as they strive to defend their 28th U.S. Collegiate National crown.
Junior Yuliya Maryanko and sophomore Kristine Irwin will each perform their solo routines. A two-time All American, Maryanko won the U.S. Collegiate solo title in 2011 and 2012.
Maryanko will pair with Paige Ramsey to represent the Buckeye duet. The duo was runner-up at collegiate nationals last season.
Junior Lauren Nicholson will join Ramsey and Maryanko in the trio routine. In 2012, the Buckeyes, led by Maryanko, Ramsey and former Buckeye Alex Beckett, clinched the gold medal in the event at U.S. Collegiate Nationals. Two other Buckeye trios will also perform. Julia Gaylard, Natalie Gaylard and Samantha Golomb will reunite for a new routine this year. Last year, this trio team tied for first at Richmond and second at the Minnesota Invitational with scores of 84.833 and 73.1667, respectively. Khadija Zanotto, Kayley Colville and Katie Spada make up the final Buckeye trio.
U.S. NATIONAL TEAM TRIALS
Junior Chelsea Aton and senior Katie LaBounty will be competing in the U.S. National Team Trials Phase 1 competition, which will be held in Santa Clara, Calif., this weekend.
LOOKING BACK AT 2012
The Buckeyes recorded another successful season in 2012, posting a 40-0 mark in nine competitions. Most notably, the Buckeyes won their 28th U.S. Collegiate title in March, besting 19 other programs for the championship. Despite not winning the team routine title at the collegiate championships, the Scarlet and Gray won gold medals in the trio and solo routines which lifted them to a five-point win over Incarnate Word. Maryanko, Ramsey and Zanotto return to the 2013 roster as All-Americans.
NEW COACHING STAFF
Holly Vargo-Brown was named head coach of the Ohio State synchronized swimming team June 26, 2012, becoming just the third coach in the program's 36-year history. Vargo-Brown began her coaching career at Ohio State as an assistant coach in 1986 and after a brief hiatus following the 1990 season, she returned as assistant coach in 1993. During her tenure with the Buckeyes, Vargo-Brown has helped coach 19 U.S. Collegiate National championship teams, as well as two U.S. Senior National championship squads. Vargo-Brown was recognized as the 2012 U.S. Synchronized Swimming Collegiate Contributor of the Year.
Vargo-Brown named Suzanna Fernandez assistant coach of the Buckeyes in August. A three-time Buckeye letterwinner, the former Suzanna Hyatt served as the U.S. National Team’s Trial Routine Choreographer and Demonstrator in 2004 and as a show performer and synchronized swimmer for “Le Reve” at Wynn Las Vegas. Prior to returning to campus, Fernandez was the national team coach for Preselección de Panama Nado Sincronizado, the inaugural national team of Panama.
COMMUNITY SERVICE UPDATE
The Buckeyes have pledged to “Give Back a Day” during the 2012-13 school year. With this initiative, each member of the team has agreed to dedicate 24 hours of community service hours individually or 600 hours as a team during the school year. As a team, Ohio State is only 108 hours from completing its goal. The Scarlet and Gray have totaled 492 hours so far this school year, dedicating their time to more than 10 organizations this season including: 2nd and 7, Steps for Sarcoma, Out of the Darkness Walk, Making Strides Against Cancer, Parent Weekend at the Ohio Union, Columbus Marathon, Hot Chocolate 15k/5k Run, Ronald McDonald House, Mid-Ohio Foodbank, Easter Seals Turkey Trot, and the Jingle Bell Run.
The Scarlet and Gray will host the seventh annual Jessica Beck Memorial Competition at 2 p.m. Feb. 2 at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion.