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Synchro wins Stanford’s 121st national title

Stanford synchronized swimming swept the team, duet and trio finals on Saturday at Avery Aquatics Center, capturing its eighth national championship and first since 2008. (HECTOR GARCIA-MOLINA/StanfordPhoto.com)

Stanford synchronized swimming swept the team, duet and trio finals on Saturday at Avery Aquatics Center, capturing its seventh national championship and first since 2008. (HECTOR GARCIA-MOLINA/StanfordPhoto.com)

In its home pool, the Stanford synchronized swimming team captured its seventh U.S. Collegiate National title — and the 121st national championship in school history — on Saturday at Avery Aquatics Center.

The Cardinal’s team score of 91.075 was well ahead of second-place Ohio State (89.362) and third-place University of Incarnate Word (87.900). Stanford also won the duet and trio events on Saturday.

First-year head coach Sara Lowe ’08 guided the Cardinal to its first synchronized swimming championship since her own senior year, a season that saw the team win the last of four consecutive national titles from 2005-08. In the years following that last title, Stanford finished second three seasons in a row before falling to fourth place in last year’s Collegiate Nationals.

Senior Olivia Morgan (front) was the individual point winner on Saturday, as she was part of the title-winning team, duet and trio routines. Junior Megan Hansley (back) joined Morgan in both the duet and trio. (HECTOR GARCIA-MOLINA/StanfordPhoto.com)

Senior Olivia Morgan (front) was the individual point winner on Saturday, as she was part of the title-winning team, duet and trio routines. Junior Megan Hansley (back) joined Morgan in both the duet and trio. (HECTOR GARCIA-MOLINA/StanfordPhoto.com)

“I could not be more proud of the Stanford synchro team today,” Lowe told GoStanford.com. “The girls have worked so hard all year and it was so exciting to see all of their hard work pay off and culminate in a national championship.”

Stanford’s winning routine included five seniors — Madison Crocker, Morgan Fuller, Mariya Koroleva, Michelle Moore and Olivia Morgan — as well as junior Leigh Haldeman and freshman Evelyna Wang. Crocker, Fuller, Koroleva and Moore took last season off to train with the U.S. Olympic team, and Koroleva placed 11th in the duet in London last summer.

Besides returning those key teammates, Stanford had the advantage of hosting the event, which fell at the tail end of finals. The team was spotted practicing its routines in at least one dorm lounge in the week leading up to the championship.

On the individual side, the Cardinal earned gold and silver in the trio, with Fuller, Morgan and junior Megan Hansley winning the title with a score of 89.375 and Crocker, Koroleva and Moore finishing not far behind at 88.287. Stanford was just as successful in the duet, as Hansley and Morgan placed first (89.275) and Crocker and Fuller came in second (87.762).

About Joseph Beyda

Joseph Beyda is the Football Editor at The Stanford Daily. Previously he has worked as a sports desk editor, the paper's summer managing editor and a beat reporter for football, baseball and women's soccer. He co-authored The Daily's recent football book, "Rags to Roses," and covered the soccer team's national title run for the New York Times. Joseph is a junior from Cupertino, Calif. majoring in Electrical Engineering. To contact him, please email jbeyda "at" stanford.edu.