The Ohio State Synchronized Swimming TeamCompany
Where Are They Now: JoAnn Ferguson Kale
JoAnn graduated in 1976 from OSU with her BSN. She went on to work as an RN on the neurology unit at Riverside Hospital in Columbus until becoming a stay at home Mom for her two children. She grew up swimming for the Berea Aquateens Swim Club, winning Junior Nationals in 1970 and making finals at Senior Nationals.
If you know the history of synchronized swimming at Ohio State you know the team didn’t always practice in the Varsity pools.... JoAnn’s freshman year was the last year of swimming in the, now nonexistent, pool at Pomerene Hall. The next year, 1973, the team began training at Larkins in the diving well alongside legendary OSU diving coach, Ron O’Brien.
A favorite memory is during her senior year when the team took a road trip to Florida for winter training. The weather was unseasonably cold for that time of year and the water was unbearably frigid. Their Head Coach, Mary Jo Ruggieri, didn’t believe the swimmers and was forced to get in to see for herself. She turned blue!
JoAnn's advice to our young Buckeyes, “Savor every minute of your college days. The time passes so very quickly. Make great memories to treasure forever.”
Where Are They Now? Lauren Robinson
Lauren Robinson graduated in 2013 with a degree in Nutrition and Community Health. She now works for lululemon athletica and is a Crossfit coach.
While at Ohio State Lauren was part of four National Championships! Lauren’s favorite place on campus is the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion where she can still be found coaching poolside as a Volunteer Coach for the Buckeyes. We are so fortunate to have her on staff sharing her passion for choreo...graphy and insight on lifts.
Lauren’s favorite memory of her time as a student-athlete is jumping into a snowy Mirror Lake freshman year. Her advice to current and future Buckeyes? “Enjoy every moment! Even the part where you have to go to class.”
Where Are They Now? Heather Roda Herr
Heather (Roda) Herr graduated in 1995 with a degree in Art Education. She is now a realtor and business consultant in Cincinnati.
During her time at OSU as a student-athlete Heather was a four time All American and four time Team National Champion. She also placed 2nd in duet with teammate, Jenny Dunn Seaberg. Her favorite memories are of early morning practices followed by football games and the all-day bonding she and her teammates ...shared. Many of Heather's favorite moments happened at their duplex on West 8th Street, nicknamed the "Synch Hole!"
What advice does Heather have for our current Buckeyes? "Enjoy the experiences, big or small, every single day. Set goals for yourself and use each day as a small step to achieve those goals. Success and passion come from consistency of everyday discipline and self awareness." #Buckeyeforlife #GoBucks #RespectDefendProtect
Can you tag all the Buckeyes in these photos? Do you remember those team routines?
Where Are They Now: Deborah Shim
Deborah Shim graduated in 2011 with a B.S. in Human Development and Family Science with a Specialization in Early Childhood. During her time at OSU as a student-athlete Deborah was a 3 time National Champion. Additionally she and her teammates were Team Event Champions all four years and she was a Trio Event Champion her sophomore, junior, and senior years!
She has two favorite memories as a Buckeye. Deborah can still vividly remember swimmi...
Don't miss our last home meet of the season! Competition begins at 2pm, free poster giveaway during team warm-up, and an autograph session with our SENIORS after the meet! See you next Saturday! Go Bucks!
Where Are They Now - Katie Spada, Class of 2015
Katie majored in Human Nutrition and Dietetics and is now working as a clinical dietitian specializing in burn and trauma nutrition therapy in Las Vegas. She has plans of starting a masters program in Nutrition concentrating on sports and fitness.
During her four years at OSU Katie earned All-American honors, was a four time Scholar-Athlete, and was part of two National Championship teams; 2012 and 2015. Winning the 2015 Cham...pionship at home in front of all her family, friends, and Buckeye fans is the absolute highlight of her synchro career.
Outside of the pool Katie's favorite OSU memory is watching the Buckeyes become the first ever College Football Playoff National Champions in 2014. And so it's no guess what her favorite spot on campus is...The Shoe on Game Day!
Katie's advice to our current and future Buckeyes? "As so many alums say, enjoy every moment. It truly does go incredibly quickly, and before you know it, you'll be walking into The Shoe for graduation. But I think the most important thing to remember is that being a Buckeye doesn't stop after graduation. We get to be Buckeyes for life!"
And Katie, we know of a great place to work when you've finished that Masters degree!
This week in “Where Are They Now” we catch up with Irene (Abrahams) Hawes. Irene graduated in 1981 with a degree in history. She was part of the ’78, ’79, and ’80 National Championship teams and served as a student-coach in 1981. Her advice to future Buckeyes? Choose a different major, either in education or in the tech and computer field.
Irene works for AAA as an examiner for the entire Automobile Club Enterprise overseeing adjusters handling claims, among other things.... But you can still find her poolside coaching and judging. You may have seen her seated at the judge’s table during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio!
Fun fact: Both of Irene’s children are graduates of OSU. Tori, Class of 2014, was a four year varsity letter winner for the synchronized swimming team!
Can you name the Buckeyes in this photo from 1977? Recently Irene caught up with fellow classmates, Laurette Longmire and Martha Boss, in Southern California. Time and change will surely show how firm thy friendship, O-HI-O!
This week in "Where are they now" Wednesday we catch up with alums Kristine (Ballinger) Hickman and Kathleen (Ballinger) Stackhouse.
They both graduated in March of ’73, Kris with a degree in elementary education and Kathy with a degree in English education. They continued their studies at OSU, receiving their MA in reading education in 1976....
Kris and Kathy both pursued careers as educators in Ohio and later in Florida. They are now retired and enjoying warmer weather than we are this week!
In 1969 the Swan Club only had a faculty advisor but in 1970 Dr. Mary Jo Ruggieri became the first Head Coach of the program. Kris, Kathy, and teammate Nikki Mann, comprised the Midwest Champion trio routine for three consecutive years, 1970-1972. They were also members of the first place team routine in the same championship for the same three years.
In 1971-1972, Kris served as President of the Swan Club and Kathy served as Vice-President. They had wonderful teammates and their three years competing made them even stronger Buckeye supporters.
Kathy’s advice to the current team members is to cherish every moment as these special memories are ones they will keep treasured all their lives.
This week's "Where Are They Now Wednesday" features Brooke (Paul) Weaver!
Brooke graduated from The Ohio State University in 2008 with a B.S. in Allied Medicine. She later went on to become a Physician Assistant and found her way back to OSU, now working in the department of Sports Medicine Orthopedic Surgery.
Brooke has a few favorite memories of her time as a Buckeye but being recognized on the football field during halftime tops the list....
We have had the pleasure of having Brooke on the pool deck to speak with the team about career paths in the health industry. When asked what her advice would be for our current Buckeyes she always replies, “It goes by so fast - cherish EVERY moment!”
This week's "Where Are They Now Wednesday" features 2001 grad, Anna (Eng) Dietrich.
Anna was part of the 2000 and 2001 National Champion Teams. In addition, she competed on the US National Team in 2001 and 2002.
Anna graduated with a degree in Physical Therapy and has enjoyed a career that has taken her down several paths, starting out as a physical therapist, coaching for Wheaton College, and now serving as a brand manager in the consumer goods industry....
Her advice to current and future Buckeyes? "It goes way too fast. Cherish this time with your team. Teams like this don't exist in the 'real world'. Soak up the expectations, the pressure, the ambition, the determination, the pride, and the love that you share every day with 20 other women. Take it with you when you leave and strive to instill it in others. It will make you the kind of leader of which the world could use a lot more."
On this week's "Where Are They Now" Wednesday, meet Jayme Delancy Chase!
Jayme is a 2009 graduate who completed her degree in Human Nutrition with a minor in Exercise Science. She now works as a Registered Nurse in a medical intensive care unit.
Jayme is a two-time National Champion, as a student-athlete in 2009 and as a volunteer coach for the team in 2010....
Her advice for current Buckeyes is to enjoy every second at OSU and not take any of it for granted, because those are the years and people she misses the most!
Jayme's two favorite buckeye memories are swimming the Gladiator team and U.S. Collegiate Nationals in 2009, when the two Buckeye trios tied for first place, and Ohio State won the championship.