Olivia Morgan Named USA Synchro Athlete of the Year

ANAHEIM, California, September 16. USA Synchro announced its annual award winners and board member election results Saturday night at the United States Aquatic Sports Convention.

Olivia Morgan, who won the individual high point title at the U.S. Collegiate National Championships in March, was named USA Synchro’s Athlete of the Year. Morgan, a USA Synchro athlete representative, helped lead Team USA to the bronze medal and finished fourth in the duet free at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia. Morgan also earned Collegiate All-American status, leading Stanford to the team title and adding gold medals in duet and trio at Collegiate Nationals.

Sara Lowe was named USA Synchro Coach of the Year after leading the U.S. World University Games team to the bronze medal in Kazan, Russia, in July. Lowe, an Olympic bronze medalist, recently was selected to be inducted into the United States Synchronized Swimming Hall of Fame. The first-year Stanford coach led the Cardinal to its seventh national title, and first since 2008, at the U.S. Collegiate National Championships in March.

The late Myrna Hagedorn was honored with the Lillian MacKellar Distinguished Service Award. Hagedorn served many roles within the synchronized swimming community, including coaching stints at Rutgers University and with the Central Jersey Synchronettes and Colorado Springs Novas. She also served as Administrative Chair for the Rocky Mountain Association and the North Zone, where she was its secretary. Hagedorn helped reorganize and update USA Synchro’s technical rules, and she chaired the ad hoc Athletes’ Program Committee.

Other award winners:

John Ortiz, head coach of the Tualatin Hills (Ore.) Synchronized Swimming Club, was named USA Synchro Age Group Developmental Coach of the Year

Jen Muzyk, director of the New Canaan (Conn.) YMCA Aquianas, was named USA Synchro Developmental Coach of the Year.

Michelle Baritone earned the USA Synchro Coaching Merit Award.

Debbi Guthrie, director of the Riverside (Calif.) Sports Commission, received the USA Synchro Community Service Award.

Linda Loehndorf, a FINA judge from Wisconsin, and Shari Darst, a USA Synchro Vice President and head coach of the Rocky Mountain Splash, were honored with Hall of Fame Contributor Awards.

Denise Shively, vice president, competitive operations, and Tom Wiita, treasurer, were re-elected to USA Synchro’s board of directors, and Nancy Rosengard was elected vice president, membership and marketing.

Shively, who recently was selected for induction to the United States Synchronized Swimming Hall of Fame, has been USA Synchro’s National/Olympic Team manager since 2003. She is a Level 4 national judge who has served on several national committees, including event management and championship sites.

Wiita has served as the West Zone Treasurer, OASS Treasurer, MAC Synchro Booster treasurer and MAC Synchro Committee chair and is a Level 2F and 2R judge. He has also served on the board of directors for two independent schools, one as board chair.

Rosengard has served as USA Synchro treasurer and has been a collegiate and Masters national champion. She has been an East Zone Coach of the Year and is a member of the University of Arizona Sports Hall of Fame. Rosengard has served on association and zone boards of directors, as a meet manager for all levels of competition, and she is a Level 4F official.

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