NORTON, Mass. – Senior Christiana Butera (San Diego, Calif./San Diego Sweetwater Dolphins) has been named the 2012 National Collegiate Synchronized Swimming Athlete of the Year while freshman Kayla Moses (East Greenbush, N.Y/CDYMCA Sculpins) became the first Wheaton College student-athlete to earn U.S. Synchronized Swimming All-American honors this past weekend at the 2012 U.S. Collegiate Championship in Gainesville, Fla.
Butera and Moses were also among the four Wheaton student-athletes to receive the U.S. Synchronized Swimming All-Collegiate Award (Division III), joining juniors Kirsten Wendth (Waterford, N.Y./CDYMCA Sculpins) and Rebecca Gordon (North Haven, Conn./New Canaan YMCA Synchro).
Additionally, freshman Riley Callahan-Mayo (San Diego, Calif./San Diego Sweetwater Dolphins) (middle) received the Mary Jo Ruggieri Scholarship, which is awarded to a student-athlete who is nominated by their coach and selected based on outstanding achievements in the following categories: swimming ability, team contributions, and community leadership. The motivation to help 'Synchro' grow at the college level is also a factor in choosing the recipient of the scholarship.
Wheaton also saw six student-athletes receive U.S. Synchronized Swimming All-Academic Award honors: Butera, Wendth, Callahan-Mayo, juniors Christine Dyster (Tempe Ariz./Arizona Desert Gems) and Elizabeth Watkins (Indianapolis, Ind./Indy Synchro), and sophomore Nicole Chicoine (Santa Rosa, Calif./Red Wood Empire Synchro).
The Lyons placed seventh overall at the U.S. Collegiate Championship on Saturday. Their best performance of the afternoon was turned in by Moses, who placed seventh in the solo event with a score of 77.4000. In the duet competition, Butera and Wendth finished eighth with a score of 78.1000. Wheaton's trio of Butera, Moses and Wendth received a score of 78.0833, which placed them 11th.
In the team competition, the eight-woman group of Butera, Wendth, Moses, Dyster, Gordon, Chicoine, Callahan-Mayo, and sophomore Holly Wagman (York, Pa./Pennsbury Falconettes) placed eighth with a mark of 79.7500.
"There was some great competition at the championship, which made for a truly exciting meet," said Lyons head coach Rebecca Ercoli. "We came home feeling proud of the work we had done and ready for next season. This is one of the best teams I have ever coached, which makes me excited to see what's to come."