USA Judging Representatives for World Series Announced
by Alyssa Jacobs
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Melodie Wallace and Kim Kohut have been named the USA judging representatives for USAAS’s Virtual World Series event happening Feb. 19th - 21st. Wallace and Kohut bring collective decades of experience in the sport to the judging panel and are well-qualified to judge the world’s best artistic swimming athletes in a new format at the first-ever Virtual World Series hosted by the United States.
ABOUT KIMBERLY KOHUT
Kimberly Kohut has been involved in the sport of artistic swimming for more than 30 years, beginning in introductory classes and as a member of the Fairview High School Synchronettes in Fairview Park, Ohio. Kohut then attended Miami University where she competed with the Miami Marlins and graduated with a B.S. in Elementary Education. After graduation, she was well-equipped to begin her coaching and judging career with the Cincinnati Synchrogators. In 2002, she returned to the Cleveland-area and began coaching and judging with the Brecksville Blue Dolphins. Kim pursued her post-graduate studies at Kent State University and earned her M. Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction in 2008 and an Educational Specialist degree in K-12 Administration in 2011.
Kohut shifted her focus to judging and became a national figure judge in 2008, a national judge in 2011 and a FINA/UANA judge in 2015. Kim’s judging resume is impressive and lengthy, some of her international judging highlights include judging at two World Series events held in the USA, attending the Primorje Cup in Rijeka, Croatia and serving as practice judge at Junior Worlds in 2018. A passionate supporter of artistic swimming, Kim has also served in many leadership roles at the association, zone, and national level and is the current Administrative Chair, Technical Chair and Officials Chair for the Lake Erie Association and the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) chair for the East Zone. In addition to her local and zone leadership positions, she currently serves as the Secretary (non-voting) to the USAAS Board of Directors. Previously, Kim also served as the East Zone Officials Chair and was the recipient of the East Zone Contributor of the Year Award.
As a K-12 educator, Kim is in her 20th year as a teacher and administrator, currently serving as a middle school assistant principal. She resides in Middleburg Heights, Ohio and enjoys traveling and the irreplaceable friendships she has made as a life member of USA Artistic Swimming.
ABOUT MELODIE WALLACE
Melodie Wallace has been involved in the sport of artistic swimming from many perspectives as a former athlete, coach, judge and mother of two swimmers. Wallace began her career swimming for Joy Cushman (Shamrock Hilton Corkettes) and Margaret Forbes (Cygnets of San Antonio) in the 1960’s and 1970’s. She took her background and skills into a coaching role soon after, beginning her career developing young athletes with the Aquanuts of Clear Lake where she coached for five years. She then moved to San Antonio and continued to pursue her passion coaching the Cygnets of San Antonio for 19 years.
Wallace is no stranger to the judging circuit, either. She became a national judge in 1980 and a FINA judge in 2010. She has judged three Comen Cups in Andorra, Greece and Israel. Melodie’s daughter has also qualified for the World championships.
With an impressive, 35-year career in optometry combined with her dedication and involvement in the artistic swimming community, Wallace stays busy. She attended Trinity University for her undergraduate degree before obtaining her doctoral degree in optometry from the University of Houston Optometry School. She is also the owner of two Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spas. Dr. Wallace has been married for almost three decades and has two children.