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May 26, 2004

Athletes of the Week

Women’s golf junior Kristen White led the Buckeyes at the NCAAchampionships, posting a four-round total of 287 (-1) to tie forsixth place on the individual leaderboard. White fired afinal-round mark of 68 (-4). White earned second-team All-Americaaccolades this season for the second year in a row. Freshman DevinMullings clinched the Buckeyes’ victory over Virginia in the NCAAMen’s Tennis Championship Round of 16 to put the Buckeyes in thenational quarterfinals for the first time in program history. AtNo. 3 singles, Mullings topped the Cavaliers’ Stephen Rozek instraight sets for the victory.

Athletics Good Stuff

Over 400 Buckeye student-athletes will be honored as Ohio StateScholar-Athletes at the annual Scholar-Athlete Banquet Wednesday atthe Greater Columbus Convention Center. The finalists for theprestigious 2004 Big Ten Medal of Honor, given to the top male andfemale student-athletes in the graduating class, are Sjaan Gerth(Track and Field/Belgrave, Ontario), Ben Hartsock(Football/Chillicothe, Ohio), Jamey Houle (Gymnastics/Enfield,Conn.), Spencer Jones (Fencing/Ft. Leonardwood, Mo.) and CraigKrenzel (Football/Utica, Mich.) and Emma Laaksonen (IceHockey/Espoo, Finland), Natalie Legge (Rowing/Sydney, Australia),Jessica Marshall (Pistol/Columbus, Ohio), Katie Meyer (SynchronizedSwimming/Cincinnati, Ohio) and Alexandra Shklar (Fencing/Jerusalem,Israel). The winners will be announced at the banquet. The rowingteam traveled to Sacramento, Calif., for the 2004 NCAAChampionships that will be held Friday-Sunday. The Buckeyes, whowon the central regional title, are making their fifth consecutiveappearance at the NCAA championships. The squad finished eighth asa team in the event last season. Ohio State is the No. 2 seed forthe Big Ten Baseball Tournament for the third straight year inMinneapolis, where it has won the last two Big Ten TournamentChampionships to secure the league’s automatic bid into the NCAATournament. Joining the Buckeyes and the top-seeded Golden Gophersare No. 3 seed Michigan, No. 4 seed Michigan State, No. 5 seedPurdue and No. 6 seed Penn State. Michigan State and Purdue openthe tournament Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. (EDT) and will be followed byMichigan and Penn State at 4:35 p.m. Ohio State, who will play thehighest seeded winner from Wednesday action, will play its firstgame at 4:35 p.m. Thursday. Steve Caravati leads Ohio State and theBig Ten with a .388 batting average. In conference games, hisaverage swells to .407, which is second among league batters behindNorthwestern’s Mark Ori, who is batting .412. Caravati also leadsthe team with 81 hits, nine home runs, 47 RBI, a .603 sluggingpercentage and a .443 on-base percentage. Caravati has 46 hits inBig Ten play, 10 doubles and 30 RBI. Drew Anderson has 73 hits,including a team-best 17 doubles, and is tied for second on theteam with a .324 batting average with Jacob Howell, who he alsoshares the team lead with four triples. The Buckeyes are batting.302 as a team, third in the Big Ten.

A complete tournament bracket is available at http://ohiostatebuckeyes.collegesports.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/052304aaa.html.

The track and field team will send 19 representatives to the2004 NCAA Outdoor Mideast Regional Championships Friday andSaturday in Baton Rouge, La. LSU’s Bernie Moore Track is the stagefor the second-annual event, which is a precursor to the nationalmeet in Austin, Texas June 9-12.

Among the 19 Buckeyes making the trip south are 2004 men’s Big Ten champions Joel Brown (men’s 110-meter hurdles), Aaron Fisher (men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase), Brian Olinger (men’s 5,000 meters) and Dan Taylor, who claimed his third straight Big Ten shot put crown en route to his second consecutive outdoor Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year honor.

The women’s contingent is highlighted by Big Ten titlewinners and OSU record holders Rosalind Goodwin in the triple jump and Keturah Lofton in the hammer. Senior hurdler Molly Logan also topped the conference field in the 100-meter hurdles and will vie for a regional title. Sophomore Amarachi Ukabam is the lone returning regional champion for Ohio State and will seek a successful defense in the discus, while also contending in the shot put.

The women’s golf team tallied a score of 1,187 to finish ineighth place Saturday at the 2004 NCAA Championships. The Buckeyesshot 296 in the final round of competition that lasted two days.Play Friday was suspended because of lightning and resumed at 9a.m. this morning. The event was held at the par 72 Grand NationalLake Course (6,216 yards) in Opelika, Ala., and hosted by AuburnUniversity. It marks the third-consecutive year Ohio State hasfinished in the Top 10 in the nation. Junior Kristen White led theBuckeyes with a four-round total of 287 (-1) and tied for sixthplace on the individual leaderboard. White fired a final-round markof 68 (-4). Senior Allison Hanna closed her collegiate career witha mark of 289, including a 71 (-1) in her final round as a Buckeye.She finished 12th individually. Junior Lindsay Knowlton tied for62nd place with a mark of 301.

Hanna was named National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA) First Team All-America at the annual NGCA awards banquet at the site of the 2004 NCAA Championships in Opelika, Ala. Hanna is the second First Team All-American in women’s golf history at Ohio State. She also was named to the NCAA All-Regional Team at the banquet. She finished second at the West Regional earlier this month. White was named NGCA Second Team All-America. It marks the second-consecutive year the Hanna and White have been named NGCA All-Americans. White also was named to the All-Scholar Team for the second-consecutive season.

The squad annual end-of-the-year awards and appreciation banquet Sunday. The Buckeyes closed their season with an eighth-place finish at the 2004 NCAA Championships in Auburn, Ala. It marked the third-consecutive year the squad has recorded a Top 10 finish at the event. The 2003-04 Buckeye squad recorded a team stroke average of 298.83 – the lowest in the history of the program – and the first time the average has been under 300 for a season. Ohio State also captured its 10th Big Ten championship and recorded eight Top 3 finishes through the program’s toughest schedule. Hanna earned the team’s top honor as Ohio State player of the year. She competed in every round for the Buckeyes this season and set the school record for the lowest stroke average in a season, recording a mark of 72.58. The new Buckeye award was given to freshman Dana Je. She averaged 78.55, the third-lowest stroke average for a freshman. The Go Bucks award went to junior Emily Kuhfeld. The senior trio of Hanna, Jen Borowiec and Sara Walker also were given senior awards.

The men’s golf team finished 14th at the 2004 NCAA CentralRegional Championships to conclude its 2003-04 season. Ohio Statewas led by junior Scott Anderson who finished the event tied for21st and carded a three-round total of 224. The Buckeyes finishedthe season by posting an overall record of 113-64-2 with seven Top5 finishes including a Big Ten championship crown. The Buckeyesoftball team went 1-2 at the Region 4 NCAA Softball Tournament inTallahassee, Fla., last weekend. No. 6-seed Ohio State lost to No.3-seed South Florida Thursday evening and beat No. 7-seedBethune-Cookman, 2-0, in 10 innings Thursday night. Ohio State waseliminated Friday evening in a 4-2 loss to No. 5-seed CaliforniaState-Northridge. Ohio State finished the season 35-25 overall and8-11 in Big Ten competition. Freshmen Nycole Koyano and JameeJuarez earned spots on the 2004 Great Lakes All-Region Second Teamand Juarez was also named to NCAA all-tournament team from Region4. Koyano is a second baseman from Walnut, Calif., and made theteam as the second baseman; Juarez is a pitcher and third basemanfrom La Puente, Calif., and was named the utility player. The men’stennis team closed its season with a 4-0 loss to No. 3 seed andnationally-ranked No. 2 Baylor Sunday in quarterfinal action at the2004 NCAA Championship in Tulsa, Okla. The Buckeyes finished theseason 26-5 overall, 11-2 in Big Ten play and made their first NCAAquarterfinal appearance in program history. Ohio State is now 7-5in five years of NCAA tournament play. The team upset the No. 6seed Virginia, 4-3, May 22 in Round of 16 action to advance to thequarterfinals. Next up, senior Jeremy Wurtzman and freshman JoeyAtas will remain in Tulsa for the 2004 NCAA Singles and DoublesChampionships May 26-31. Wurtzman was selected as the No. 3 seed inthe singles tournament and the tandem of Wurtzman and Atas willrepresent Ohio State in the doubles portion. The synchronizedswimming team held its annual end-of-the-year awards andappreciation banquet, as the Buckeyes closed their season with asecond-place finish at the 2004 U.S. National Championships, thehighest since 1985, and recorded their 24th collegiate nationaltitle. Ohio State senior team member Katie Meyer was honored at thebanquet.

Meyer was the recipient of the ‘B’ Team Buckeye award for outstanding Buckeye spirit, a strong ability to work and excellent motivation. She also won the Carmen Ohio award, given annually to the senior athlete who exemplifies outstanding leadership skills and team spirit. The most outstanding swimming awarded was shared between freshmen Becky Kim and Kate Hooven. Kim and Hooven won the duet event at the 2004 Collegiate National Championships. They also won the trio event with teammate Linsday Newbill and were part of the ‘A’ squad that earned first place in the team event. Hooven also was the ‘A’ Team Buckeye award winner. The most improved new swimmer award went to freshman Ellen Hacker, who was the collegiate national ‘B’ figures champion. The most improved swimmer award was given to Megan Mikulecky. Mikulecky improved her figures score 4.205 points better than last year. Carly Grimshaw earned the JoAnn Ferguson Kale Award, given to the team member who is friendly, helpful and respectful of others and themselves. All-Americans Hooven, Kim and Newbill were presented with their certificates.

Ohio State head coach and U.S. Olympic assistant coach Linda Witter, 2004 National Collegiate Coach of the Year Holly Vargo-Brown, volunteer coach Annemarie Lichter and assistants Suzanna Hyatt and Victoria Bowen were also recognized.

Two-time NCAA champion and four-time All-American TommyRowlands competed in the 2004 United States Wrestling OlympicTrials last weekend and fell just shy of earning a bid to the 2004Olympic Games in Athens, Greece at 211 pounds. Rowlands run toAthens came to an end in dramatic fashion at the trials as hedropped his final two matches by a combined one point. TheHilliard, Ohio native advanced to the finals of the “Challenge”tournament Saturday with three wins, totaling a combined score of14-1 before suffering an overtime defeat based on criteria in thefinals. The bout ended in a 2-2 draw after the extra session, butRowlands was penalized the match for a second-period stalling call.

Sunday, Rowlands had the opportunity to gain an alternate position on the Olympic squad but suffered a tight 2-1 loss.

Several wrestlers with Buckeye ties also competed in the trials. 2004 All-Americans Jeff Ratliff and J.D. Bergman each saw their initial trials competition end after two matches, while former Buckeyes Nick Preston and Sean Salmon also bowed out after two bouts.

Men’s gymnasts Ronald Ferris (So., Austintown, Ohio) and RandyMonahan (Jr., Elizabethtown, Pa.) will compete in the 2004 U.S.Gymnastics Championships June 2-5 in Nashville, Tenn. The eventwill be all day and will be held at the Gaylord EntertainmentCenter and the Curb Event Center.

Because the Top 3 competitors in the all-around at the NCAA championships receive automatic bids to the U.S championships, Monahan secured his spot in the field of U.S. participants with his third place NCAA finish.

By tying for seventh place, with an all-around score of 52.325 at the U.S. national qualifiers, Ferris earned a chance to compete.

Former Buckeyes Raj Bhavsar (2000-2003) and Blaine Wilson (1994-1997) also will contend for the top U.S male gymnast title, as well as Jason Furr, Morgan Hamm and Paul Hamm. Bhavsar, Wilson, Furr and the Hamms train with Ohio State head coach Miles Avery at the Steelwood Athletic Facility.

Ohio State Athletics Schedule
Wednesday, May 26 – Monday, May 31
All Times Eastern

Wednesday, May 26
Men’s Tennis at NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships
Tulsa, Okla.

Thursday, May 27
Men’s Tennis at NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships
Tulsa, Okla.

Baseball at Big Ten Tournament
4:35 p.m. – Minneapolis, Minn.

Friday, May 28
Baseball at Big Ten Tournament
Minneapolis, Minn.

Track at Outdoor Mideast Regional Championships
Baton Rouge, La.

Rowing at NCAA Championships
Sacramento, Calif.

Men’s Tennis at NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships
Tulsa, Okla.

Saturday, May 29
Baseball at Big Ten Tournament
Minneapolis, Minn.

Track at Outdoor Mideast Regional Championships
Baton Rouge, La.

Rowing at NCAA Championships
Sacramento, Calif.

Men’s Tennis at NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships
Tulsa, Okla.

Sunday, May 30
Baseball at Big Ten Tournament
Minneapolis, Minn.

Rowing at NCAA Championships
Sacramento, Calif.

Men’s Tennis at NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships
Tulsa, Okla.

Monday, May 31
Men’s Tennis at NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships
Tulsa, Okla.