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Buckeyes travel to West Point, N.Y., for three days of competition

SCHEDULE
Thursday, April 15
1 p.m. NCAA Qualifier Session I
Ohio State, Illinois, Stanford, Penn State, UIC and Temple
Christl Arena

7 p.m. NCAA Qualifier Session II
Oklahoma, Michigan, California, Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa
Christl Arena

Friday, April 16
7 p.m. NCAA Team Championships
Christl Arena

Saturday, April 17
7 p.m. NCAA Individual Event Finals
Christl Arena

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The fifth-seeded Ohio State men’s gymnastics team will begin its run at the 2010 NCAA Men’s Gymnastics Championships, competing in the first of two national qualifying sessions at 1 p.m. Thursday at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.

The Top 3 teams from each qualifying round move on to the team championships held at 7 p.m. Friday before the top competitors on each event duke it out for individual NCAA titles at 7 p.m. Saturday.

THE LOGISTICS
The national qualifier is comprised of 12 teams with the field split into two qualifying sessions held Thursday. Ohio State, as the fifth seed, will start the competition on rings at 1 p.m. and will be joined by top-seeded Illinois (parallel bars), No. 4 Stanford (vault), No. 8 Penn State (pommel horse), No. 9 UIC (floor) and No. 12 Temple (high bar).

Session two starts at 7 p.m. with No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Michigan, No. 6 California, No. 7 Minnesota, No. 10 Nebraska and No. 11 Iowa in the grouping.

GETTING THERE
All-session tickets, which include four competition sessions, are priced at $45, with all-session student tickets available for $20. Single-session tickets for sessions 1 through 3 are priced at $15 apiece for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. Session 4 tickets are $17 for adults and $5 for students.

Tickets can be purchased on-line at www.goArmysports.com or by calling the ticket office at 1-877-TIX-ARMY.

OHIO STATE IN A NUTSHELL
Ohio State opened the season ranked seventh in the preseason coaches’ poll and has climbed as high as fifth in the 2010 GymInfo national poll. This is the seventh-consecutive week the Buckeyes have held the No. 5 ranking with a 349.690 national qualifying score.

Strong leadership from the upperclassmen helped Ohio State conclude the regular season with four-consecutive team scores above the 350.000 mark with its highest score, a 354.900, coming vs. No. 2 Oklahoma (March 13). The Buckeyes have received career-high marks from seniors Tai Lee and Justin Myers, as well as junior All-American Brandon Wynn.

In 2010, Lee and sophomore Ty Echard have posted program records on high bar (15.3) and pommel horse (15.7), respectively.

BUILDING BLOCKS
The 2010 Ohio State team had only good things to build from after an exciting run at the 2009 NCAA Championships. The team saw four individuals earn All-America honors, including a national runner-up on pommel horse in Steven Spencer, as the Buckeyes made their first trip back to the team finals since 2005. The Scarlet and Gray return three of their four All-Americans to the floor this season.

OHIO STATE AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Buckeyes last won the national title in 2001 in their home venue of St. John Arena in Columbus, Ohio, with a season-high score of 218.125. Three members of the 2001 squad notched individual event championship titles as well. Jamie Natalie won the all-around, Daren Lynch won on vault and Raj Bhavsar, a 2008 U.S. Olympian, won on parallel bars.

With a 232.150 team score, Ohio State won the 1996 NCAA Championship. Former Buckeye Blaine Wilson captured the all-around, rings and parallel bars titles. Teammate Drew Durbin earned a national championship on pommel horse.

In 1985, Ohio State earned the program’s first national championship, accumulating 285.350 points. Twin bothers Noah and Seth Riskin were named co-champions on parallel bars at the event finals.

ALL-AMERICA NODS
Head coach Miles Avery has coached 22 All-Americans and eight NCAA individual event and all-around champions since taking the helm in 1998. In 2007, Pejman Ebrahimi (2005-09) became the first Buckeye since 2005 to win a national title, tying Stanford’s David Sender on vault.

Since Don Perry first earned All-America status on the trampoline in 1954, Ohio State has had 45 gymnasts collect the honor. In Ohio State history, former Buckeyes Mike Racanelli (1987-90) and Blaine Wilson (1994-97) tallied 10 individual honors each in only three seasons.

NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
Ohio State gymnasts have earned 24 NCAA individual championships. Former Buckeye and and current assistant coach Blaine Wilson leads the Buckeyes after garnering six national championships in two seasons.

RECAP: 2009 NCAA QUALIFIER
Last April, Steven Spencer nailed the performance of a lifetime, scoring a 15.1 on pommel horse to propel the Buckeyes into its first NCAA Championships team finals in three seasons in Minneapolis, Minn. The Scarlet and Gray ended the evening qualifier in third with a season-high 354.300 team total, topping host Minnesota (351.050) in the final rotation.

“I went up there thinking about how well I know my routine and stayed focused on my technique,” Spencer, a native of Fremont, Calif., said. “I stayed relaxed and swung through it. That was probably one of the best things I’ve ever done – it felt like it.”

RECAP II: 2009 NCAA TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS
It was another career night for Ohio State as it tallied its second-consecutive season high with a 355.950 team total April 17 at the 2009 NCAA Championships at the University of Minnesota’s Sports Pavilion.

The squad finished the competition in sixth place and saw sophomore Brandon Wynn earn his first career All-America honor with an eighth-place finish (87.45) in the all-around. With the laurel, Wynn becomes the 20th Buckeye to garner the distinction under the helm of Ohio State head coach Miles Avery and the 43rd in school history.

“They guys let it all out there and it was a tremendous competition for them, especially with pommel horse scoring another career high,” Avery said. “I am so proud of this team and the way they have competed at the championships. Brandon had a great night and certainly is deserving of an All-America honor.”

RECAP III: 2009 NCAA INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Highlighted by a second and third-place finish on pommel horse, Ohio State had three Buckeyes in senior Jake Bateman and freshmen Steven Spencer and Ty Echard leave with All-America honors at the conclusion of the 2009 NCAA Individual Event Finals April 18.

Head coach Miles Avery has tutored 22 All-Americans in 12 years at Ohio State.

“Tonight was a great end to this season,” Avery said. “There are not many freshmen All-Americans and to have Steven and Ty finish second and third, respectively, bodes well for the future of this Ohio State team.”

COLLECTING HARDWARE
Ohio State gymnasts like collecting hardware and did so as the team combined for five individual Big Ten medals April 3 in St. John Arena.

Junior captain Brandon Wynn, who has led the nation on rings all season long, earned his first career Big Ten title on rings (15.85) and added third-place finishes on vault and in the all-around. Wynn became the first Buckeye to win an individual conference championship since DJ Bucher (2005-08) and Eddie Hay (2006-09) won parallel bars and floor, respectively, in 2007.

Lancaster, Ohio, native Ty Echard received the first Big Ten medal of his career, taking second on pommel horse (15.325). After finishing third at the NCAA championships as a true freshman in 2009, Echard set the Ohio State program record on pommel horse with a score of 15.7 vs. Michigan March 20.

Sophomore Philip Onorato sprang his way to a career-high 16.3 on vault at the conference finals. The Plano, Texas, native took second on vault for the second-consecutive season to bring his career Big Ten medal count up to three after placing second on rings and vault in his conference rookie of the year season in 2009.

BUCKEYES IN THE RANKINGS
Ohio State has eight individuals ranked in the nation’s Top 20, including three Buckeyes on both pommel horse and vault.

On pommel horse, Ohio State is led by sophomores Ty Echard, Steven Spencer and Matt Rayl. Echard, a freshman All-American on the event, holds fifth with a 14.940 national qualifying score (NQS) while Spencer, the 2009 NCAA runner-up on pommel horse, is ninth with a 14.590. Rayl, who has been a consistent performer for the Buckeyes all season long, is 14th with a 14.330 NQS. The talented horse team ranks fourth in the country with a 57.340 national qualifying score.

After scoring a career-best 16.3 on rings vs. Oklahoma March 13, junior All-American Brandon Wynn distanced himself from the rest of the field, holding first with a 15.990 NQS – .440 higher than his closest opponent. Senior Tai Lee joins Wynn in the NCAA Top 20 at 18th with a 14.670. As a team, Ohio State leads the nation on rings with a 59.990 NQS.

Sophomore Philip Onorato enters the nation’s Top 20 on vault at No. 7 (15.900), Wynn is 11th (15.85) and sophomore Mike Behles sits in 15th with a NQS of 15.740. The trio has helped the Ohio State squad to a 62.990 NQS for fourth in the nation.

Senior Justin Myers is the lone Buckeye to rank on parallel bars, holding 15th with a 14.350.