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Assistant Coach Dmitri Bilozertchev coaches son and OSU signee at national event

COLUMBUS, Ohio Miles Avery, Ohio State men’s gymnastics head coach, takes off for Colorado Springs, Colo., this week with 2008-Olympic hopefuls Morgan Hamm and Blaine Wilson to compete at a national qualifier for the 2008 VISA Championships held Wednesday at the U.S. Olympic Training Facility. Also competing at the USA qualifier will be Alexy Bilozertchev and Philip Onorato, both of whom signed national letters of intent to join the Buckeyes for the 2009 collegiate gymnastics season. Ohio State assistant coach Dmitri Bilozertchevwill be guiding his son, Alexy, at the competition.

The U.S. qualifier consists of two sessions, starting at 3 and 8 p.m. EST. At the event, the nation’s elite gymnasts look to gain entry into the VISA championships scheduled May 22-24 at Reliant Park in Houston, Texas.

Each year, the top U.S. male gymnast is crowned at the VISA championships, but the competition is even more of a marquee event than usual in 2008 as it also serves as a qualifier for the U.S. Olympic Trials held in Philadelphia June 19-22 in the Wachovia Center.

Hamm looks to qualify for the championships after missing earlier national competitions due to injury. Wilson, who had an illustrious career at Ohio State from 1994-97, made the 2008 U.S. Men’s Senior National Team at the Winter Cup Challenge in February. The Columbus, Ohio, native continues on his quest of making his fourth Olympic team at the qualifier.

Last year, Bilozertchev won the all-around at the VISA championships in the junior division with a score of 84.85. The Hilliard, Ohio, native looks to advance to the 2008 event at the national qualifier in hopes of defending his title.