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April 11, 1999

COLUMBUS, Ohio – While the scenario may have bore similarities to an earlier meet in the season which pitted the Ohio State men’s gymnastics team against Michigan, this time the stakes were a bit higher and more was on the line. With that in mind and trailing the Wolverines heading into the final rotation of last nights NCAA Eastern Regional, hosted by Illinois, the Buckeyes notched a 38.200 on the vault to claim their fourth consecutive Regional win. Scoring 231.100, the team set a new season mark for a team total. The win also marks the 19th time Ohio State has qualified for the NCAA Championship, more than doubling the record of any other schools. Penn State finished third and will join Ohio State and Michigan at the NCAA Championship along with the winner of the NCAA Western Regional, Nebraska, as well as runner-up Brigham Young and third-place Stanford.

Earlier this year Ohio State trailed Michigan at a meet in Ann Arbor until the final rotation, the vault. The Buckeyes were propelled by the senior leadership of Doug Stibel (Sr., Canton, Mich.) who landed 9.800 to power the squad past the Wolverines.

Last night, the Buckeyes were bolstered by Jamie Natalie (So., Hockessin, Del.) who won both the parallel bars and claimed his fourth all-around win of the season and Tim Elsner (Sr., Middletown, N.J.) who won the floor exercise and finished ninth in the all-around. Jay Nardelli (So., Centreville, Va.) placed fifth in the all-around. Rahsaan Williams (Jr., Falls Church, Va.) set a new personal best on still rings for the season, while Michael Canales (Sr., Rochester, N.Y.) established a new career best on the pommel horse.

Head coach Miles Avery said after winning the NCAA Eastern Regional, “This win shows that Ohio State is in the hunt for the National Championship. This win was a total team effort and we accomplished what we set out to do. Now, we have to focus on the Championship and what it takes to win in Lincoln.”

Ohio State now prepares for the NCAA Championship on April 22-24 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The Buckeyes last NCAA Championship win came in 1996.

Team Scores Pommel Horse 1. Ohio State* 231.100 1. Jason Krob, Minnesota 9.875 2. Michigan* 231.050 T15. Michael Canales, Ohio State 9.675 3. Penn State* 229.550 T15. Jamie Natalie, Ohio State 9.675 4. Illinois 227.950 T22. Jay Nardelli, Ohio State 9.600 5. Iowa 227.775 T41. Doug Stibel, Ohio State 9.300 6. Michigan State 226.675 T44. Adam Elliott, Ohio State 9.150 7. Massachusetts 225.250 *Top three advance to NCAA Championship, Still Rings April 22-24 in Lincoln, Neb. 1. Ron Roeder, Penn State 9.950 T3. Daren Lynch, Ohio State 9.775 All-Around T12. Rahsaan Williams, Ohio State 9.625 1. Jamie Natalie, Ohio State 58.100 T14. Jay Nardelli, Ohio State 9.600 5. Jay Nardelli, Ohio State 57.200 17. Jamie Natalie, Ohio State 9.575 9. Tim Elsner, Ohio State 56.500 18. Peter Landry, Ohio State 9.550 T26. Tim Elsner, Ohio State 9.400

Floor Exercise 1. Tim Elsner, Ohio State 9.850 Vault 4. Jamie Natalie, Ohio State 9.700 1. Eddie Seng, Penn State 9.750 T13. Michael Canales, Ohio State9.575 4. Jay Nardelli, Ohio State 9.650 T21. Doug Stibel, Ohio State 9.300 T7. Tim Elsner, Ohio State 9.600 T33. Daren Lynch, Ohio State 9.300 T15. Jamie Natalie, Ohio State 9.500 T38. Jay Nardelli, Ohio State 9.150 T18. Earnest Nelson, Ohio State 9.450 T25. Daren Lynch, Ohio State 9.400 T35. Doug Stibel, Ohio State 9.300 Parallel Bars 1. Jamie Natalie, Ohio State 9.850 5. Doug Stibel, Ohio State 9,650 8. Tim Elsner, Ohio State 9.600 T12. Peter Landry, Ohio State 9.500 T14. Jay Nardelli, Ohio State 9.450 T21. Daren Lynch, Ohio State 9.300