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Feb. 11, 2007

Columbus, Ohio – Six gymnasts from the Ohio State men’s gymnastics program competed in individual event and all-around finals at the Winter Cup Challenge Saturday in Las Vegas. Buckeyes DJ Bucher, Jimmy Wickham and Willie Ito finished in the Top 3 on parallel bars, vault and high bar, respectively, at the conclusion of the two-day competition.

At the finals, DJ Bucher (Jr., Mason, Ohio/Queen City Gymnastics) scored a 15.3 on parallel bars to give him a two-day total of 30.3 to land in third at the national competition. So far this season, Bucher has dominated the event and leads NCAA gymnasts in the national rankings with a 9.6 average score. Bucher also earned the best finish for a Buckeye on rings compiling a 29.55 for ninth place.

Jimmy Wickham (Jr., Gulfport, Miss./Planet Gymnastics) finish second on vault, the event he won at the 2006 Winter Cup, with a combined total of 32.55 after adding a scored of 16.25. The last Buckeye to earn a Top 3 finish was senior Willie Ito (Huntington Beach, Calif./South Coast Gymnastics), who claimed third on high bar with a total score of 29.6 after earning a 14.7 at the event finals.

On floor, Wickham led the Buckeyes in 15th with a 28.25 total score. Trailing behind him was teammate Grant Osborne (Fort Collins, Colo./USOTC) who tied for 16th with a 28.2. Among NCAA competitors, Wickham and Osborne’s scores ranked them fourth and sixth, respectively. The Ohio State gymnasts ended the challenge on pommel horse. Osborne tabbed his best finish at the competition compiling a score of 28.7 for seventh on the apparatus, earning a 13.85 in the finals round. His two-day score also ranks him third among NCAA athletes at the competition. In addition, Ito scored a combined total of 28.1 to land 12th after scoring a 13.7 Saturday.

Kristopher Kline (Sr., Westerville, Ohio/Hocking Valley Gymnastics) grabbed two Top 10 finishes on rings and vault as he landed in 16th in the all-around with a total score of 165.5. The only Buckeye to compete in the all-around, Kline scored an 81.45 on the first day of competition and bested his effort with an 84.05 at the all-around finals. On rings, Kline tied Guillermo Alvarez from Team Chevron with a 29.45 for 10th and finished seventh on vault (31.2).

Three Buckeyes noted Top 10 scores on vault. Wickham finished second (32.55), volunteer assistant coach and former Buckeye Randy Monahan (Elizabethtown, Pa./Ohio State) earned sixth place with a 31.3 and Kline finished in seventh (31.2). David Sender from Stanford was the only NCAA gymnasts to outscore Wickham and Kline at the national competition. Sender finished in first on the event with a 32.8.

On parallel bars, Osborne tied conference competitor Andrew Elkind from Michigan with a 29.5. In the event finals, the Buckeye senior added a 14.95 to his preliminary score of 14.55 to combine for ninth-place finish.

Complete results can be found at http://www.usa-gymnastics.org/.

UP NEXT FOR OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes take a road trip to meet conference rival Penn State at 7 p.m. Feb. 24 at Rec Hall for the 34th all-time dual between the schools.