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April 17, 1999

COLUMBUS, Ohio – %^$

%^$OSU IN THE POSTSEASON%^$

%^$The Ohio State Buckeyes (24-4/19-4) have their final meet of the postseason over the upcoming weekend when they %^$travel to Nebraska, site of the 1999 NCAA Championship. The Buckeyes swept the NCAA Eastern %^$Regional and look to improve on a sixth place finish from last years championships. Ohio State won its %^$fourth Regional in a row and is making its 19th NCAA Championship appearance, more than doubling that %^$of any other school.%^$

%^$OPEN PRACTICES, COACHES MEETINGS%^$

%^$Open practices are scheduled for noon-10:30 p.m. on Tuesday and 9-5:30 on Wednesday. Coaches %^$meetings are slated for 9 a.m. Thursday and Friday. %^$ %^$

CHAMPIONSHIP TICKET INFORMATION%^$

%^$All session passes are available for $22. Ticket prices for the team preliminaries and all-around finals on %^$April 22 are $6 general admission/$8 reserved. Team finals on April 23 are $8 general admission/$10 %^$reserved and individual finals on April 24 are $8 general admission/$10 reserved. Youth general admission %^$for each session is $3. Tickets are available for the Nebraska ticket office at (800) 8BIGRED.%^$

CHAMPIONSHIP PRESS CONFERENCE

%^$A pre-championship press conference will be held at noon on Wednesday, April 21 in the Bob Devaney %^$Sports Center. Head coaches and selected athletes will be available for interviews. On Friday, April 23 the %^$winning team and two selected gymnasts will be available.%^$

NEBRASKA SPORTS INFORMATION

%^$The sports information director for the NCAA Championship is Shamus McKnight. He can be reached at %^$(402) 472-3290. Please contact him with any questions regarding the competition.%^$

COMPETITION SCHEDULE

%^$Team preliminaries begin Thursday, April 22 at 7 p.m. The top three teams advance to the team finals the %^$following day at 7 p.m. Individual event finals are on Saturday at 7 p.m. %^$

OSU NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY%^$The Buckeyes have made 19 appearances at the NCAA Championship, winning the title twice, once in %^$1985 and again in 1996. Their 19 appearances more than doubles that of any other university. The mens %^$gymnastics team is the lone OSU team in school history to have claimed a national title since 1980.%^$

NCAA EASTERN REGIONAL RECAP

%^$Ohio State claimed its fourth consecutive NCAA Eastern Regional. The Buckeyes notched a 38.200 on the %^$vault in their final rotation to beat the Wolverines of Michigan. Jamie Natalie won his fourth all-around of the %^$season and also won the vault, while Tim Elsner won the floor exercise and finished ninth in the all-around.%^$

BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP RECAP

%^$The Buckeyes finished third at the Big Ten Championships on March 27-28. Doug Stibel finished fourth in %^$the all-around for the second consecutive year and came back the following day to be crowned Big Ten %^$Champion on the horizontal bar. Jamie Natalie finished fifth in the all-around and second on the floor %^$exercise. Tim Elsner won the Big Ten Championship for the floor exercise. %^$

THREE CHOSEN TO ALL-BIG TEN TEAM

%^$Doug Stibel, Tim Elsner and Jamie Natalie were all named to the all-Big Ten Team following the conclusion %^$of the Championship. Stibel and Elsner earned an automatic spot for winning their individual events, while %^$Natalie got the nod after placing fifth in the all-around.%^$

SIX CHOSEN ACADEMIC ALL-BIG TEN

%^$Six Buckeyes have been selected to the 1999 Academic all-Big Ten Team. Mike Canales, Tim Elsner, %^$Daren Lynch, Jay Nardelli, Jamie Natalie and Judd Shaffer were named. Canales and Elsner earn the %^$honor for the third consecutive year.%^$ %^$

THAT BUCKEYE SENIOR CLASS

%^$The senior class of Michael Canales, Tim Elsner, Peter Landry and Doug Stibel has carried the Buckeyes %^$to an incredible run of success throughout its four years. Members of the 1996 NCAA National %^$Championship team, the class has also amassed a stellar 26-2 dual meet record and finished its home %^$stand 12-0 for its career. %^$

ONE MORE YEAR WITH MORGAN

%^$All-American Michael Morgan has been granted a medical redshirt for this season, and will be returning to %^$the squad next year. He suffered a wrist injury that kept him out of competition for the duration of the %^$season. He has been offering help and support on the sidelines throughout the season and is looking %^$forward to getting back to work. %^$

A PERFECT RECORD AT HOME

%^$The 1999 team finished an unbeaten 4-0 at home, with wins coming over then-No. 1 ranked Penn State and %^$Oklahoma. Other victories were against Michigan State and Illinois-Chicago.%^$

. . .AND NEARLY PERFECT ON THE ROAD

%^$The Buckeyes traveled to Ann Arbor, Mich. to defeat an extremely talented Michigan team and Illinois. The %^$Illini exacted revenge on Ohio State later in the season when it defeated the team in Champaign behind an %^$all-around winning night by Travis Romagnoli. The only other loss the Buckeyes had was against Iowa at %^$the Windy City Invitational, the meet marking the first competition of the season.%^$

NATALIE ON U.S. NATIONAL TEAM

%^$Jamie Natalie finished seventh overall at the prestigious Winter Cup Challenge on Feb. 12-13 in Las Vegas, %^$Nev. He was the highest placing collegiate gymnast, while former Buckeye Blaine Wilson won the %^$competition. Natalie was selected as a member of the U.S. National Team. %^$

STOCKING THE SHELVES FOR FALL

%^$Head coach Miles Avery has what could be perhaps the best recruiting class in the nation coming to %^$Columbus in the fall. Raj Bahavsar, the No. 1 ranked prep gymnast in the country and Michael Evans, %^$rated second in the country, will team up with Dick Huntwork to bolster the Buckeyes for their 2000 %^$campaign.%^$

ELSNER NATIONAL BEST ON FLOOR

%^$Tim Elsner held the top-ranked score for the floor exercise in the nation until after the Big Ten %^$Championships. Though he won the title, Elsner fell to third behind the Oklahoma tandem of Brendan %^$ONeil and Steve VanEtten. Doug Stibel has been among the top three for the majority of the season on %^$vault. The Buckeyes also had three top-ten ranked all-arounders this season.%^$

STIBEL NOT ANOTHER FACE IN CROWD

%^$Doug Stibel was selected as one of Sports Illustrateds “Faces in the Crowd” earlier in the season after he %^$propelled the Buckeyes past Michigan with a stellar vault in the final rotation of the competition.%^$

SOPHOMORES SWEEP TEMPLE OWLS

%^$In the teams final tune-up before the Big Ten Tournament, Ohio State traveled to Philadelphia for a meet %^$against the Temple Owls. Sophomores Jamie Natalie and Daren Lynch combined to win all events, while %^$Natalie set a new career high and NCAA high in the all-around and also had a career high for the floor %^$exercise.%^$

NATALIE MOVES TO HEAD OF CLASS

%^$Jamie Natalie held the top spot nationally on the parallel bars and in the all-around after his weekend at %^$Temple. His score of 9.775 was the best on parallel bars, while his 57.700 was good enough for first in the %^$all-around. %^$

ANOTHER BIG TEN ATHLETE OF WEEK

%^$Jamie Natalie was named the Big Ten Athlete of the Week after finishing the regular season on a winning %^$note against Temple. %^$

LANDRY FINALIST FOR NISSEN AWARD

%^$Peter Landry has been named one of eight finalists for the acclaimed Nissen-Emery Award. He was the %^$1998 Big Ten Champion on parallel bars and earned All-America status after last years NCAA %^$Championship. He was also a member of the 1996 Ohio State team that captured the NCAA and Big Ten %^$Championship and the 1997 Big Ten Championship. The winner will be announced at the annual Nissen-%^$Emery awards banquet on Wednesday, April 21 at 6 p.m. %^$