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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.