COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 15 Ohio State women’s gymnastics team hits the road for the first time in 2011 to take on No. 8 Oregon State at 10 p.m. ET Friday in Corvallis, Ore. The Buckeyes are coming off a 194.475-193.925 upset of No. 23 Minnesota last weekend.
“Competing against Oregon State will be a great experience for this young team,” head coach Carey Fagan said. “The Beavers have been a nationally-ranked program for as long as I can remember. Competing against them will help our team prepare for postseason competition and give this young squad an opportunity to face some of the best athletes in the country.”
LAST TIME OUT
Behind strong performances from sophomore Colleen Deanand freshmen Melanie Shafferand Sarah Miller, the Ohio State women’s gymnastics team opened 2011 with a 194.475-193.925 win over No. 23 Minnesota Jan. 8 at St. John Arena.
GYMNASTS TO WATCH
Senior Rebecca Best and freshman Sarah Miller were picked Gymnasts to Watch, as voted by the Big Ten coaches. A three-time All-Big Ten performer, Best finished fifth in the all-around at the 2010 Big Ten Championships and led the Buckeyes with an all-around RQS of 39.025. Miller competed as a Level 10 Gymnast for four years, was the 2009 Region 7 All-Around Champion and placed in the Top 10 on beam, floor and vault at the Junior Olympic National Qualifier.
The Buckeyes were picked tied for sixth in the Big Ten preseason coaches’ poll.
SCOUTING THE BEAVERS
Led by 14th-year head coach Tanya Chaplin, Oregon State enters the weekend ranked eighth nationally. The Beavers defeated No. 12 LSU in a dual meet last week, 195.400-193.350, and finished third in the Pac-10 Showcase with a score of 195.375.
Ohio State trails the all-time series with the Beavers, 7-3, and dropped a dual meet last season in Columbus.
HEAD COACH CAREY FAGAN
The Ohio State women’s gymnastics program continues to climb up the rankings under the leadership of Carey Fagan. In her seventh season at the helm, Fagan has produced two All-Americans and led the Buckeyes to five-consecutive appearances at the NCAA regional championships.
With Fagan as an assistant coach in 2003-04, the Buckeyes finished with an average team score that ranked No. 42 in the nation. In 2004-05, her first season as head coach, that ranking rose to No. 38, then the Buckeyes upped their position to No. 27 and qualified for the NCAA regional championships in 2006. Fagan earned her first Big Ten Coach of the Year award in 2007 and led the Buckeyes into the Top 20 at No. 19 before tying for 18th in 2008.
Facing a slew of preseason injuries, Ohio State may have started 2010 off slow, but the momentum it gained through the regular season helped the squad qualify for its fifth-consecutive appearance at the NCAA Regional Championships
The 2010-11 season marks Fagan’s ninth overall in Columbus – the first two as an assistant coach and now seven as head coach.
Ohio State women’s gymnastics head coach Carey Fagan has announced the signing of three gymnasts to the 2012 squad. Sarah Grady of The Woodlands, Texas, Alexis Schmidt of Frankfort, Ill., and Morgan Zlotolow of Muttontown, New York will join the Buckeyes next fall.
“We are very excited about the class of 2011 and the talent and experience they will bring to the team next year,” Fagan said. “Each one of the athletes will bring her own unique style to the team and event strengths. We look forward to watching our future team members excel in their final year of Junior Olympic Competition.”
Grady, a student at The Woodlands High School who trains at Champion Gymnastics Academy, comes to Ohio State as a two-time Junior Olympic National qualifier. In 2009, Grady earned runner-up honors on vault and balance beam at the Region 3 championship meet, and placed third on the uneven bars. That same year, she placed 13th all-around nationally. She finished 10th all-around and second on vault at the 2010 Junior Olympic National Invitational Tournament .
Schmidt, from United Gymnastics Academy in Illinois, finished 12th All-Around at the 2010 Junior Olympic National Championships. A student at Lincoln Way North High School, Schmidt is a two-time Level 10 Regional qualifier. She finished eighth in the all-around and third on vault at the 2010 Region 5 Championship meet.
Zlotolow comes to Ohio State from Gold Medal Gymnastics in New York. After sweeping the championship title on every event and the all-around at the 2009 Chicago Style Invitational, Zlotolow, from Syosset High School, placed 2nd on floor exercise and fourth all-around at the Region 6 Championship. She was a member of the 2009 Region 6 National Team.
Ohio State hosts Illinois at 12:15 p.m. Jan 22 at St. John Arena. The meet will be televised live on Big Ten Network.