COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 16th-ranked Ohio State women’s gymnastics team hits the road for the second-consecutive weekend to take on No. 25 Denver at 9:30 p.m. ET Friday.
The Buckeyes come into the meet with an average team score of 194.644 while the Pioneers average 194.280.
LAST TIME OUT
The Buckeyes recorded a season-high 195.450 to take the meet title in a tri-meet with Bowling Green and Western Michigan Jan. 30 at Anderson Arena. Western Michigan took second with a 192.650 and Bowling Green third at 190.400.
Ohio State posted season highs on uneven bars (48.850) and balance beam (48.975). Melanie Shaffer set career highs on beam and floor while tying her career best on vault en route to a pair of event wins on vault and floor. Colleen Dean set a career-high with an all-around effort of 39.225.
BUCKEYES IN THE RANKINGS
Ohio State enters the week ranked 16th nationally and third in the Big Ten with an average team score of 194.644. The Buckeyes rank in the Top 25 in vault (19, 48.763), beam (t-9, 48.631) and floor (t-20, 48.675).
Colleen Dean ranks 27th nationally with an average all-around score of 39.056.
SHAFFER NAMED TOP FRESHMAN
Melanie Shaffer was named Big Ten co-Freshman of the Week Jan. 31 after setting career highs on beam and floor while tying her career best on vault en route to a pair of event wins as the Buckeyes posted a season-high team score of 195.450 against Bowling Green and Western Michigan.
Shaffer won vault with a score of 9.825, tying her career-best set Jan. 22 against Illinois, and floor with a career-high 9.850. The freshman also set her career high on beam with a 9.800 to tie for third.
SCOUTING THE PIONEERS
Led by 13th-year head coach Melissa Kutcher-Rinehart, Denver enters the weekend with an average team score of 194.280 to rank 25th nationally. The Pioneers are 3-0 in dual meets this season with wins over Texas Women’s University, Southeast Missouri State and Illinois State. Junior Louise Mercer ranks 36th nationally with an average all-around score of 38.970. She ranks 22nd on uneven bars with a 9.825 average.
The all-time series between the Buckeyes and Pioneers is even at 4-4.
MILLER AGAIN NAMED TOP ROOKIE
Sarah Miller was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the second time in three weeks, the conference office announced Jan. 24.
Miller placed first on balance beam and floor exercise in the Buckeyes’ tie against Illinois Jan. 22. The freshman tied her career-high with a 9.875 on beam and set a career best with a 9.925 on floor. Miller also tied for third with a 9.825 on vault.
MILLER EARNS BIG TEN AWARD
Sarah Miller earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors after helping the Buckeyes upset No. 23 Minnesota, the conference office announced Jan. 10. The award marked the first such honor for an Ohio State gymnast.
Miller, from Collegeville, Pa., took the event title on beam with a score of 9.875 while tying for second on vault at 9.800 and third on floor exercise at 9.750. The 9.875 beam score ranked third nationally over the first week of competition.
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.
Ohio State returns home to face West Virginia in a double dual with the Buckeye men’s team Feb. 12. It will be Fan Appreciation Day with free Valentine’s Day suckers to the first 500 fans.