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Feb. 21, 2007

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – After a season-high team score of 195.025 at Pittsburgh last Saturday, the No. 18 Ohio State women’s gymnastics team travels to No. 16 Penn State at 7 p.m. Saturday in a co-ed meet at Recreation Hall in University Park, Pa. The Buckeyes (5-4) rank 18th nationally with a team average of 194.140, while Penn State ranks 16th with an average of 194.545.

The meet will be televised live locally by WPSU and CSTV will replay the meet nationally at 8 p.m. March 1. Livestats will be available on the Penn State Web site at GoPSUSports.com. The Buckeyes will return to Penn State March 31 for the 2007 Big Ten Championships.

Ohio State ranks No. 2 in the Big Ten and holds the top spot on floor with an average of 48.725. Junior Kaylan Clevinger (Shawnee Mission, Kan./Notre Dame de Sion) leads the conference in both the all-around and on bars. Junior Maalika Moore-Thomas (Tampa, Fla./King) ranks No. 2 in the Big Ten on vault, floor and in the all-around. Four other gymnasts rank among the Top 15 in the conference.

FAGAN, OSU COACHES GIVE BACK
In a donation effort initiated by Carey Fagan and other members of the OSU Coaches Council, eight bags of clothes were recently given to The Holy Family Soup Kitchen on Columbus’ near West side. The clothes were given to needy families and the project was featured in a Columbus Dispatch column Wednesday. Fagan has taken the OSU women’s gymnastics team to the soup kitchen during the last two years to volunteer their time cooking, serving meals and cleaning.

CLIMBING THE RANKINGS
The Buckeyes moved into the Top 18 following their 195.025 effort at Pittsburgh last Saturday, marking their first team score over 195 since March 12, 2005. Ohio State is now No. 12 in the national ranking on bars, No. 15 on floor and No. 21 on vault. The Buckeyes average a 48.720 on bars, 48.725 on floor, 48.650 on vault and 47.855 on bars.

In the central region the Buckeyes rank No. 4 overall and No. 2 in the Big Ten. The squad ranks among the Top 5 on each event in both the central region and in the Big Ten. On floor, the Buckeyes’ top event, the squad ranks No. 1 in the Big Ten and No. 3 in the central region. Ohio State ranks No. 2 in the Big Ten on both vault and bars, while ranking No. 4 and No. 3 in the central region. On beam the Buckeyes rank No. 5 in both the central region and in the Big Ten.

In six meets this season the Buckeyes have won floor, bars and beam four times. The squad has finished first on beam three of the six times. On each event one loss has been a second-place finish.

FAGAN RETURNS TO REC HALL
Ohio State head coach Carey Fagan is quite familiar with Recreation Hall, where she will coach the Buckeyes Saturday at Penn State. Fagan was a Nittany Lion gymnast from 1995-98, serving as team captain as a senior. She won the Penn State Pride Award in 1996 and 1998.

COACH FAGAN ON THE MEET
“We are coming off our high score this season and are ready to build and improve on last week’s performance at Pitt,” Carey Fagan, Ohio State head coach, said. “The team is looking stronger than ever and we are prepared for a tough competition against Penn State.”

LEADING THE WAY
Clevinger, Moore-Thomas and sophomore Alyssa Meyer (Chesterfield, Mo./John F. Kennedy) rank among the Top 3 in the all-around, on floor and on beam for the Buckeyes. Clevinger leads the squad in the all-around, on bars and beam. She averages a 38.925 in the all-around, including two wins this season and three second-place finishes. Along with the No. 18 ranking in the all-around, she ranks No. 1 in the Big Ten and No. 6 in the central region. On bars she holds an average of 9.790, which ranks No. 1 in the Big Ten and No. 5 in the central region. On beam she is tied for No. 4 in the Big Ten and ranks No. 6 in the central region with a 9.725 average. Clevinger rounds out the Top 3 on floor for the Buckeyes with a 9.735 average, which ranks No. 6 in the Big Ten and No. 12 in the central region.

Moore-Thomas ranks second for the team in the all-around with an average of 38.785, which ranks No. 21 in the nation, No. 7 in the central region and No. 2 in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes are led by Moore-Thomas on floor and vault. She averages a 9.795 on floor, which ranks No. 5 in the central region and No. 2 in the Big Ten. Moore-Thomas has finished among the Top 2 on floor four of six meets this season. She ranks No. 2 in the Big Ten on vault and is tied for No. 8 on vault with a 9.80 average on vault. On beam Moore-Thomas ranks second for the Buckeyes with a 9.615 average, which is No. 12 in the Big Ten and No. 14 in the central region.

Meyer rounds out the Top 3 in the all-around for the Buckeyes with an average of 38.570, which ranks No. 5 in the Big Ten and No. 11 in the central region. Meyer follows Moore-Thomas closely on floor with an average of 9.775, which ranks No. 3 in the Big Ten and No. 8 in the central region. Meyer ranks second for the Buckeyes on bars and third for the squad on beam. She holds an average of 9.730 on bars, which ranks No. 5 in the Big Ten and No. 11 in the central region.

Senior Brittany Livingston (Lisle, Ill./Wheaton North) is third for the Buckeyes on bars with a 9.655 average, which ranks No. 10 in the Big Ten and No. 19 in the central region. Sophomore Amanda Surine (Fairfield, Ohio/Fairfield)and sophomore Kiki Holman (Greenfield, Minn./Rockford) rank second and third for the Buckeyes on vault. Surine averages a 9.745, which is tied for No. 6 in the Big Ten and No. 13 in the central region. Holman averages a 9.725 on vault, which ranks No. 11 in the Big Ten and No. 16 in the central region.

A LOOK AT PENN STATE
No. 16 Penn State ranks No. 1 in the North East conference and No. 1 in the Big Ten with its team average of 194.545. The squad ranks No. 1 on each event in the North East conference and among the Top 20 nationally on each event. Nationally the Nittany Lions rank No. 10 on bars, No. 12 on beam and No. 19 on both vault and floor. They hold an average of 48.510 on floor, 48.50 on beam, 48.790 on bars and average a 48.70 on vault. The team is led by freshman Brandi Personett, who ranks No.1 in the region on floor and beam. The squad is coached by Steve Shephard, who is in his 15th season as the head coach of the Nittany Lions and coached OSU head coach Carey Fagan when she was a Penn State gymnast from 1995-98.

HISTORY OF THE MATCH-UP
Last season the Buckeyes fell to the Nittany Lion’s 196.625-193.675 in OSU’s St. John Arena. The last meeting at Penn State was Feb. 26, 2005 when the Nittany Lion’s defeated Ohio State 193.975-191.475. Penn State leads the series 23-15-1.

LAST WEEK: OSU SCORES SEASON HIGH
Punctuated by a season-high 48.875 on beam that led to a season-high team score, Ohio State won at Pittsburgh, 195.025-191.875. The squad scored a 48.650 on floor and won both vault and bars with a 48.75.

Kaylan Clevinger led the way for the Buckeyes with a first-place 39.00 in the all-around, while Alyssa Meyer was not far behind with a career-best 38.975. Kiki Holman scored a team-best 9.825 on beam and Clevinger followed with a 9.80. Clevinger also posted a 9.80 on bars, which led the Buckeyes. Meyer led the way on floor with a 9.80.

Amanda Surine notched two career highs, including a 9.90 on vault and a 9.75 on bars. In her first outing of the season, freshman Kristin Perchatsch (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) scored a 9.775 on bars, which placed second for the Buckeyes. Maalika Moore-Thomas tied for second on two events for Ohio State, including vault with a 9.725 and floor with a 9.75, a score she shared with junior Karley Walek (Pequannock, N.J./Pequannock).

NEXT UP
The Buckeyes return home for the final time this season as the squad competes against Denver on Friday, March 2 at 7 p.m. and returns to St. John Sunday again Sunday take-on Kentucky, West Virginia and George Washington for senior day at 2 p.m.

### GO BUCKS! ###