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Feb. 23, 2005

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 2 Ohio State men’s gymnastics team (9-1-1; 4-1-1 Big Ten) will travel to University Park, Pa., to face No. 4 Penn State in a dual and co-ed meet at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Recreation Building. Entering the 32nd meeting with the Nittany Lions (16-1; 1-1 Big Ten), the Buckeyes own a one meet advantage. OSU leads PSU 16-15 and the teams have split the last six contests.

SCHEDULE CHANGE
The Ohio State men’s gymnastics meet vs. Michigan has been re-scheduled for 1 p.m. Sundaay March 13.

RAJ BHAVSAR NAMED VOLUNTEER ASSISTANT COACH
Former Ohio State men’s gymnast Raj Bhavsar was named a volunteer assistant coach of the Ohio State men’s gymnastics team head coach Miles Avery announced. Bhavsar joins the coaching staff led by Avery and assistants Arnold Kvetenadze and Doug Stibel.

“It’s a great honor to be named a volunteer coach,” Bhavsar said. “It’s my way of giving back to the program and hopefully I will be able to give this team a little extra edge to win a national championship this year.”

“We are happy to have such a high-level, high-caliber and world-class gymnast in this position,” Avery said. “It’s great he wants to do this for us and give back to the program. He will be able to motivate the guys with his competitive style and intensity.

DOUBLE DUTY
The Ohio State women’s gymnastics team also will travel to University Park, Pa., to square off against the No. 15 Penn State women’s squad. It is the first co-ed competition of the year for both the men and women Buckeyes.

ON THE NITTANY LIONS
Penn State is coming off of a win over then-No. 4 Michigan and in the victory posted a season-best score of 222.60. The 2004 national champions started the season with three-consecutive meet wins before falling to then-No. 2 Illinois, 221.825-221.350.

PSU is led by NCAA all-around champion Luis Vargas. So far in 2005, the junior has compiled 15 event wins, including three all-around victories.

Penn State is led by Randy Jepson. In his 13th year as head coach, Jepson guided the Nittany Lions to their 11th national championship, a NCAA record. With the national championship victory, Jepson was named the 2004 Coach of the Year, his second honor since 2000.

A LOOK BACK – PENN STATE (2004)
Then-No. 4 Ohio State fell to then-No. 5 Penn State Feb. 21 in the squad’s home finale at St. John Arena. The Buckeyes’ 218.750 was not enough to overcome the Nittany Lions’ 218.800 as the Buckeyes rallied on the final event.

Ohio State led after the first two rotations until Penn State evened the score at 145.750 in the third rotation. Following the fourth rotation, PSU claimed the lead. However, the Buckeyes made a surge on the evening’s final event, falling only .01 points behind the Nittany Lions on high bar.

Three Buckeyes posted career highs. Kerry Adderly recorded a career high on high bar, scoring a 9.550 to tie for first place. Tallying a 9.150 on vault, sophomore Ronald Ferris clipped his former career high of 9.125. Cody Trobaugh scored two career highs, as he recorded a 9.4 on floor and a 9.3 on parallel bars to finish first on both events. Monahan continued his all-around success as he scored a 54.500 to capture his sixth title of the season.

LAST TIME OUT – NEBRASKA
Ohio State tallied an OSU team best 223.975 to top No. 11 Nebraska Feb. 18 at St. John Arena. In the win, OSU captured all six events and two Buckeyes notched Ohio State all-time records in the 223.975-216.60 victory.

Sophomore Grant Osborne led the way on floor with a 9.375. Jimmy Wickham was second, tallying a score of 9.250. The Buckeyes captured the Top 3 spots on pommel horse, securing an Ohio State all-time team record of 38.6 on the apparatus. (OSU’s former all-time team high was a 37.4, compiled Jan. 22, 2005 vs. Illinois-Chicago.) On pommel horse, Willie Ito notched a 9.9, surpassing his own OSU pommel horse record of 9.675, scored at Illinois earlier this season (Jan. 29). Ronald Ferris and DJ Bucher were second and third, compiling a career-high 9.75 and 9.7, respectively. Senior co-captain Randy Monahan was the top performer on rings, recording a 9.8. Bucher came in third with a 9.45.

Halfway through the meet, the Buckeyes held a 111.975-108.75 advantage over the Cornhuskers. The freshman duo of Pejman Ebrahimi and Wickham finished as the top vaulters with Ebrahimi placing second (9.55) and Wickham third (9.45). On parallel bars Bucher scored a 9.65 for first-place and Nicholaus Searcy was third with a score of 9.0. Ferris claimed the sixth and final rotation with his Buckeye all-time record of 9.925 on high bar. Monahan finished second, scoring a 9.85, tying his personal best from a year ago vs. Minnesota (Jan. 17, 2004). Bucher rounded out the Top 3, recording a 9.425.

SURGING FORWARD
Ohio State continued its record breaking season when it posted an all-time team best score of 223.975 against Nebraska Feb. 18. In addition to its record team score, the Buckeyes notched a Buckeye team record on pommel horse with a score of 38.6. The tally stands as the top team score on any apparatus since new scoring rules were implemented in 2001.

BUCKEYES IN THE RECORD BOOK
Junior Ronald Ferris and sophomore Willie Ito re-wrote the Ohio State record books during the meet against Nebraska Feb. 18. Ferris and Ito recorded all-time records, with Ferris compiling a 9.925 on high bar and Ito tallying a 9.9 on pommel horse.

With the 9.925, Ferris is tied with teammate Randy Monahan for the best score on an apparatus. Earlier in the 2005 season, Monahan notched a 9.925 on rings vs. Illinois-Chicago (Jan. 22).

With his score of 9.9 on pommel horse, Ito surpassed his former OSU record of 9.675, re corded vs. Illinois Jan. 29. The career and Ohio State best marks the third time Ito has beaten his own score. Ito tied former Buckeye Ryan Schwartzkopf’s record of 9.65 last season vs. Minnesota (Jan. 17).

BUCKEYES IN THE RANKINGS
Ohio State is the top team in the nation on pommel horse, averaging 36.675 points a meet. On high bar the squad is second (36.992) and OSU is third on vault (37.008) and parallel bars (36.512).

The Buckeyes dropped to fourth on floor and rings, scoring an average of 36.467 and 37.275 points, respectively.

Individually, DJ Bucher and Randy Monahan lead the way with Bucher as the top parallel bars (9.629) competitor and Monahan No. 1 on rings (9.77). Monahan also is second on high bar, averaging 9.43 points and Willie Ito is a close third, tallying 9.42 points a meet. Sophomore Ronald Ferris is second on floor, compiling an average score of 9.44 points.

IN THE BIG TEN
The Buckeyes are first in the league on pommel horse and high bar and are second on parallel bars. On the remaining three events, Ohio State is third on rings and vault and fourth on floor.

As they are nationally, DJ Bucher and Randy Monahan are first in the conference on parallel bars and rings, respectively. Monahan also is tied for first on high bar, scoring an average of 9.43 points. Ronald Ferris is second on floor and Willie Ito is third on high bar.

THIRD TIME THE CHARM
With the win over Cal and Stanford, Ohio State earned its first tri-meet win since 2002. The Buckeyes tallied a score of 217.225 to defeat Iowa and Minnesota March 9, 2002.

SAVING THE BEST FOR THE ROAD
With its mark of 223.4 vs. Illinois Jan. 29, Ohio State recorded the highest team score in the NCAA on the road since 2000.

The record previously was held by Penn State, who tallied a 221.875 at Oklahoma.

HOLDING STRONG
Freshman DJ Bucher compiled the highest score of the meet vs. Illinois when he tallied a first-place 9.85 on rings. Bucher also was the only gymnast to score above a 9.7 on two events, as he scored a 9.725 on parallel bars.

WHO’S THE FRESHMAN?
In his first collegiate meet, freshman DJ Bucher re-wrote the Ohio State men’s gymnastics record book with his 9.85 and first-place parallel bars finish at the Windy City Invitational. The Mason, Ohio, native owns the individual OSU record on parallel bars, surpassing Raj Bhavsar’s 9.650, which he tallied at the 2001 NCAA Championships. Both scores are records under the scoring system implemented after the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

TAKING CHARGE
OSU has swept all six events in three meets this season. Ohio State claimed every event against No. 9 Minnesota Jan. 15. In the win over then-No. 12 Illinois-Chicago, the Buckeyes continued their streak, winning each event. Recently, vs. No. 11 Nebraska, the Buckeyes claimed each event and recorded an OSU all-time best 38.6 on pommel horse.

Last season, Ohio State swept all six events only once (Illinois-Chicago).

FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING
Sophomore Willie Ito and freshman Mike Marino completed their first collegiate all-around competition. At the Windy City Invitational Ito was the lone all-around competitor for the Buckeyes, scoring a 52.75 to finish tied for sixth. Against Illinois-Chicago, Marino recorded a 51.95 to place second.

2005 CAPTAINS
Seniors Randy Monahan and Cody Trobaugh were selected team captains for the 2005 season by their teammates.

The honor is the first for Trobaugh and the second for Monahan. The Elizabethtown, Pa., native served as co-captain last season.

UP NEXT
Up next for the Buckeyes is a meet vs. the Japan All-Stars. Ohio State will play host to collegiate gymnasts from Japan at 7 p.m. March 3 at St. John Arena.

FIND OUT ON THE WEB
Keep track of the latest men’s gymnastics news, scores and stats by logging on to the official Ohio State athletic website at ohiostatebuckeyes.com.