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Feb. 16, 2005

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 23 Ohio State women’s gymnastics team (5-5, 0-3 Big Ten) will close out a two-meet home stand Sunday against No. 3 LSU at St. John Arena. The meet, set to begin at 2 p.m., will mark Ohio State’s second meet against a Top-5 opponent this season. The Buckeyes dropped their last contest with a Top-5 team – 196.025-192.675 against No. 2 Michigan Jan. 15.

LAST WEEK: OHIO STATE TOPS PITTSBURGH 195.225-191.550
Freshman Karley Walek claimed her first all-around crown with a score of 39.000 to propel Ohio State over Pittsburgh, 195.225-191.550, Feb. 12, in St. John Arena.

Ohio State claimed every event with scores of 49.175 on both vault and floor, a 48.750 on beam and a 48.125 on bars.

Walek finished the evening placing first on vault with a score of 9.900, fifth on floor with a mark of 9.825 and sixth on both bars (9.650) and beam (9.625). Senior Liz Meaney contributed to the Buckeye rotation with a first-place finish on bars with a mark of 9.800.

Freshman Maalika Moore-Thomas and junior Brittany Brown completed the Buckeye sweep of individual crowns placing first on beam and floor. Moore-Thomas took first place on beam with a score of 9.825, while Brown placed first on floor with a score of 9.875.

LSU MEET TO BE LIVE INTERNET BROADCASTED
The Ohio State Athletics Department will feature the women’s gymnastics team on live internet video during the LSU meet, at 2 p.m. Feb. 20. Fans can access the live video link by logging on to the official athletics website at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com.

NOTING THE 2005 BUCKEYES
Senior Liz Meaney has posted a 9.850 or better on beam in four of Ohio State’s five meets this season. Meaney also has won four balance beam titles this season.

Freshman Karley Walek is having no trouble fitting into the Ohio State line-up this season. Walek is the Buckeyes’ top all-arounder, averaging a 38.868. Walek also has won the all-around competition in the meet against Pittsburgh Feb. 12.

Junior Kaylin Schlecht is one of the Buckeyes’ top bars performer this season, averaging a score 9.700.

LSU transfer Brittany Brown leads the Buckeyes on floor. Brown holds an average score of 9.665 and has posted a 9.775 or better in four of five meets.

Freshman Jessica Rosette, is Ohio State’s second leading all-arounder. Rosette averages a 37.675 per contest in the all-around and also is averaging a 9.605 on vault.

WOMEN’S GYMNASTS HONORED FOR WOMEN IN SPORTS
The women’s gymnastics team was honored at halftime of the Ohio State-Indiana women’s basketball game, Feb. 6, 2005 as part of the National Women In Sports Day. The Buckeye gymnasts, along with women from the other women’s sports at Ohio State. Representing the gymnastics team were Kaylin Schlecht, Elizabeth Ahlberg and Karley Walek.

BUCKEYES TO APPEAR ON CSTV
The women’s gymnastics team will be featured in a CSTV special on Ohio State winter sports, Feb. 27 (time to be announced at a later date). CSTV will air interviews of Karley Walek, Liz Meaney and assistant coaches Jay Santos and Bill Lorenz.

FRESHMAN MAKE AN IMMEDIATE IMPACT
The Buckeye freshmen have made their presence felt this season. In each of Ohio State’s meets, four first-year competitors, Karley Walek, Amanda Gamby, Helina Manesis, Jessica Rosette and Maalika Moore-Thomas, have competed in the scoring rotation.

Last Saturday, in her third meet as an all-around competitor, Walek posted a score of 39.000 for a first-place finish.

Rosette has competed as an all-arounder in two meets this season as an all-arounder and is averaging a score of 37.675. Rosette also averages scores of 9.605 on vault, 9.291 on bars, 9.595 on beam and 9.475 on floor.

Manesis is averaging strong numbers with a 9.640 on bars, a 9.625 on vault and a 9.468 on floor.

Moore-Thomas is averaging a 9.655 on vault, a 9.750 on beam and a 9.675 on floor, while Gamby is averaging a 9.425 on vault.

Fellow freshman Megan Flood has competed in two meets this year on bars and is averaging a 9.408.

THE TAKE ON THE TIGERS
LSU brings a No. 3 ranking and a 4-3 record into Columbus this weekend. For the season, the Tigers are averaging a team score of 196.158.

Sophomore Kelly Phelan leads the way for the Tigers averaging an all-around score of 39.131. Phelan also leads the Tigers on beam averaging a 9.840 and floor with an average score of 9.860. Joining Phelan is junior April Burkholder who is averaging a 39.083 in the all-around.

D-D Breaux is the head coach of the Tigers. Breaux, who is in her 28th season as head coach, holds a career record of 428-270-7.

OSU-LSU, FOR THE RECORD
Ohio State trails in its series against LSU 7-10. Since 1979 The Buckeyes are 1-3 in Columbus, 0-4 in Baton Rouge, La., and 0-2 in meets at neutral sites against the Tigers.

LAST TIME VS. LSU: OHIO STATE FALLS 197.525-195.600
Ohio State fell to LSU March 5, 2004, at the Pete Maravich Athletic Center in Baton Rouge, La. The Buckeyes posted a strong performance finishing the evening with a team score of 195.600 falling just short of LSU’s 197.525.

Leading the way for Ohio State was Liz Meaney, who placed second in the all-around with a score of 39.275. Meaney also finished fourth on beam with a 9.875 and seventh on floor with a 9.850. Brittany Livingston posted a 39.075 all-around score to place third.

Tiffanie Janke led Ohio State on vault, placing fourth with a 9.900. Livingston and teammate Megan Porter tied for fifth on bars with a 9.850.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING
A pair of Buckeyes, Liz Meaney and Karley Walek find themselves ranked among the nation’s and region’s best. Meaney, who is averaging a 9.845 on beam, is ranked 12th in the GymInfo national beam rankings and third in the GymInfo Central Region beam ranking.

Walek is rated ninth in the Central Region all-around rankings with an average score of 38.868.

OHIO STATE RATED IN THE TOP-25
The Buckeyes moved up one spot to No. 22 in this week’s GymInfo Top-25. Currently eight of Ohio State’s opponents are ranked in the Top-25 with No. 2 Michigan and No. 3 LSU ranked in the Top-5.

HOME SWEET HOME
The Buckeyes have enjoyed success in meets held at St. John Arena. Since the 1994 season, Ohio State is 45-16 at home. The Buckeyes also have won seven of their last ten home meets dating back to the 2003 All-Ohio Championships.

FRESH FACES
The Buckeyes have much to celebrate with their 2005 recruiting class. The five-member scholarship class will bolster an Ohio State squad.

The Ohio State freshman class features two top Florida gymnasts in Jessica Rosette and Maalika Moore-Thomas, who will provide the Buckeyes with depth as all-arounders.

Shawnee, Mo., native Kaylan Clevinger will give the Buckeyes an added boost in the all-around as well. Having only been involved in gymnastics for a little over six years, Clevinger won the 2003 Level-9 Junior Olympics National Championship on vault, beam, floor and all-around before moving onto Level-10 in 2004, where she was runner-up in the Level-10 Missouri State Championships.

Karley Walek of Pequannock, N.J., will be looked upon to help Ohio State improve on vault. Walek is a three-time all-state selection and a 2004 Junior Olympic competitor.

Another New Jersey native, Helina Manesis will provide the Buckeyes with a spark in every event. Manesis won the state vault title in 2003.

Fagan also added Canonsburgh, Penn., product Megan Flood and Landisville Pa. native Amanda Gamby to the 2005 roster.

Louisiana State University transfer Brittany Brown joins the roster as well this season. Brown, a junior, will no doubt make an impact to the Buckeye season as an all-arounder. During her sophomore campaign at LSU, Brown averaged a 9.860 on floor and a 9.775 on beam.

THE FAGAN ERA IN FULL EFFECT
Last June long time Ohio State women’s gymnastics coach Larry Cox retired from the ranks of head coach after 251 wins, five Big Ten championships and 24 trips to the NCAA Regional Championships. Enter newly appointed head coach Carey Fagan. After spending the last three seasons as an assistant coach for Ohio State, Fagan is now the head coach for the Buckeyes and 2005 will mark the beginning of the Fagan Era, as she inherits a team which went 9-7-1 in 2004.

“I am extremely excited to be here as head coach,” Fagan, a graduate of Penn State University, Fagan, Ohio State head coach, said. “You think you know what a soup kitchen is like and you think you know what to expect, but it’s still shocking when you see it, especially the families.”

Fagan and her team wanted to begin a tradition of doing community service projects. After talking to members of the Ohio State Student Athlete Support Services Offices the team decided working a soup kitchen was an excellent idea.

COACH FAGAN ON THIS WEEK’S MEET
“This is going to be an exciting meet against LSU,” Fagan said. “I think last weekend was a turning point for our team, and they are starting to realize the potential that we have as a team. We were great on vault against Pitt and we are going to need to do that again to be able to compete with LSU throughout the meet.”

NEXT UP
Ohio State will travel to meet Big Ten rival Penn State at 7 p.m. Feb. 26 in University Park, Pa.