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Feb. 4, 2003

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – After posting a season high 215.82 against Illinois Saturday, Ohio State will travel to Las Vegas to compete against the nation’s top gymnasts in the Winter Cup Challenge. The event will take place Friday and Saturday in the Las Vegas Sports Center.

Every winter, USA Gymnastics plays host to the Winter Cup Challenge. Athletes in every age division starting at 15&up compete. The Men’s Program Committee, of which OSU coach Miles Avery is a member, is the governing body for the event.

Ninety-four collegiate and club gymnasts from around the country compete in the all-around with the top two finishers not already on the US National Team earning spots. The top six individuals in each event move on to compete in the individual event finals Saturday night.

Scheduled to compete for Ohio State in the all-around senior division is Raj Bhavsar, Randy Monahan, Jamey Houle, Dick Huntwork and Kerry Adderly, while pommel horse specialist Ryan Schwartzkopf will compete on his event. Former Buckeye great Blaine Wilson also will compete.

NEXT UP: NEBRASKA
Ohio State will play host to Nebraska at 7 p.m. Feb. 14 in a co-ed dual match in St John Arena. No. 9 Nebraska posted a season high 210.550 in a losing effort against No. 2 Oklahoma, who recorded a 217.250. The Cornhuskers have three student-athletes that have posted over a 51 in the all-around competition.

WHERE’S RAJ?
Bhavsar, the 2002 NCAA and Big Ten all-around champion, has yet to compete in a dual match or tournament this season because of a tear in the labrum. He completed in the last leg of the 2002 season with what was thought to be a strained shoulder. Although he risked further injury, he still competed in the 2002 national championships. At the conclusion of the season, a MRI reveled orthopedic surgery would be necessary.

Though Bhavsar competed in several of the pre-season events, the Winter Cup Challenge will mark his first competition since winning the 2002 NCAA All-Around National Championship. He is not expected to compete again until the Buckeyes travel to Oklahoma March 7. From there, he will finish out the rest of his senior year.

BUCKEYES IN THE RANKINGS
Ohio State was ranked No. 2 in the preseason poll behind defending national champion Oklahoma. After the opening two weeks of the season, the Buckeyes dropped to third after posting 213.0 points at the Windy City Invitational. Penn State moved into first place after recording 217.25 points while claiming the Navy Open Title. Oklahoma slipped to second after it compiled 214.275 in a victory over No. 5 Michigan.

In the Feb. 3 rankings, the Top 3 remain the same, however, the scores all have increased. Penn State posted a 219.4, Oklahoma recorded a 217.25 and Ohio State has a 215.85. Michigan has moved into the No. 4 spot after recording a 215.08 and pushed stanford to the No. 5 spot.

UNDERSTANDING THE RANKINGS
Unlike most sports, win-loss records count for very little in collegiate gymnastics. Instead, the highest scores for each individual team carry the most weight. Early in the season, weekly rankings are determined using the single highest team scores. In February, the highest home score and highest away score are averaged together to produce the rankings. By March, rankings are determined using the top two away scores and possibly the highest home score. The average of the three scores determines which teams will top the rankings.

RETURNING ALL-AMERICANS
Ohio State returns all five 2002 All-Americans this season. Bhavsar was an All-American on all-around, vault and pommel horse. Kerry Adderly, Houle and Huntwork were All-Americans on floor and Randy Monahan was an All-American on high bar.

HEAD COACH MILES AVERY
In five years under the direction of head coach Miles Avery, the Buckeyes have remained among the nation’s elite. Under Avery’s guidance Ohio State has produced one NCAA title, two Big Ten titles, three NCAA all-around champions and 11 All-Americans.

Avery has garnered one national coach of the year honor (2001) and two-consecutive Big Ten Coach of the Year awards (2001, ’02). He also was named the 2002 Central Region Coach of the year.

In addition to his work at Ohio State, Avery serves as a clinician for the U.S. Junior and Senior National Teams and is on the coaching staff for the U.S. Junior and Senior National Teams.

ALL-AROUND HONORS
Randy Monahan won multiple honors after his first place all-around finish at the Windy City including Big Ten Men’s Gymnast of the Week and NCAA Men’s Gymnast of the Week named by Inside Gymnastics collegiate editor Jerry Wright. Monahan placed in the Top 10 on all six events and placed third in three events by scoring a 9.0 on rings, a 9.35 on vault and a 9.0 on high bar. In the competition, he compiled 53.850 points to claim the all-around title by one point. He also placed fourth on floor exercise (9.100).

NEXT UP: NEBRASKA
Ohio State will play host to Nebraska at 7 p.m. Feb. 14 in a co-ed dual match in St John Arena. No. 9 Nebraska posted a season high 210.550 in a losing effort against No. 2 Oklahoma, who recorded a 217.250. The Cornhuskers have three student-athletes that have posted over a 51 in the all-around compteition.

BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP IN ST. JOHN
The Buckeyes will play host to the Big TenTournament March 28-29 at St. John Arena. Ohio State will defend its back-to-back 2001 and 2002 championships, which were held in State College, Pa., and Minneapolis, Minn., respectively. A third-consecutive victory will mark the first Big Ten three-peat in school history.

NCAA TOURNAMENT SET FOR TEMPLE
The Buckeyes will look to extend their record to 23-consecutive trips to the NCAA championship, which will be held in Philadelphia at Avery’s alma mater, Temple. It will be his goal to make the team feel at home, especially considering the home team has won the national title the last two years (Ohio State and Oklahoma, respectively). Winning this tournament is the ultimate goal for the team this year and would make the second national championship in three years.