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Jan. 13, 2005

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 4 Ohio State men’s gymnastics team will travel to Minneapolis, Minn., to face No. 9 Minnesota at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Sports Pavilion.

The Buckeyes squared off against the Golden Gophers and four other teams at the Windy City Invitational Jan. 8. OSU finished ahead of Minnesota and three other Big Ten squads and non-conference opponent Illinois-Chicago.

LAST TIME OUT – WINDY CITY
Ohio State completed the 35th annual Windy City Invitational second with a score of 220.100 Jan. 8. After falling to fifth place following the first rotation, the Buckeyes climbed to second place after winning rings, scoring a 37.7. No. 2 Illinois was the top finisher (221.80), with No. 7 Michigan (218.225) rounding out the Top 3. The event was held in Chicago on the campus of Illinois-Chicago.

“I thought we did not perform as well as we could have on certain events,” OSU head coach Miles Avery said. “It is encouraging though, because we saw the potential of the team tonight.”

The Buckeyes had two first place finishers in DJ Bucher and Randy Monahan. Bucher notched the highest score of the meet with a 9.85 on parallel bars and Monahan tallied a 9.775 on rings. Bucher also finished fourth on rings, compiling a score of 9.55. Monahan, who did not compete in the all-around, placed second and third on floor and vault, respectively, scoring a 9.55 and 9.45. Ronald Ferris and Willie Ito also finished in the Top 3 in at least one event, with Ferris placing second on pommel horse with a 9.55 and Ito completing high bar with a score of 9.55. Ito was the Buckeyes’ top all-around finisher with a score of 52.75 for a sixth-place tie.

Senior Cody Trobaugh had Top 10 finishes on floor (sixth), vault (fifth) and parallel bars (seventh). He scored a 9.3 on all three events.

STARTING OFF STRONG
At the Windy City Invitational, the Buckeyes surpassed their team high score on rings from a year ago by .05 points. Last season against Michigan, Ohio State recorded a 37.650. At the Windy City, the Scarlet and Gray posted a 37.70.

SOARING TO NEW HEIGHTS
Last season Ohio State did not crack the 220 mark until the fourth meet of the season. Against Illinois, Jan. 31, 2004, the Buckeyes recorded a score of 220.20 and at the NCAA team championships, notched a team high 221.350. At the Windy City, OSU notched a 220.10, falling short of the 2004 team high by 1.25 points.

BUCKEYES VS. GOLDEN GOPHERS
The Buckeyes lead the Golden Gophers 23-16, including an 8-2 record in the last 10 years.

SCOUTING – MINNESOTA
At the Windy City Invitational, Minnesota finished fifth tallying a team score of 212.750. Senior and All-American Guillermo Alvarez led the Golden Gophers, placing first on vault (9.65), fifth on pommel horse (9.2) and third in the all- around (54.025).

Minnesota is under the direction of Mike Burns.

The Norwood, Mass., native, who had been an assistant at Michigan since 1997, earned the head coaching reigns following long-time head coach Fred Roethlisberger’s retirement.

LAST SEASON – MINNESOTA
Last season, Ohio State was victorious over Minnesota 217.10-210.25. Four Buckeyes bested their previous Ohio State career highs. Randy Monahan finished the meet as the top all-around competitor, compiling a NCAA record 56.50. Monahan also posted career highs on pommel horse (9.550), rings (9.60), parallel bars (9.150) and high bar (9.850).

Jamey Houle surpassed his career high of 9.00 on vault by earning a 9.10 and Willie Ito posted career highs on two events – pommel horse (9.650) and parallel bars (9.40). Cody Trobaugh scored a 9.200 on parallel bars to better his career high of 9.050.

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
The Buckeyes open their home slate against Illinois-Chicago at 7 p.m. Jan. 22 at St. John Arena. U.S. National Team Members and Olympians, Paul and Morgan Hamm will be available for an autograph signing before the meet.

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.