COLUMBUS, Ohio – On senior day, the ninth-ranked Ohio State men’s gymnastics team posted a season-high 350.350 to finish first in a tri-meet Saturday night against No. 4 Illinois and No. 7 Nebraska at St. John Arena. The Buckeyes won four events, including season-highs on rings, vault and parallel bars en route to their victory in the regular-season home finale. The meet was televised on tape-delayed basis on Big Ten Network and will air at 1 p.m. March 19.
Seniors CJ Weir, Sean Regan and Brandon Wynn were recognized during a special pre-meet presentation for their contributions to the program.
Wynn won his fourth-consecutive rings event this season with a 15.500. Also leading the Buckeyes were two freshmen as Jeff Treleaven won vault with a season-high 16.400 and Kris Done claimed the high bar title with a season-high 15.250.
“I thought tonight was great,” interim co-head Blaine Wilson said. “We’ve been waiting all season to complete a whole meet and the fight was definitely there tonight. We had a few rough routines at the end, but through and through, we are on the cusp of being a great team headed into the postseason in a few weeks.”
“Any time you perform well against higher-ranked teams at home, it’s great to see,” interim co-head Doug Stibel said. “Sean Regan looked awesome tonight and it was a big day for him. He really handled his nerves well. Sometimes it is hard being a senior and competing in your last home meet of your career. It was exciting for Brandon to come out and compete on senior day. We’ve been trying to rest him up for the postseason, but he’s a competitor and wanted to perform tonight, and he helped us with an increase in difficulty with his two routines.”
The Buckeyes started the meet strong on floor exercise, posting a meet-high 58.450 team total to win the event. Ohio State was led by junior Philip Onorato, who notched a 14.800 for second overall behind Chad Weist of Illinois, who won the event with a 14.950. Treleaven claimed a 14.700 for third, while Regan set a career-high on the event with a 14.650 for fourth overall. Freshman Blaize Monks scored a 14.300 for seventh. In all, four Buckeyes had Top 10 performances to begin the meet.
Next on pommel horse, junior Ty Echard continued his strong season on the event as the native of Carroll, Ohio, placed second overall with 15.050 mark. Daniel Ribeiro won pommel horse with a 15.300 score. John Laing finished third overall – his second highest finish in 2011 – with a season-high 14.500, while junior Mike Behles notched a 13.450 for fifth place. With the Buckeyes’ three Top 5 scores, Ohio State edged Illinois 55.850-55.800 to continue their momentum through two rotations.
Moving to rings, the Buckeyes claimed a season-high 59.650 for their third-consecutive event title of the evening. Wynn, the 2010 NCAA champion on rings, won the event with a 15.500. Onorato finished third with a 14.900, while Regan performed a 14.750 routine on rings for fourth – his second best mark on the event this season.
On vault, Treleaven anchored the Buckeye rotation with a huge vault that scored even bigger as the judges awarded his routine with a career-high 16.400 for first overall. Done notched a career-high 15.650 for third overall, while Behles posted a 15.550 for fourth. Onorato posted a 15.400 for fifth followed by Monks, who performed a season-high 15.300 to tie for sixth. Freshman Matthew Barr performed his first collegiate vault routine and scored a 15.150 to tie for eighth.
Ohio State led with a 236.950 team-total score headed into the fifth rotation against the Fighting Illini and Cornhuskers. On parallel bars, freshman Misha Koudinov guided the Buckeyes to a season-high 56.950 after scoring a season-high 14.350 for fourth place. Wynn followed the OSU rookie with a 14.350 for fifth place, while Onorato scored a season-high 14.250 for seventh overall. Behles rounded out the Buckeye rotation with a 14.150.
Headed into the final event of the evening, the Scarlet and Gray continued to lead in the meet as they moved to high bar, while the Fighting Illini was right behind in second going to vault and Nebraska in third headed to parallel bars. On high bar, Done posted a team season-high 15.250 for first overall as the native of Auckland, New Zealand, stuck his landing in the final routine of the evening. The win marks his third-consecutive high bar title this season.
The Buckeyes will next travel to face conference-rival Michigan at 7 p.m. ET in Ann Arbor to close out the 2011 regular season. The meet will be televised on the Big Ten Network on tape-delayed basis at Noon March 26.