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April 24, 2006

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State’s Jimmy Wickham (So., Gulfport, Miss./Planet Gymnastics) will challenge the best gymnasts in the world at his first World Cup event as a member of the U.S. National Team May 9-15 in Belgium.

Wickham will represent the U.S. on both floor and vault after winning a spot on the U.S. National Team at the Winter Cup Challenge held Feb. 4 in Las Vegas. At the competition, he outscored his rivals with a 32.450 to earn the U.S. National Champion Vault Title. Wickham also bested competition with a 15.650 on floor, the highest score awarded on the event during the two-day challenge and .450 higher than the closest competitor. Fellow Big Ten competitor Justin Spring (Illinois) will travel with Wickham to the event and compete on floor, parallel bars and high bar.

“I’m excited because it’s going to be a different experience,” Wickham said. “I hope to represent Ohio State and the U.S. well, and hopefully win a medal.”

For the season, Wickham notched career highs on both floor and vault. At the Windy City Invitational held on the campus of UIC (Jan. 14), the gymnast earned a personal-best 9.650 on floor. Wickham recorded a 9.700 on vault at home in St. John Arena against Penn State (Feb. 25). With his 9.700, Wickham entered into the Ohio State record book surpassing the previous individual record of 9.65 on the apparatus earned by teammate David Ortiz (So., Cincinnati, Ohio/Queen City Gymnastics) in 2005 against Michigan. During the 2006 season, the Buckeye landed four first-place finishes, one on floor and three on vault. Wickham also earned All-America accolades on vault at the NCCA individual championships (April 7) after scoring a 9.487 for second place.

“What an experience for this kid after walking on the team freshman year,” Miles Avery, Ohio State head coach said. “Now he’s on the U.S. National Team and competing against the best gymnasts in the world.”