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Buckeyes look to use home floor advantage to improve upon their fifth-place finish from 2009

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s gymnastics team wants to repeat its last performance in St. John Arena as it welcomes its conference foes to Columbus for the 2010 Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championships at 2 p.m. Saturday. The last time the Buckeyes competed in St. John Arena, they upset then-No. 17 Auburn, scoring a season-best 195.525 to outscore the Tigers’ 194.725 March 13.

The conference banquet will be held Friday at the Ohio Stadium. At the banquet, the top league accolades will be handed out.

LIVE ON THE BIG TEN NETWORK
The Big Ten Network will air the 2010 Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championships LIVE with Mike Leiderman on the play-by-play, Eddie Umphrey as the analyst and Elise Ray on the sideline at 2 p.m. Saturday.

FOLLOW IT LIVE
Live scoring for the Big Ten championships, hosted by Ohio State, can be found on the women’s gymnastics schedule page at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

GOING TO THE BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Tickets for the all-conference meet are currently on sale. All seating in St. John Arena will be general admission with tickets starting at $8 for adults, $5 for students and youth and $4 for groups of 10 or more. All group tickets must be purchased in advance. For more information, contact Mike Johnson in the group sales office at 614-247-1984.

Tickets can be purchased online at OhioStateBuckeyes.com (click on “Shop” along the top bar of links and then click on tickets, single game tickets through Ticketmaster), by calling Ticketmaster (1-800-745-3000) or in person at any Ticketmaster outlet or the Ohio State Ticket box office at the Jerome Schottenstein Center.

POSTSEASON IN COLUMBUS!
The Scarlet and Gray are thrilled to bring the 2010 Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championships to St. John Arena for the first time since the 2001-02 season. Head coach Carey Fagan is excited to host the league meet Saturday after hosting the NCAA regional championships last year.

“The regional championship was a great dress rehearsal for hosting the 2010 Big Ten Championships in Columbus,” Carey Fagan, Ohio State head coach, said. “The conference championships are a big deal so I think it will attract even more attention than the regional championship did a season ago, so the atmosphere will be electric.”

For tickets, call 1-800-GO-BUCKS!

PARKING AT ST. JOHN ARENA
It is a busy weekend on The Ohio State University campus so fans, staff and participants for the 2010 Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championships are suggested to park in the lot south of French Field House and in the lots around Ohio Stadium.

2009: BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS RECAP
Last year at the Big Ten championships, Taylor Jones became just the second Buckeye to earn the distinction as Big Ten Freshman of the Year, while No. 17 Ohio State finished fifth with a score of 195.900 in Champaign, Ill.

With a 39.100, Jones finished second for Ohio State in the all-around. Sophomore Rebecca Best finished the night with a career-high 39.350 to place sixth in the meet.

Best and Jones earned All-Big Ten honors at the championships banquet with Best claiming her second second-team laurel and Jones receiving a first-team All-Big Ten nod.

Ohio State finished the night with a 49.125 on both vault and floor. On bars, the squad posted a 49.025 while adding a 48.625 on beam.

HOME FLOOR ADVANTAGE
With three of its four home meets scheduled late in the season, Ohio State scored some of the team’s best marks in St. John Arena, upsetting then-No. 14Penn State (Feb. 27) and then-No. 17 Auburn (March 13).

The Buckeyes recorded a season-best 195.525 vs. Auburn two weeks ago, taking good memories into their workouts leading up to the Big Ten championships Saturday. Ohio State also hit a 195.025 vs. UIC Feb. 21 behind freshman Colleen Dean’s first career 9.900 on floor.

Three of the team’s season-best event tallies have come in Columbus with a 48.900 on bars and a 49.000 on beam vs. the Tigers, in addition to a 48.875 on floor vs. the Flames. The Buckeyes’ best vault score, a 49.050, came on the road vs. Iowa Feb. 6.

THE BUCKEYES
After upsetting Auburn for the second-consecutive season, the Buckeyes again have upped their regional qualifying score (RQS) to a 194.570 which ranks them seventh in the Big Ten – not far behind Iowa’s 194.645 and Minnesota’s 194.830. Ohio State remains in eighth place in the Central Region just behind Kent State’s 194.900.

LEADING THE WAY
Individually, three different Buckeyes lead Ohio State on the four events. Although senior captain Hillary Dow faced a late injury vs. Illinois (March 6), she still ranks the highest on vault with a 9.805 RQS for 16th in the Big Ten and 25th in the Central Region. Just behind her is sophomore Nicole Krauter with a 9.800 RQS for 17th and 28th in the league and region, respectively.

On bars and beam, junior Rebecca Best owns team-highs with a 9.775 RQS and 9.800 RQS, respectively. Best is ranked 27th on bars and 17th on beam regionally.  In the conference standings, she holds 23rd and 15th on bars and beam, respectively.

On floor, freshman Colleen Dean leads Ohio State, holding 14th on the event in the Big Ten and 21st regionally with a 9.815 RQS.

The Buckeyes have two talented all-arounders in the Central Region rankings, starting with Best’s 38.960 RQS for 14th while sophomore Casey Williamson is 24th with an RQS of 38.660.

Just one week after Illinois, a banged-up Dow still scored a team-high 9.800 on bars vs. Auburn March 13. While she may compete on a few events, it is unlikely Ohio State will see her competing in the all-around at the Big Ten championships. The senior captain will be missed in the all-around – she holds a 38.795 RQS to rank 19th in the region.

ABOUT OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes returned eight gymnasts from the 2009 squad that finished ranked 17th in the GymInfo national rankings with a 195.735 RQS. However, Ohio State lost the service of senior Beth Ann Ballard and sophomore Krissi Woodward before the season started because of injury. Late in the season, senior captain Hillary Dow hurt her ankle against Illinois (March 6), but the devoted Buckeye has been fighting to get back on the competition floor the last two weeks.

In addition, freshmen Sarah Gillespie and Vanessa Kowis are sidelined with injuries, while classmate Lauren Ritter is slowly working her way back from a serious injury sustained during her senior season in high school.

The Buckeyes have been fighting their way through injuries and with five solid marks from the last four weekends, the squad now owns a 194.570 RQS to ranked seventh in the Big Ten. Ohio State hit its season-high, a 195.525, vs. Auburn in St. John Arena March 13.

THE 39.000 CLUB
This season, Ohio State has seen four all-arounders hit above a 39.000 in the all-around. Junior All-American Rebecca Best leads the way with a season-best 39.150 notched for the all-around victory vs. Auburn (March 13). Sophomore Casey Williamson posted a career-best 39.075 in the upset against Penn State (Feb. 27) while senior captain Hillary Dow added a season-best 39.050. Last time out, freshman Colleen Dean hit a personal-best 39.075 in the all-around to finish second in the meet vs. the Tigers.

DEAN-O
Colleen Dean has had a remarkable freshman season for the Buckeyes. The Sylvania, Ohio, native owns or ties for Ohio State’s best individual scores on three of the four events. With a 9.800 on bars vs. UIC (Feb. 21), Dean tied for first at the meet and currently is in a five-way tie for the team lead.

On beam, she turned in a team-best 9.825 for second place against Auburn (March 13). Dean also owns the individual season-best on floor with a 9.900 vs. the Flames, giving her a first-place finish. She has turned in the best mark for Ohio State on floor at nine meets this season while also leading the Buckeyes on beam at three meets.

ST. JOHN ‘UPSET’ ARENA
With strong performances from senior Hillary Dow, sophomore Casey Williamson and freshman Colleen Dean, Ohio State earned its first Big Ten win of the season Feb. 27, downing then-No. 14 Penn State, 194.950-193.850, in St. John Arena. Ohio State is 5-1-1 against PSU in St. John Arena during the regular season since the 1996-97 season.

Williamson took third in the all-around, finishing with a career-best 39.075 while Dow was fourth with a 39.050. Dean, who has championed the Buckeyes on floor all season, finished second on the event with a 9.825 and also finished second with a 9.750 on bars.

Later in the year, the Buckeyes upset then-No. 17 Auburn in St. John Arena March 13 with a season-high 195.525. On Ohio State’s senior day, the Buckeye all-arounders swept first through fourth. Junior Rebecca Best hit a season-high 39.150 and Dean followed with a career-best 39.075 to finish 1-2. Williamson had a 38.900 for third and senior Kristin Perchatsch competed in the all-around for the first time this season and scored a 38.750 for fourth.