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Sunday is a ‘Buckeyes Building Awareness against Breast Cancer’ event in St. John Arena

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s gymnastics team finally returns home to Columbus Sunday after a stop in Lexington, Ky., Friday night. The Buckeyes complete a five-meet road swing at 7 p.m. Friday vs. No. 14 Kentucky before welcoming UIC to St. John Arena at 2 p.m. Sunday.

The squad enters the weekend with a 1-5 overall record and 0-2 Big Ten ledger.

GOING PINK
The Ohio State-UIC meet will be a ‘Buckeyes Building Awareness against Breast Cancer’ event. The team will get in the spirit by donning pink instead of its normal scarlet. The first 500 fans will receive pink Ohio State Construction hats and donations for the Stephanie Spielman Breast Cancer Awareness Fund will be collected at the door.

FOLLOW IT LIVE
Live streaming and scoring for Ohio State’s home contest vs. UIC can be found on the women’s gymnastics’ schedule page at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

On the road, live scoring for the Buckeye-Wildcat meet can be found on the women’s gymnastics’ schedule page at OhioStateBuckeyes.com and UKathletics.com.

THE BUCKEYES
After competing at Kentucky, Ohio State returns to Columbus for the first time since its season home opener vs. Oregon State Jan. 16. Heading into the weekend, the Buckeyes own a 192.470 team average. Last weekend, senior captain Hillary Dow had a team-high 38.800 all-around score on the road at West Virginia.

LEADING THE WAY
Individually, five different Buckeyes lead Ohio State on the four events. On vault, sophomore Nicole Krauter leads with a 9.781 average to rank 10th in the Big Ten, classmates Taylor Jones and Casey Williamson own a team-best 9.630 mean on bars, junior Rebecca Best ranks ninth in the conference on beam with a 9.705 and freshman Colleen Dean has championed the squad on floor with a 9.730.

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 has lost the service of senior Beth Ann Ballard and sophomore Krissi Woodward for the season because of injury. 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 her senior high school season.

The Buckeyes have been fighting their way through the first half of the year, holding a 192.470 team average to rank seventh in the Big Ten. Ohio State’s season-high team score, a 194.200, came on the road vs. Pittsburgh Jan. 22.

THE WILDCATS
Kentucky is ranked 14th in the nation with a 195.295 RQS and is 3-5 overall and 1-4 in the Southeastern Conference. Last Friday, the Wildcats dropped a 196.400-195.425 decision to then-No. 14 Auburn. UK recorded a 49.075 on vault and a 49.150 on floor to outscore the Tigers on the two events.

Senior Emily Green won floor with a 9.900, marking her second-best score of the season while junior Jasmine Minion and sophomore Whitney Rose tied for first on vault with a pair of 9.875s.

OSU-UK: THE SERIES
Ohio State leads the all-time series record vs. Kentucky, 12-5. Meeting four times in the last six years, the Buckeyes and Wildcats have split the series, 2-2. UK won, 195.275-193.400, March 9, 2008 after Ohio State recorded a 195.825-194.150 victory March 4, 2007 with both competitions being held in St. John Arena.

THE FLAMES
Last Friday, UIC fell, 191.375-189.350, to Midwest Independent Conference-foe Illinois State at home.  The squad saw two individuals win events with Chantel Turk’s 9.775 on vault and Kayleigh Kremer’s 9.750 on floor for first. The Flames currently own a 185.725 RQS and their season-high is a 192.750.

OSU-UIC: THE SERIES
With just three meetings between the two programs, the Buckeyes own a one win lead over the Flames, 2-1. Ohio State won last year, 194.850-192.050, in Chicago.

POSTSEASON IN COLUMBUS!
The Scarlet and Gray are thrilled to bring the 2010 Big Ten Conference 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 March 27 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,” Fagan 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!

UP NEXT
Ohio State remains at home and returns to Big Ten action, facing Penn State at 4 p.m. Feb. 27. The meet will be a co-ed event as the Buckeye men’s gymnastics team competes against their Nittany Lion counterparts.