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Buckeyes host final meet before hosting Big Ten Championships March 27

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s gymnastics team will close the regular season with a 4 p.m. meet Saturday vs. No. 17 Auburn in St. John Arena. The meet will be a co-ed event as the men’s side host No. 2 Oklahoma at the same time. In addition, the Buckeyes will recognize their seniors post-meet, thanking Beth Ann Ballard, Hillary Dow and Kristin Perchatsch for their contributions to the program.

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

ADMISSION IS FREE
This is the final Ohio State gymnastics meet in which admission is free of charge for the 2010 season. The Buckeyes will host the 2010 Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championships at 2 p.m. March 27 in St. John Arena with tickets starting at $8 for adults and $5 for students.

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 for 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 Office.

THANKS YOU SENIORS
Ohio State will recognize its three seniors after the meet Saturday, thanking Beth Ann Ballard, Hillary Dow and Kristin Perchatsch for their work and dedication to the program.

Beth Ann Ballard:
Hailing from Kingwood, Texas, and the daughter of Dave and Vicki Ballard, Beth Ann led the Buckeyes on bars and tied for 15th in the Central Region with an RQS of 9.825 as a junior. But her career was cut short after sustaining a season ending injury at Ohio State’s 2010 opener.

A communications major, Ballard posted a career-high 9.825 on vault at the 2009 NCAA Regional in St. John Arena, as well as a personal-best 9.850 on bars at Illinois last season while helping the Buckeyes to a Top 15 finish – the highest finish in over a decade.

Hillary Dow:
A native of Yorktown, Va., and daughter of Michael and LuAnne Dow, Hillary is a two-time captain of the Buckeyes and the first solo captain under head coach Carey Fagan. An outstanding leader, Dow has played an integral part in the team’s climb in the national polls.

A leader in the all-around, Hillary competed in 10 Ohio State meets this season and missed just one as a junior. A season ago, she tied for sixth on vault with a career-high 9.875 at the Big Ten Championships. Over the years she has been earned the team’s Most Inspirational and Best Attitude awards while also getting it done in the classroom as an Academic All-Big Ten and OSU Scholar-Athlete.

Kristin Perchatsch:
Kristin, a native of Naperville, Ill., and daughter of Omel and Nancy Perchatsch, brought a lot of talent to Ohio State after competing as a Level 10 gymnast for nine years. Despite suffering from lingering injuries over the course of her career, Kristin hit a career-best 9.850 on bars, 9.800 on beam and a 9.750 on floor for the Buckeyes.

With limited action this season, Kristin still was a tough competitor for Ohio State on bars and floor.

THE BUCKEYES
Ohio State ends the season with a nonconference dual vs. Auburn in St. John Arena. Last year, the Buckeyes pulled off an upset at Auburn’s senior night so Ohio State will look to keep a winning trend against the Tigers. Heading into the weekend, the Buckeyes have raised their regional qualifying score (RQS) to a 194.175 which ranks them seventh in the Big Ten and eighth in the Central Region.

THE AUBURN TIGERS
With a 195.510 regional qualifying score, Auburn ranks fourth in the Central Region and 17th in the NCAA overall.

THE SERIES: OHIO STATE-AUBURN
Ohio State won the first meeting between the two programs with a 195.825-195.750 road victory on Auburn’s senior night March 21, 2009.

LEADING THE WAY
Individually, three different Buckeyes lead Ohio State on the four events. Although the squad has lost the service of senior captain Hillary Dow to injury last weekend, she still ranks the highest on vault with a 9.805 RQS for 11th in the Big Ten and 18th in the Central Region. Just behind her is sophomore Nicole Krauter with a 9.800 RQS for 12th and 22nd in the league and region, respectively.

On bars and beam, junior Rebecca Best owns team-highs with a 9.755 RQS on both events. Best is ranked 24th on bars and 16th on beam regionally.  In the conference standings, she holds 22nd and 14th on bars and beam, respectively.

On floor, freshman Colleen Dean leads Ohio State with its highest individual ranking, holding ninth on the event in the Big Ten and 13th regionally with a 9.810 RQS.

The Buckeyes have two talented all-arounders in the Central Region rankings, starting Best holding a 38.810 RQS for 13th while sophomore Casey Williamson is 19th with an RQS of 38.520. Ohio State will miss the service of Dow who held a 38.795 RQS in the all-around good for 14th 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 has lost the service of senior Beth Ann Ballard and sophomore Krissi Woodward before the season even started because of injury and just lost senior captain Hillary Dow last weekend.

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 injuries but with four solid marks from the last three weekends, the squad now owns a 194.175 RQS to ranked seventh in the Big Ten. Ohio State hit its season-high, a 195.025, vs. UIC in St. John Arena Feb. 21.  

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 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!

HOME FLOOR ADVANTAGE
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.

Williamson took third in the all-around, finishing with a career-best 39.150 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.

Ohio State is 5-1-1 against PSU in St. John Arena during the regular season since the 1996-97 season.

BUILDING STEAM
Ohio State put on a show Feb. 21, recording 10 individual season highs and three team bests en route to a season-best team total of 195.025 as it defeated UIC (191.750) in St. John Arena.

Senior captain Hillary Dow won the all-around with a 39.000 behind a first-place finish on vault (9.875) and fourth-place finish on bars (9.750). Freshman Colleen Dean had a huge night, notching her first career 9.900 on floor, taking first on the event. The Sylvania, Ohio, native also tied for first with a personal-best 9.800 on bars. Competing on bars for the first time this season, senior Kristin Perchatsch notched a 9.775 for third.

The Buckeyes swept first thru third on three of the four events, notching season-high event tallies on bars (48.850), beam (48.625) and floor (48.875).

DOUBLE TIME
The Buckeyes accomplished a lot vs. UIC after competing against then-No. 14 Kentucky in Lexington Feb. 19. Ohio State scored a 193.975 in a hostile environment, its second-best score on the road this season.

“Sometimes those two-meet weekends help out,” Carey Fagan, Ohio State head coach, said. “It is tough physically but sometimes it helps out mentally because any mistakes from the first competition are fresh and easier to focus on.”

Junior Rebecca Best nearly tied her career high in the all-around, scoring a 39.100, just .025 points out of first place at the dual. The Buckeyes also returned sophomores Taylor Jones and Nicole Krauter to the all-around, giving OSU five all-arounders. Jones had 9.675s on vault, bars and beam while hitting a 9.725 on floor. Competing on floor for the first time this season, Krauter scored a 9.700 vs. Kentucky before raising her season high to a 9.775 vs. UIC.

UP NEXT
Ohio State has a week off from competition before it hosts the 2010 Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championships at 2 p.m. March 27 in St. John Arena.