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Friday meet is first of two warm-ups for 2009 season

COLUMBUS, Ohio With the 2008 calendar winding down, the Ohio State men’s gymnastics team is gearing up for its 2009 season, starting with its Scarlet & Gray Intrasquad at 2 p.m. Friday in St. John Arena. At the exhibition, the Buckeyes will have a full lineup compete on all six Olympic events in front of judges and fans to simulate the environment at regular-season competitions.

“This is an opportunity for our guys to get out of Steelwood and really start to comprehend what we are training so hard for in the gym everyday,” Miles Avery, Ohio State men’s gymnastics head coach, said. “Our coaching staff is looking forward to seeing Friday where our guys are in their preparation for the competitive season.”

The intrasquad is the first of only four Ohio State meets in Columbus during the 2009 season. The team’s exhibition season will end with the Varsity Exhibition at 2 p.m. Jan. 10 in Steelwood Athletic Training Facility, the team’s practice gym. In regular-season action, the Buckeyes play host to UIC at 7 p.m. Feb. 21 in St. John Arena and end the year against Michigan at 7 p.m. in a location to be determined. 

“Everyone on our team is excited for Friday,” Pejman Ebrahimi, fifth-year senior from Encino, Calif., said. “We feel we have a great team and a great opportunity to go far this season so we are looking forward to seeing what we can do at the exhibition so we can better know where we are as a whole.”

After finishing seventh in the 2008 NCAA standings, the Buckeyes jumped to third in the College Gymnastics Association’s (CGA) annual preseason coaches’ poll, the association announced Oct. 20. For the second-consecutive year, Stanford tops the poll with 10 first-place tallies after finishing second at the 2008 NCAA Championships. Reigning NCAA champion Oklahoma holds the No. 2 ranking.

Ohio State earned the highest ranking among Big Ten squads and is followed by Illinois, Penn State and Michigan in fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. The Scarlet and Gray open the season on the road at the Windy City Invitational at 8 p.m. EST Jan. 17 in Chicago and face competition from conference foes Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota, as well as host and Eastern College Athletic Conference member UIC.

Scarlet & Gray Intrasquad Probable Lineup
Floor

Brandt Gomez
Kevin Brown
Shachar Tal
Philip Onorato
Eddie Hay

Pommel Horse
Matt Rayl
Patrick Hatmaker
Tai Lee
Alexy Bilozertchev
Andy Saurber
Ty Echard
Steven Spencer

Rings
Sean Regan
Kevin Brown
Pejman Ebrahimi
Shachar Tal
Philip Onorato
Brandon Wynn

Vault
Brandt Gomez
Eddie Hay
Alexy Bilozertchev
Jake Bateman
Pejman Ebrahimi

Parallel Bars
Sean Regan
Philip Onorato
Tai Lee
Shachar Tal
Brandon Wynn
Jake Bateman

High Bar
Sean Regan
Alexy Bilozertchev
Justin Myers
Tai Lee
Brandon Wynn
Jake Bateman