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Multiple season, career highs show Ohio State is starting to peak at the right time

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Starting to peak at just the right time, the No. 5 Ohio State men’s gymnastics team downed No. 8 California, 351.800-346.00, Saturday afternoon in St. John Arena as six different Buckeyes recorded first-place finishes on five the six events.

Senior Justin Myers won floor with a career-best 15.35, sophomore Steven Spencer won pommel horse with a season-best 15.4, junior Brandon Wynn took rings with a 16.0, sophomore Mike Behles placed first with a 15.85 on vault while senior Tai Lee and junior Sean Regan tied for first on high bar with matching scores of 14.95.

Overall, Miles Avery, 13th-year Ohio State head coach, saw his Buckeyes place two athletes in the Top 3 of four event standings.

Starting on floor, Buckeye captains Myers and Wynn led the way, scoring a 15.35 and 14.25, respectively. For Myers, his first-place 15.35 was a career best and the second time this season he has scored above a 15.0. Sophomore Mike Behles also scored well for Ohio State, notching a 14.0 for sixth. In all, the Scarlet and Gray had a 57.05 on the event while the Golden Bears scored a 57.5 for the event win.

Ohio State took over the meet lead in the second rotation and never looked back. Thanks to two Top 3 finishes from sophomores Spencer and Matt Rayl, the Buckeyes tallied a 59.0, a 2010 event high mark, to outscore the Bears’ 56.9. Spencer won the event with a season-high 15.4 while Rayl hit a personal-best 14.6. Classmate Ty Echard took fourth with a 14.55 and freshman John Laing had a 14.45 for fifth.

On rings, Wynn, the best in the NCAA on the event, took first for the fourth-consecutive time with a score of 16.0 while teammate Tai Lee had a career-best 15.6 for second. Ohio State won the rotation, 60.85-55.6, with Cal only competing four gymnasts. Behles added a 14.7 for fourth while junior Sean Regan had a 14.55 for fifth as the team scored an event season-high 60.85 on rings.

With a 62.05 on vault, the Buckeyes extended their lead to 238.95-231.85 after the Golden Bears scored a 61.4. Behles won vault for Ohio State with a 15.85 and Myers added a 15.75 for second, marking the third rotation OSU had two Buckeyes in the Top 3 of the event standings on the day. Wynn helped the team score with 15.45 for fifth.

California won back some points in the final two rotations but Ohio State had built too large of a lead through the first four rotations.

The Buckeyes scored a 57.45 on parallel bars behind a career-best 15.0 from Wynn. Still the Voorhees, N.J., native finished in third as the Bears saw Dennis Mannhart notch a meet-best 15.25 while Glen Ishino had a 15.05 to finish first and second, respectively. Cal won the event with a 58.0. Continuing to have a successful meet for OSU were Myers (14.4), Behles (14.05) and Regan (14.0).

Regan and Lee shared co-honors with a pair of meet-high 14.95s on high bar, helping Ohio State to a 55.4 on the event and 351.800 final score. For Regan, the tally served as a career high. The Bears finished with a 56.6 to win high bar and end the day with a 346.000.

The Buckeyes hold their final regular-season meet against Oklahoma next Saturday, a co-ed meet with the women’s program held at 4 p.m. in St. John Arena. Admission to regular-season meets is free of charge.

Postseason action is coming to Columbus soon! Ohio State will host the 2010 Big Ten Men’s Gymnastics Championships at 7 p.m. April 2-3 in St. John Arena. For tickets, call 1-800-GO-BUCKS.