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COLUMBUS, Ohio After posting a program season-opening high score on the road, the No. 12 Ohio State women’s gymnastics team is eager to take on Maryland (1-0, 0-0 EAGL) in St. John Arena at 7 p.m. Saturday. The Buckeyes (0-1, 0-0 Big Ten) jumped to No. 12 nationally after posting a 194.625 on the road at Arkansas last Friday. The Buckeyes have not been nationally ranked in the Top 15 since March 3, 2001, when they held the 12th position.

Fans can follow their favorite Buckeyes with live scoring and video at www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

PARKING GUIDELINES
With events taking place at the Jerome Schottenstein Center, fans attending the women’s gymnastics meet Saturday are encouraged to park on the south side of St. John Arena/French Field House off Woody Hayes Drive. Those attending should use the Medical Center exit off Route 315 and follow Cannon Drive.

FUN STUFF
FREE team posters to the first 300 fans
FREE 10.0 posters to the first 250 kids
Meet the Buckeyes postgame autograph session
Camper Reunion Night

COACH FAGAN ON THE MEET
“We are coming off a solid start and are excited to compete at home this weekend,” Carey Fagan, Ohio State head coach, said. “We have made some improvements this week in practice and plan to make a few small adjustments to the line-up for this weekend against Maryland. It’s always nice to come home and compete in St. John Arena after being on the road. Competing on familiar equipment with our home fans can definitely be an advantage. We are really concentrating on the things we can control this year, not focusing on scores or rankings. Everyone is concentrating on the details of their routines. Consistency is crucial for every gymnastics team and this weekend we’ll be looking for a consistent performance on every event and improving landings, particularly on vault.”

CLIMBING THE RANKINGS
During the last five seasons, Ohio State’s final national rank has risen each year. In 2004, the Buckeyes ranked No. 42 nationally. In the 2004-05 season, Fagan, in her first season, moved the Buckeyes to finish 38th. Under the direction of Fagan, the Buckeyes moved up 20 national spots in just three seasons, going from No. 38 in 2005 to a tied No. 18 ranking in 2008.

With a 194.625 team final score at Arkansas Jan. 9, Ohio State has moved to No. 12 in the nation. The Buckeyes opened the season ranked No. 21 in the preseason coaches’ poll. On floor, Ohio State is tied for fourth in the nation with an average, after one meet, of 48.825. The squad ranks in the Top 15 in the country on both beam and bars. On beam, Ohio State posted a 48.675 at Arkansas to claim the No. 14 national spot. The squad is tied for No. 11 on bars in the nation with a 48.750.

Among conference and regional competitors, the Buckeyes have started the season strong. Ohio State is ranked No. 3 in the central region and second among the Big Ten, as a team. On beam, the Buckeyes rank No. 1 in the Big Ten and No. 2 in the region. The squad ranks third, on bars and beam, in the conference and in the region. With a team average of 48.375 on vault, Ohio State holds the seventh position in the region and rank fourth in the Big Ten.

KRAUTER BALANCING THE TOP SPOT
After her first collegiate meet, freshman Nicole Krauter is tied for first on beam in the Big Ten. Krauter posted a 9.850 to start the season, which is No. 4 in the central region and tied for No. 13 nationally.

BUCKEYES LEADING THE WAY
Ohio State is led by a different gymnast on each event. Leading the Buckeyes on floor is freshman Taylor Jones. She holds a 9.825 to rank third in the Big Ten and seventh in the region.  Sophomore Rebecca Best holds the top spot for the Buckeyes on vault with a 9.800. Best is tied for fifth in the conference and tied for No. 12 in the central region on vault. Junior Beth Ann Ballard is tied for third in the Big Ten and tied for fifth in the region on bars after leading Ohio State in the season opener with a 9.800. In the all-around, junior Hillary Dow leads the Buckeyes with a 38.875. She ranks in the Top 10 in both the conference and region with a No. 7 ranking in the Big Ten and a ninth-place position in the central region.

LAST WEEK: OSU FALLS SHORT
Ohio State posted a 194.625 to open its season on the road at Arkansas Jan. 9, but fell short to the Razorbacks who won the meet with a score of 195.775 in their first home meet of the year.

Krauter opened her collegiate career placing second on beam with a 9.850 and boosting the Buckeyes team beam score to a 48.625. Krauter added a 9.750 on floor. Jones tied for second on floor with a 9.825, while Best placed second on vault to lead the Buckeye with a 9.800. On bars, Ballard tied for third in the meet with a 9.800. Dow led the way for Ohio State in the all-around with a fourth place finish of 38.875.

On beam, Best tied with senior teammate, Kiki Holman, with a mark of 9.750 to place second for Ohio State.  On floor, the Buckeyes scored an event-high 48.825 after having five gymnasts score at or above a 9.700. Dow and senior Alyssa Meyer both recorded a 9.775 on floor, as well as on bars. Other top scores for the Buckeyes in their opening meet included Jones with a 9.725 on bars and Holman with a 9.70 on floor. Ohio State finished with a team score of 48.750 on bars and a 48.375 on vault.

TAKING ON THE TERRAPINS
Maryland is led by Bob Nelligan who is in his 31st and final season as head coach for Maryland. In 2009, the Terrapins are guided by one senior and six juniors. The squad returned eight letterwinners from its 2008 roster and lost only two. In 2008, Maryland finished with an overall record of 11-18.  In its 2009 season opener, Maryland defeated Kent State at home, 191.450-188.700.

HISTORY OF THE MATCH-UP
The Buckeyes and Terrapins last met Jan. 11, 2008, at Maryland. Ohio State won the meet with a score of 193.850-190.800. The last meeting for the two squads in St. John Arena was Jan. 15, 2005, in a quad meet with Michigan and Minnesota. Michigan took first followed by Minnesota, Ohio State and Maryland. The Buckeyes lead the all-time series with Maryland 7-0.

BUCKEYES ON BIG TEN NETWORK
Ohio State welcomes the Big Ten Network to St. John Arena twice, while having four total meets aired on the network. The Buckeyes’ quad-meet against Michigan State, Illinois and Missouri in St. John Arena Jan. 31 will be tape delayed on Big Ten Network at 2 p.m. Feb. 7. Fans can watch Ohio State as they host Iowa Feb. 7 in a delayed airing one week later at 7 p.m. Feb. 14. The meet at Penn State with Alabama March 1 will be aired on Big Ten Network at noon March 8. The Big Ten Championships hosted by Illinois at 3 p.m. March 21. will be shown live by Big Ten Network.

UP NEXT
The Buckeyes will return to the road Jan. 24 in a dual meet against UIC. They return home to St. John Arena Jan. 31 in a quad meet with Missouri, Michigan State and Illinois.
 

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