COLUMBUS, Ohio After a three-week road tour, the No. 17 Ohio State women’s gymnastics team returns home for senior night at 7 p.m. Saturday. The Buckeyes (4-7, 1-4 Big Ten) take on George Washington in a pink meet in their final regular-season home meet. On Senior Night, three OSU seniors Kiki Holman, Alyssa Meyer and Amanda Surine- will be honored following the meet.
Fans can follow the Buckeyes through live scoring available at www.OhioStateBuckeyes.com
The gymnastics team will raise awareness for breast cancer during its meet Saturday by handing out free pink bracelets to the first 500 fans. The first 150 kids will also receive Ohio State gold medals. Members of the team will wear pink leotards and honor Sarah Wick, team nutritionist, as a cancer survivor and advocate for the cause. Join the Buckeyes by wearing pink Saturday as they take on George Washington.
THANK YOU SENIORS
Kiki Holman, Alyssa Meyer and Amanda Surine have seen Ohio State grow into one of the nation’s top women’s gymnastics programs and have a lot to do with Ohio State’s recent success. As freshmen, the trio finished the year placed No. 38 in the country. Now, as seniors, they have brought Ohio State back into the Top 20.
Holman recovered from an injury as a freshman to become Ohio State’s top beam performer for the past two seasons. She also has proved to be a solid contributor on vault and bars for the Buckeyes. Meyer has served as a two-year captain for the Buckeyes and is one of their most valuable and consistent performers. Surine missed the first half of her junior season because of injury, but has returned as a valuable beam and vault specialist this season.
COACH FAGAN ON THE MEET
“We are excited about hosting our first annual Buckeyes Link to Pink Meet and celebrating three great seniors who have been instrumental in the rise of this program,” Carey Fagan, Ohio State head coach, said. “Alyssa, Amanda and Kiki have been through a lot in their four years and each one has brought something special to the program. This is a particular class is close to my heart as they are the first group that we recruited to come to Ohio State. It has been extremely fulfilling to watch this group develop during their four years. We will miss each of them when this season is over.”
“We are coming off a remarkable meet against Penn State and the highest team total since I have been here,” Fagan said. “We are looking to duplicate those performances and make a few improvements along the way. Senior night is always emotional and we want to make sure this is a memorable night for our seniors. We are only two meets from our Big Ten Championships, so every meet is crucial for the rest of the season. We are looking to gain more confidence in this meet and on the road at Auburn next weekend. The team is hungrier than ever to really make a statement this season.”
IN THE RANKINGS
Ohio State holds a regional qualifying average of 195.025 to rank No. 17 in the nation after posting a season-high 196.050 last week at Penn State. The Buckeyes rank fourth as a team in the central region. In the nation, Ohio State is tied for No. 15 on bars with a 48.835regional qualifying score. The Buckeyes are ranked No. 17 in the country on beam with a 48.740 RQS. In the central region, the squad ranks fourth on both beam and bars. On floor, Ohio State is tied for No.21 in the nation and tied for fourth in the central region with a 48.850 regional qualifying average. The Buckeyes hold a 48.730 RQS on vault to rank seventh in the region.
OSU IN THE BIG TEN
The Buckeyes rank third in the Big Ten Conference. They hold a 1-4 Big Ten record after a conference win over Iowa and two league losses to Michigan State and Illinois Jan. 31. Ohio State fell to Illinois and Penn State on the road to post its final conference regular season losses. On beam and bars, the Buckeyes hold their highest event conference ranking at third. They rank fourth among conference teams on floor and fifth on vault in the Big Ten.
THE BEST THERE IS
Sophomore Rebecca Best is the only Buckeye gymnast to compete in the all-around in each meet this season. She holds a 38.970 regional qualifying score in the all-around to rank sixth in the region, tied for ninth in the Big Ten and is tied for the No. 43 spot in the nation. Best ranks second for Ohio State on vault. She has led Ohio State on vault in three meets this year and holds a 9.760 RQS to rank No. 19 in the conference. On bars and beam, Best rounds out the Top 3 for Ohio State. She holds a 9.775 RQS on bars and a 9.755 regional qualifying average on beam. In the conference, Best ranks No. 18 on bars and is tied for No. 15 on beam.
Buckeye freshmen lead the Buckeyes on three events and rank among the Top 3 in all but one event. Taylor Jones leads the way for Ohio State on vault and floor. She holds a 9.830 regional qualifying average on floor, which is tied for ninth in the region and seventh in the conference. Jones has led Ohio State in six meets this season on floor and five on vault. She has placed first in two meets on floor including last week at Penn State with a 9.90 mark.
Nicole Krauter ranks first for Ohio State on beam with a 9.795 regional qualifying average. She has led Ohio State in four meets this season, including at Bowling Green where she posted a season-best and first-place mark of 9.850. She ranks ninth in the Big Ten and No. 14 in the region in the event.
Casey Williamson holds a 9.785 regional qualifying score on floor to rank second for Ohio State. In the Big Ten, Williamson ranks No. 13. She ranks No. 19 in the central region. Williamson has posted a season-best 9.825 twice, at Bowling Green and at Arkansas.
BUCKEYES LEADING THE WAY
Senior Alyssa Meyer leads Ohio State on bars with a 9.800 regional qualifying score. Her RQS ranks No. 10 in the Big Ten and is No. 16 in the region. Meyer has led Ohio State on bars in four meets this season and placed first in the event twice. On floor, Meyer is third for Ohio State with a 9.760 RQS. She has posted above a 9.70 in all but one meet this season on floor.
Junior Beth Ann Ballard ranks second for the Buckeyes on bars with a 9.780 RQS. She has led the squad in four of seven meets this season and has one first-place meet finish on bars. In the event, she ranks No. 16 in the Big Ten and is tied for No. 20 in the region. Ballard is among the Top 3 for Ohio State on vault with a regional qualifying average of 9.745 to rank No. 22 in the Big Ten. Ballard has posted a 9.80 in the last three meets on vault.
Senior Kiki Holman has a 9.775 regional qualifying score on beam to rank second for Ohio State. She ranks No. 13 in the conference and No. 17 in the central region on beam. Holman has one first-place finish on beam this season and has led the Buckeyes in the event in four meets this season. She has posted above a 9.70 in all but one meet this season.
Junior Hillary Dow is second for Ohio State in the all-around with a 38.520 regional qualifying average. She ranks No. 11 in the conference and No. 15 in the central region. Dow has competed in the all-around in eight meets this season and scored a season-best 39.275 at Penn State.
LAST WEEK: BUCKEYES SCORE CAREER HIGHS
With a 196.050 mark, Ohio State claimed the fifth highest score by a Buckeye squad all-time at Ohio State. The Buckeyes were led by three career-high all-around totals, but fell short of No. 11 Alabama and host No. 17 Penn State. Ohio State posted season-best team totals on bars, vault and floor. The squad totaled a 49.125 on bars and a 48.950 on vault. The Buckeyes notched a 49.100 on floor to win the event. On beam, the Buckeyes posted a 48.875.
Ohio State was once again led by Taylor Jones who posted a career-high 39.300 in the all-around to finish fourth overall. She led the way on floor with a first-place finish after scoring a near-perfect and career-high 9.90. Jones scored a 9.850 on bars to tie for fourth in the meet and placed fifth on vault with a 9.825. The 9.850 score on bars marked a career high for Jones and tied with Hillary Dow and Rebecca Best. Jones started the meet on beam with a 9.725.
Best placed fifth in the all-around with a 36.275 followed by Dow’s 39.200 mark. Both scores were career-high totals. Best began the meet on beam with a career-high 9.825 mark to tie for sixth. She tied for fifth on floor with a season-best 9.850 and added a 9.750 to her all-around total on vault. Dow recorded career-high marks on both beam (9.750) and floor (9.825). She recorded a season-high 9.775 on vault.
Casey Williamson was a strong contributor for the Buckeyes in the meet with three solid performances. On bars and floor, Williamson posted a 9.775. She tied with Ballard on bars, as well as on vault. The duo scored a 9.80 on vault, a season-high mark for both.
Other top finishes for Ohio State included Nicole Krauter with a 9.80 on beam to place second for Ohio State. Kiki Holman followed on beam with a 9.775 and added a season-high 9.725 on floor. Alyssa Meyer posted two solid performances with a 9.80 on bars and a 9.750 on floor. Freshman Krissi Woodward tied Jones with a 9.725 on beam and senior Amanda Surine added a 9.725 on vault.
A LOOK AT THE COMPETITION
George Washington holds a 192.730 regional qualifying score and a 10-7 record this season after returning nine letterwinners from 2008. Last week, the Colonials posted a season-high 193.900, but fell short to New Hampshire. George Washington is led by Margie Foster-Cunningham who is in her 25th season as head coach.
HISTORY OF THE MATCH-UP
George Washington and Ohio State have had six previous meetings with the Buckeyes leading the series record 4-2. Ohio State last welcomed the Colonials to St. John Arena March 4, 2007 in a quad-meet with West Virginia and Kentucky. Ohio State won the meet with a 195.825, while George Washington placed fourth with a 189.550.
BUCKEYES ON BIG TEN NETWORK
Ohio State welcomed the Big Ten Network to St. John Arena twice, while having four total meets aired on the network this year. The quad-meet vs. Missouri, Michigan State and Illinois and the dual meet with Iowa was shown in a delayed airing on Big Ten Network. The meet at Penn State with Alabama last Sunday will be aired on Big Ten Network at noon Sunday. The Big Ten Championships hosted by Illinois at 3 p.m. March 21 will be shown live by the Big Ten Network.
The Buckeyes conclude their regular season at Auburn at 8 p.m. March 13 before heading to the Big Ten Championships March 21 in Champaign, Ill.