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COLUMBUS, Ohio The 17th-ranked Ohio State women’s gymnastics team heads to the Big Ten Championships in Champaign, Ill., hosted by the University of Illinois, at 3 p.m. ET Saturday. Ohio State enters the postseason with a 6-7 overall record and a 1-4 conference record. The squad holds a 195.525 regional qualifying average to tie for fourth, with Minnesota, in the conference.

Ohio State owns five Big Ten Championships (1983-87) and is seeking its first Top 3 finish since 1999. Since the third place finish in 1999, the Buckeyes have four fourth-place finishes.

For complete coverage on the events of the championship, including ticket information, directions and a meet schedule click on the championship website. During the meet, fans can follow all the action of the championships in a live airing by the Big Ten Network.

COACH FAGAN ON THE MEET
“The team has done great this week balancing final exams and preparing for the Big Ten Championships,” Carey Fagan, Ohio State head coach, said. “We are excited to go back to the University of Illinois and compete for the championship. The combination of experienced leaders and talented freshmen has been a great combination for us this season. Our goal for this year’s championship is to be completely focused on our team and hitting 24 routines. If we are successful in those two efforts, the outcome will be exciting for our program.”

OSU IN THE BIG TEN
The Buckeyes are tied for fourth with Minnesota 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. The squad ranks fourth in the Big Ten on both bars and beam. On floor and vault, the Buckeyes rank sixth in the conference.

A LOOK AT THE BIG TEN
Penn State leads the Big Ten Conference entering the championships. The Nittany Lions hold a 195.920 regional qualifying score to rank No. 13 in the nation. Four other Big Ten universities rank among the Top 25 nationally including No. 15 Michigan (195.790) and No. 16 Illinois (195.775). Ohio State and Minnesota are both tied for the No. 17 position with a 195.525 regional qualifying average. Both Michigan State and Iowa fall outside the Top 25in the nation. Michigan State ranks sixth in the Big Ten entering Saturday’s competition with a 194.950 RQS and Iowa is seventh with a 194.875 regional qualifying score.

BEST ALL-BIG TEN SELECTION RETURNEE
Rebecca Best was named second-team All-Big Ten in 2008 at the championships banquet in Ann Arbor, Mich. Best was the first Ohio State freshman since Jill Weber in 2003 to be honored by the conference.

ONE YEAR AGO
At the 2008 Big Ten Championships, Ohio State finished with a team score of 194.075 to place seventh in Ann Arbor, Mich., while host Michigan clinched its 16th Big Ten title. The Wolverines led the conference with a team score of 196.750. Illinois finished in second with a 195.750 and Penn State followed in third with 195.625. Michigan State claimed fourth with a 195.050, leaving Iowa (194.775), Minnesota (194.425) and Ohio State to finish out the conference placements.

Then-freshman Rebecca Best led the Buckeyes with a sixth-place all-around finish and a pair of fourth place event finishes. Best finished with a 39.125 in the all-around to place sixth among conference contenders and was the only Buckeye to compete in the event. Best added tied fourth-place finishes of 9.850 on vault and floor. Her 9.850 matched her season best on vault. Best posted a 9.750 on bars to increase her all-around total.

IN THE RANKINGS
Ohio State holds a regional qualifying average of 195.525 to tie with Minnesota for the No. 17 national ranking. In the central region, Ohio State ranks fourth as a team.  The Buckeyes hold a regional qualifying score of 48.945 on both floor and bars. On bars, they rank No. 17 in the nation and fourth in the region. On vault and floor, Ohio State ranks seventh in the central region. The squad holds a 48.880 RQS on vault and a 48.875 regional qualifying score on beam.

JONES HOLDS TOP SPOTS
Freshman Taylor Jones leads Ohio State in the all-around, on floor and on vault. She holds a 39.175 regional qualifying score in the all-around after posting a 39.300 the last three-consecutive weeks. Jones has competed in the all-around in seven meets this season, while leading Ohio State in five with two meet victories. She ranks seventh in both the Big Ten and central region in the all-around and is No. 38 in the nation. On floor, Jones holds a 9.850 RQS, which is ranked eighth in the conference and No. 14 in the region. She has posted at least a 9.70 on floor in all but one meet this season. On vault, Jones is tied for ninth in the Big Ten and is tied for No. 16 in the central region with a 9.835 regional qualifying score. She led Ohio State in six meets this season on vault and has posted a 9.850 the past two weeks.

THE BEST THERE IS
Sophomore Rebecca Best is second for Ohio State in the all-around, on vault and on beam and ranks third for Ohio State on bars. She holds a 39.055 regional qualifying score in the all-around to rank No. 12 in the Big Ten and ninth in the region. Best holds a 9.810 RQS on vault to tie for No. 13 in the conference. She ranks No. 22 in the central region on vault. She has led Ohio State on vault in three meets this season. On beam, Best holds a 9.775 regional qualifying score to tie for No. 21 in the conference. She led Ohio State on beam last week at Auburn with a 9.825 score. With a 9.795 RQS on bars, Best ranks No. 19 in the Big Ten. She has tallied one meet win on bars and led the Buckeyes three times this season.

FRESHMAN STANDOUTS
Buckeye freshmen lead the team on three events and in the all-around. Nicole Krauter ranks first for Ohio State on beam with a 9.830 regional qualifying average to rank eighth in the Big Ten. In the central region, Krauter ranks No. 13 on beam.  She has led Ohio State in six meets this season and has two first-place finishes.

Casey Williamson holds a 9.800 regional qualifying score on floor to rank second for Ohio State. In the Big Ten, Williamson ranks No. 19. On vault, Williamson rounds out the Top 3 for Ohio State. She holds a 9.775 regional qualifying score on vault to rank No. 22 in the Big Ten. Williamson has scored above a 9.70 in both events in each meet this season.

BUCKEYES LEADING THE WAY
Senior Alyssa Meyer leads Ohio State on bars with a 9.815 regional qualifying score. Her RQS ranks No. 11 in the Big Ten and is No. 15 in the central region. Meyer has led Ohio State on bars in five meets this season and placed first in the event three times.

Junior Beth Ann Ballard ranks second for Ohio State on bars. With a 9.810 regional qualifying score, she is tied for No. 14 in the Big Ten and ranks No. 19 in the region. She led Ohio State in five meets this season including a 9.850 last week at Auburn with her 9.850 mark.

Junior Hillary Dow rounds out the Top 3 for the Buckeyes on floor and in the all-around. She holds a 38.895 regional qualifying score in the all-around after competing in the event in all but one meet this season. In the Big Ten, Dow ranks No. 15 in the all-around and she ranks No. 13 in the central region. On floor, Dows’ regional qualifying score of 9.785 is No. 23 in the Big Ten. She has posted above a 9.70 in all but two meets this season on floor.

Senior Kiki Holman has a 9.775 regional qualifying score on beam to rank third for Ohio State. She is tied for No. 21 in the conference. 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 on beam in all but one meet this season.

LAST WEEK: OSU UPSETS AUBURN
Ohio State used a total team effort as it defeated No. 8 Auburn, 195.825-195.750, at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum in Auburn, Ala., in the regular season finale for both squads.

In the first-ever meeting between the programs, freshman Taylor Jones matched her career-high of 39.300 in the all-around for the third-consecutive week, finishing third behind two Tiger gymnasts. She led the way for the Buckeyes, who earned their third-highest team score of the season, as the top Ohio State finisher on three of four events. Jones tied her career high on vault with a 9.850 and established a new best on balance beam with a 9.825, marking just the second time this season she has scored above a 9.80 on the event.

Rebecca Best also made a strong showing for the Buckeyes, earning a 9.80 or higher on all three events that she competed in – vault (9.825), bars (9.800) and beam (9.825) – and finishing in ties for second on beam and four on vault. Nicole Krauter joined Best and Jones in the three-way tie for second place on beam with the 9.825.

Beth Ann Ballard led the way on the uneven bars, finishing in a tie for second with a career-high matching 9.850. Joining Jones in the all-around race was Hillary Dow, who tallied her third-highest total of the season at 38.975.

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, as well as the meet at Penn State with Alabama last. The Big Ten Championships Saturday will be the final showing for Ohio State on the Big Ten Network this season. The championships will be aired live on Big Ten Network starting at 3 p.m. ET.

UP NEXT
The Buckeyes return home to St. John Arena to host the NCAA central region competition at 6 p.m. April 4. The field of teams will be announced Monday, March 23. Tickets are available online at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com, via phone by calling TicketMaster (1-800-745-3000) and in person at the OSU Ticket Office. Tickets will not be available at Ticketmaster outlets. All group requests must go through Jason Martin in the OSU Ticket Office.

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