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Buckeyes take on California, No. 4 Michigan and No. 14 Missouri in quad-meet

COLUMBUS, Ohio After a two meet home stretch, the No. 22 Ohio State women’s gymnastics team returns to the road for the Callaway Bank Cat Classic in Columbia Mo., at 7:30 p.m. ET Friday. The Buckeyes (5-2-1, 2-0-1 Big Ten) will take on No. 4 Michigan, California and host No. 14 Missouri.

Live results will be available via Missouri’s website at MUTigers.com.

The Buckeyes are 3-1-1 on the road this season and scored their season-high of 195.40 the last time they were on the road at Iowa Feb. 9.

COACH FAGAN ON THE MEET
“We are looking forward to our first quad-meet of the season at Missouri with Michigan and Cal Berkley,” Carey Fagan, Ohio State head coach, said. “It will be a good experience for the team to compete with several teams, which will simulate the post-season meets. We have a short week of practice and will really be focusing on beam and our vault landings. The Cat Classic meet is a fun meet and there will be great competition, so we need to be sharp on all of the events.”

OHIO STATE IN THE RANKINGS
With a 194.080 regional qualifying average, Ohio State ranks No. 22 in the nation. The squad has moved to No. 12 nationally on both floor with a 48.870 RQS and bars with a 48.730 RQS. The Buckeyes hold a 48.730 RQS on vault to place No. 20 nationally on the event.

In the central region Ohio State is fifth with its 194.080 RQS. On floor and beam the squad ranks No. 3 in the region and No. 5 on vault. With a 47.930 RQS, the Buckeyes rank No. 7 in the region on beam.

Among Big Ten competition Ohio State ranks fourth with its team regional qualifying score. The Buckeyes are tied for second on floor, rank No. 2 on bars, No. 4 on vault and No. 7 on beam.

LEADING THE WAY
Freshman Rebecca Best leads the Buckeyes on three events including vault, floor and in the all-around. After scoring three 9.9s on floor this season, Best holds a 9.845 regional qualifying score. She is tied for No. 3 in both the conference and region on floor and is tied for No. 22 in the nation. On vault, Best holds a 9.80 RQS to rank No. 8 in the central region and is tied for No. 13 in the Big Ten. After four all-around performances, Best averages a 39.112 to lead the Buckeyes and would rank No. 2 in the Big Ten. She ranks second for the squad on beam with a 9.60 RQS, which ranks No. 23 in the Big Ten and No. 28 in the central region.

After leading Ohio State in every meet this season on bars, senior Kaylan Clevinger holds a 9.845 regional qualifying score to hold the No. 22 national spot. She ranks No. 3 in both the Big Ten and in the central region in the event. Clevinger is No. 13 in the Big Ten on floor with a 9.740 RQS, which ranks third for the Buckeyes.

On beam, junior Kiki Holman leads Ohio State with a 9.675 RQS to rank No. 16 in the Big Ten and No. 22 in the central region. She ranks third on bars for the Buckeyes with a 9.70 regional qualifying score, which is tied for No. 16 in the Big Ten and No. 23 in the region. Junior Alyssa Meyer is second for the Buckeyes on bars with a 9.735 RQS. She ranks No. 13 in the Big Ten and No. 24 in the central region. Meyer holds a 9.730 RQS on floor to place No. 14 in the Big Ten.

Senior Maalika-Moore Thomas follows Best on vault and floor. She holds a 9.825 RQS on floor tying the No. 18 ranking in the nation after scoring a near-perfect 9.950 last week. She is No. 5 in the central region and No. 6 in the Big Ten on floor. On vault, Moore-Thomas ranks No. 17 in the Big Ten and is tied for No. 24 in the central region with a 9.735 regional qualifying score.

Sophomores Hillary Dow and Beth Ann Ballard add solid contributions for the Buckeyes. The two hold a 9.720 RQS on vault. Dow adds a 9.665 RQS on beam and is second for Ohio State in the all-around with a 38.806 average. Ballard has a 9.660 RQS on bars.

LEADING THE WAY-BY EVENT
VAULT RQS (Big Ten Rank)
1. Rebecca Best 9.800 (t-8)
2. Maalika Moore-Thomas 9.735 (17)
3. Beth Ann Ballard 9.720 (t-18)
    Hillary Dow 9.720 (t-18)

BARS RQS (Big Ten Rank)
1. Kaylan Clevinger 9.845 (3)
2. Alyssa Meyer 9.725 (13)
3. Kiki Holman 9.700  (16)

BEAM RQS (Big Ten Rank) 
1. Kiki Holman 9.675 (16)
2. Rebecca Best 9.600 (23)
3. Kristin Perchatsch 9.555 (t-26)

FLOOR RQS (Big Ten Rank)
1. Rebecca Best 9.845 (t-3)
2. Maalika Moore-Thomas 9.825 (6)
3. Kaylan Clevinger 9.740 (13)

A LOOK AT THE COMPETITION
Host Missouri holds a team regional qualifying score of 195.205 to rank No. 14 in the nation. The squad holds a 5-2 record this season. Rob Drass is in his ninth season as head coach for the Mizzou. Last season, he led the squad to a 17-11 overall record and a No. 22 final ranking.

No. 4 Michigan holds a 196.615 regional qualifying score and a perfect 11-0 record. Last week, the Wolverines posted a season-high score of 197.125. The Wolverines are the reigning Big Ten Championships and the northeast region’s runner-up. The squad is led by Bev Plocki who is in her 19th season at Michigan.

Cal holds a team regional qualifying score of 191.090. The Golden Bears hold a record of 2-6 overall and are 0-6 in the Pac-10. Cal is led by head coach Cari DuBois, who is in her sixth season with the Golden Bears.

HISTORY OF THE CLASSIC
This season marks the 28th Annual Cat Classic and Ohio State’s first appearance in the classic. The Buckeyes last appearance at Missouri was March 1, 1986, when Ohio State defeated the Missouri 184.350-176.750. The Buckeyes leads the series record with Missouri 5-0.

The classic also marks the first match-up between Cal Berkeley and the Buckeyes. Michigan leads the series with Ohio State 15-13. The Buckeyes last won against the Wolverines in the regular season Feb. 11, 1990, with a score of 184.050-182.400.

LAST WEEK: OSU DEFEATS PENN STATE
With a season-best score of 49.375 on floor in the final rotation, Ohio State defeated Penn State, 194.250-193.650 in St. John Arena. The Buckeyes’ last win against the Nittany Lions came Jan. 27, 2001.

Dow led the Buckeyes with her first-career all-around win and also had a first-place finish on vault. She scored a career-high 39.000 in the all-around and a season-best 9.80 on vault. Dow added career highs on bars with a 9.725 and floor with a 9.800. She led Ohio State on beam with a 9.675.

With a near-perfect 9.950 on floor, Moore-Thomas led the Buckeyes to a season-high score on the event. Moore-Thomas notched a new career-high with the event win and added a 9.750 for the Buckeyes on vault.

Best followed Dow in the all-around with a 38.950 to tie for second. Best finished second on bars with a career-high 9.80 and floor with a 9.90, tying her career best. Clevinger took first on bars with a 9.875. Clevinger posted a career-high 9.875 on floor to help Ohio State with its season-best score.

Holman and Meyer added additional depth for the Buckeyes. Holman posted two season-best scores with a 9.650 on vault and a 9.750 on bars. Meyer tied her career high on floor with a 9.850. She added a 9.725 on bars. Other top scores for Ohio State included a tied career-best 9.750 on vault by freshman Jessica Staton. Senior Jessica Rosette recorded a season-high 9.775 on floor.

Ohio State won the vault with a 48.825, bars with a 48.875 and floor (49.375). The Buckeyes added a 47.175 on beam.

BUCKEYES ON BIG TEN NETWORK
Fans across the nation can watch the Buckeyes in full-action three times this season with the Big Ten Network, which began with their Big Ten debut of the delayed airing of the meet at Iowa. The co-ed meet against Penn State will be aired on tape delay Thursday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m. The Big Ten women’s gymnastics championships March 29 in Ann Arbor, Mich. will be aired on tape delay in a two-hour feature April 3 at 8 p.m.

UP NEXT
The Buckeyes will end their home-season March 9 when they take on Kentucky for senior night. The squad will travel to Arizona State March 14 and West Virginia March 22 before heading to the Big Ten Championships at Michigan March 29.

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