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Feb. 23, 2005

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s gymnastics team (5-6, 0-3 Big Ten) will meet Big Ten rival No. 15 Penn State at 7 p.m. Saturday, at the Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, Pa. The Buckeyes enter this weekend’s meet averaging a team score of 194.012.

LAST WEEK: OHIO STATE FALLS TO LSU 195.600-194.075
Ohio State dropped a 195.600-194.075 decision to No. 3 LSU Sunday in St. John Arena. Ohio State finished the evening with scores of 48.800 on floor, 48.400 on both bars and vault, and a 48.475 on beam.

The Buckeye rotation was paced by freshman Karley Walek and senior Liz Meaney. Walek placed first in the all-around for the second-consecutive week with a mark of 38.250. Walek also finished the afternoon placing fourth on vault with a score of 9.825. Meaney finished the meet placing first on beam for the fifth time this season, with a score of 9.850. Meaney also placed fourth on floor with a score of 9.850.

Junior Kaylin Schlecht and freshman Jessica Rosette turned in solid performances as well. Schlecht placed third on bars with a tally of 9.775, while Rosette posted a 9.725 on beam to finish fourth.

ARIZONA MEET TO BE LIVE INTERNET BROADCASTED
The Ohio State Athletics Department will feature the women’s gymnastics team on live internet video during the Arizona meet, at 7 p.m. March 5. Fans can access the live video link by logging on to the official athletics website at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com.

NOTING THE 2005 BUCKEYES
Senior Liz Meaney has posted a 9.850 or better on beam in five of Ohio State’s six meets this season. Meaney also has won five balance beam titles this season.

Freshman Karley Walek is having no trouble fitting into the Ohio State line-up this season. Walek is the Buckeyes’ top all-arounder, averaging a 38.745. Walek also has won the all-around competition twice, first against Pittsburgh Feb. 12 and then last weekend against LSU.

Junior Kaylin Schlecht is one of the Buckeyes’ top bars performer this season, averaging a score of 9.712.

LSU transfer Brittany Brown leads the Buckeyes on floor. Brown holds an average score of 9.691 and has posted a 9.775 or better in four of five meets.

Freshman Jessica Rosette, is Ohio State’s second leading all-arounder. Rosette averages a 37.675 per contest in the all-around and also is averaging a 9.605 on vault.

WOMEN’S GYMNASTS HONORED FOR WOMEN IN SPORTS
The women’s gymnastics team, as well as members of Ohio State’s other women’s sports, were honored at halftime of the Ohio State-Indiana women’s basketball game, Feb. 6, 2005 as part of the National Women In Sports Day. Representing the gymnastics team were Kaylin Schlecht, Elizabeth Ahlberg and Karley Walek.

BUCKEYES TO APPEAR ON CSTV
The women’s gymnastics team will be featured in a CSTV special on Ohio State winter sports, Feb. 27 (time to be announced at a later date). CSTV will air interviews of Karley Walek, Liz Meaney and assistant coaches Jay Santos and Bill Lorenz.

FRESHMEN MAKE AN IMMEDIATE IMPACT
The Buckeye freshmen have made their presence felt this season. In all of Ohio State’s meets, four first-year competitors, Karley Walek, Amanda Gamby, Helina Manesis, Jessica Rosette and Maalika Moore-Thomas, have competed in the scoring rotation.

Last Sunday, in her fourth meet as an all-around competitor, Walek posted a score of 38.250 for a second-consecutive first-place finish.

Rosette has competed as an all-arounder in two meets this season as an all-arounder and is averaging a score of 37.675. Rosette also averages scores of 9.605 on vault, 9.291 on bars, 9.595 on beam and 9.475 on floor

Manesis is averaging strong numbers with a 9.640 on bars, a 9.625 on vault and a 9.468 on floor.

Moore-Thomas is averaging a 9.655 on vault, a 9.750 on beam and a 9.675 on floor, while Gamby is averaging a 9.425 on vault.

Fellow freshman Megan Flood has competed in two meets this year on bars and is averaging a 9.408.

A LOOK AT PENN STATE
Penn State is ranked No. 15 in the country and carries a 10-5 record into this weekend’s meet. This season the Nittany Lions are averaging a team score of 194.600.

The Nittany Lion rotation is led by junior Lisa Clark and freshman Krystal Uzelac. Clark is the leading vaulter, averaging a mark of 9.871. Clark also averages a 9.787 on floor and a 9.660 on bars. Uzelac is Penn State’s leading all-arounder averaging a 39.100.

Head Coach Steve Shepard is in his 13th year with the Nittany Lions. Shepard holds a career record of 161-110-2.

OSU-PSU, FOR THE RECORD
Ohio State trails Penn State in the overall series 21-15-1. Since 1979 the Buckeyes are 3-4-1 at home and 4-5 at Penn State.

LAST TIME VS. PENN STATE – A DRAW
In front of 2,938 fans Ohio State tied Penn State 195.950-195.950 Feb. 21, 2004 in St. John Arena. The tie was the first for Ohio State since March, 1 1987, when the Buckeyes tied Minnesota 185.40-185.40.

The Buckeyes were paced by Tiffanie Janke, who claimed the all-around title with a 39.275. Janke also placed second on vault with a 9.875 and second on beam with a 9.850. Elizabeth Meaney placed first on beam with a 9.875 and first on floor with a 9.900. Kaylin Schlecht posted a strong performance as well, placing second on bars with a 9.875 and placing third in the all-around with a score of 39.025. Leah Boccaccio placed third on bars with a 9.825.

OSU VS. THE BIG TEN
The Buckeyes are 80-76-1 against teams from the Big Ten. Currently, Ohio State is 0-3 against conference foes, falling to Michigan, Minnesota and Michigan State.

HOME SWEET HOME
The Buckeyes have enjoyed success in meets held at St. John Arena. Since the 1994 season, Ohio State is 45-17 at home. The Buckeyes also have won seven of their last 11 home meets dating back to the 2003 All-Ohio Championships.

FRESH FACES
The Buckeyes have much to celebrate with their 2005 recruiting class. The five-member scholarship class will bolster an already talented Ohio State squad.

The Ohio State freshman class features two top Florida gymnasts in Jessica Rosette and Maalika Moore-Thomas, who will provide the Buckeyes with depth as all-arounders.

Shawnee, Mo., native Kaylan Clevinger will give the Buckeyes an added boost in the all-around as well. Having only been involved in gymnastics for a little over six years, Clevinger won the 2003 Level-9 Junior Olympics National Championship on vault, beam, floor and all-around before moving onto Level-10 in 2004, where she was runner-up in the Level-10 Missouri State Championships.

Karley Walek of Pequannock, N.J., will be looked upon to help Ohio State improve on vault. Walek is a three-time all-state selection and a 2004 Junior Olympic competitor.

Another New Jersey native, Helina Manesis will provide the Buckeyes with a spark in every event. Manesis won the state vault title in 2003.

Fagan also added Canonsburgh, Penn., product Megan Flood and Landisville Pa. native Amanda Gamby to the 2005 roster.

Louisiana State University transfer Brittany Brown joins the roster as well this season. Brown, a junior, will no doubt make an impact to the Buckeye season as an all-arounder. During her sophomore campaign at LSU, Brown averaged a 9.860 on floor and a 9.775 on beam.

THE FAGAN ERA IN FULL EFFECT
Last June long time Ohio State women’s gymnastics coach Larry Cox retired from the ranks of head coach after 251 wins, five Big Ten championships and 24 trips to the NCAA Regional Championships. Enter newly appointed head coach Carey Fagan. After spending the last three seasons as an assistant coach for Ohio State, Fagan is now the head coach for the Buckeyes and 2005 will mark the beginning of the Fagan Era, as she inherits a team which went 9-7-1 in 2004.

“I am extremely excited to be here as head coach,” Fagan, a graduate of Penn State University, Fagan, Ohio State head coach, said. “You think you know what a soup kitchen is like and you think you know what to expect, but it’s still shocking when you see it, especially the families.”

Fagan and her team wanted to begin a tradition of doing community service projects. After talking to members of the Ohio State Student Athlete Support Services Offices the team decided working a soup kitchen was an excellent idea.

COACH FAGAN ON THIS WEEK’S MEET
“Penn State always has a great team, and this year is no exception,” Fagan said. “This Co-Ed meet rivalry between Ohio State and Penn State is one of the great traditions in college gymnastics. It is always an exciting meet, and I anticipate this year will be a great match up for both the men’s and women’s team.”

NEXT UP
Ohio State returns home for a pair of meets next week as they host the Japan All-Stars in a coed meet at 7 p.m. March 3 and then host No. 18 Arizona at 7 p.m. March 5.