November 17, 2018

Buckeyes Ink Four On Signing Day

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State University men’s gymnastics team signed four talented future Buckeyes during the early signing period, the team announced on Saturday.

First up is Kazuki Hayashi. A three-time state champion and four-time national qualifier, Hayashi comes to us from Fairfax, Virginia and Apollo Gymnastics.

“I’m looking forward to be able to contribute to a team that is counting on me and to have to count on them as well,” Hayashi said. “It means a lot me to be able to start a new chapter in my life as a college student and an athlete. Being a Buckeye means that you have to strive for more and never settle for less.”

Our next newcomer is Donovan Hewitt. Coming to us from Burtonsville, Maryland and the Paragon National Training Center, Hewitt has a laundry list of accomplishments. At the 2018 Junior Olympic Nationals he finished ninth in the all-around, tied for second in the rings, and he tied for third on the vault. He competed at the 2018 US Gymnastic Championships in the 15/16 age bracket where he finished seventh on the rings and ninth on the vault.

“The Ohio State University has an exceptional academic reputation and an amazing gymnastics program with a relentless team of coaches and gymnasts,” Hewitt said. “I look forward to becoming part of the Buckeye family to continue my journey in both my academic and athletic goals.”

Making his way from Manchester, New Hampshire and the Impact Gymnastics Academy is Jakob Murray. He took sixth place at the 2018 Region Six Regionals, and helped the Region Six team take third place at the 2018 Elite Team Cup. Murray took first place in the all-around 2018 J.O. Nationals.

“I’ve always looked forward to competing as a collegiate gymnast and I’m really excited about the opportunity to compete for The Ohio State University,” Murray said.

The final member of the signing class, Justin Ah Chow, has taken a long journey to get here. His family is of Chinese descent, but most of his siblings were born in South Africa. His parents moved to the United States in 1996, and he spent his childhood in Alpharetta, Georgia.

So far in 2018 Ah Chow has competed at the 2018 Pacific Rim Championships where his team took first place, and he took first place on the parallel bars and vault. At the 2018 US Gymnastics Championships he took first place in the all-around and the parallel bars. He’s a three-time USA National team member and a 2018 USA Youth Olympic Alternate.

“I want to say thank you, first, to my parents who sacrificed a lot for me to pursue my gymnastics career,” Ah Chow said. “They sold everything and moved us from our home to a small part of Miami. Thank you for taking care of me, for having the patience to deal with me. Thank you for supporting me and our family. I can’t thank them enough for everything they have done for me, and all the money they’ve had to put into this sport because gymnastics injuries are very expensive. And of course, I want to say thank you to my sister for everything she has done for me. She’s been there for me through thick and thin and I love her with all my heart.

Last, but definitely not least, my coach, Yin Alvarez. If you know him or know of him, you know he’s an amazing coach but he’s also an amazing person. At first he was very intimidating, and he still is, but over the years we have built a relationship that I am so grateful for. He’s become not just my coach, but my family. He’s helped me through many tough times. He’s guided me through my gymnastics career and I’m so lucky to have a coach who believes in me, maybe even more than I do. I can’t wait to do you proud Yin.

I also want to thank my family, my friends, and everyone, from all over the world, who have supported me along the way, but we’re not done yet! We still got a long way to go and I can’t wait to continue at Ohio State!”