MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The No. 15 Ohio State women’s gymnastics team placed fifth with a 194.900 at the Big Ten Championships Saturday at the Sports Pavilion on the campus of the University of Minnesota.
Michigan won its fifth-consecutive Big Ten Championship title scoring a 196.600, while Penn State came in second with a 196.375 and Illinois rounded out the top with a 196.075. Host Minnesota placed fourth with a 195.325. Rounding out the field, Iowa came in sixth (194.85) and Michigan State placed seventh (194.425).
The Buckeyes started on floor, posting a 49.100. The team was led by freshman Sarah Miller, who scored a 9.900 for the second week in a row to tie for fourth. Sophomore Colleen Dean and freshman Melanie Shaffer each earned a 9.850 while freshman Alex DeLuca and junior Taylor Jones rounded out the scoring with a 9.775 and 9.725, respectively.
Ohio State had a rest with a bye in the second rotation but, in third rotation, the Scarlet and Gray moved on to vault to tally a 48.925. Ohio State placed third on the event behind Illinois and Michigan. The team was paced by Miller, who finished with a 9.850 to tie for fourth. Shaffer finished right behind her with a 9.800. Junior co-captain Nicole Krauter earned a 9.775 and Jones and Dean finished the score with a pair of 9.750s.
The fourth rotation for the Buckeyes was bars where they scored a 48.875, again placing third on the event. Senior co-captain Rebecca Best had the highest score for the team with a 9.850, tying her career high to finish tied for third on the event.
Finishing up on beam, Ohio State scored an even 48.000. Dean led the team with a 9.775 and Best followed with a 9.700. Krauter earned a 9.675 while DeLuca scored a 9.650. With falls from both Miller and Shaffer, the Buckeyes had to count Miller’s 9.200 to round out the score.
Dean and Shaffer, the lone all-around competitors for Ohio State, scored a 39.175 and a 38.300, respectively. Dean placed sixth while Shaffer came in 15th.
After the meet, Miller was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year after earning six Big Ten Freshman of the Week awards this season. Miller had an outstanding first year, holding the highest score on vault (9.900), beam (9.950) and floor (9.925) for the Buckeyes, marking the third Big Ten Freshman of the Year in Ohio State history after Jones earned the honor in 2009 and Susan Eckman won it in 1996.
In addition, head coach Carey Fagan earned the Big Ten Coach of the Year award for the second time in her career after picking up her first in 2007. Fagan has been at the helm of Ohio State gymnastics since the 2005 season. Since then, Fagan has produced two All-Americans, led the Buckeyes to five-consecutive appearances at the NCAA regional championships and was named Central Region Coach of the Year in 2009.
The Buckeyes travel to NCAA Regionals April 1-2 at a site to be determined.