TOLEDO, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s gymnastics team (6-5, 4-5 B1G) posted a season-high 196.475 for third place at the Big Five meet on Friday night inside the Huntington Center. The Buckeyes finished behind No. 16 Nebraska (196.750) and No. 23 Illinois (196.550). Iowa (195.725) and Rutgers (193.625) were fourth and fifth, respectively, in the standings.
It was a good night for the Buckeyes, who scored above a 49.000 on every apparatus and earned five individual medals.
Ohio State delivered on balance beam with a season-high 49.150 to win the event. Ella Hodges was named the champion on beam after scoring a 9.925, which matched her career mark. Claire Gagliardi earned gold on floor exercise behind a 9.900. Head coach Meredith Paulicivic was awarded the Destination Toledo Coaches’ Award for the competition.
“I think everybody overall handled the meet really well,” said Paulicivic. “They handled the podium and the crowd in a championship environment and I’m really proud of this young team for going in there and making all the adjustments. I think they did awesome.”
Ohio State started the night on beam and were led by Hodges’ career performance. Jenna Swartzentruber and Alexis Hankins tied for sixth place after recording scores of 9.825. It was a season best for Swartzentruber and career high for Hankins.
On floor exercise, the Buckeyes notched a 49.150 to tie with Illinois for third on the apparatus. Claire Gagliardi paced the team with a 9.925, which tied for first place and matched her career high. Olivia Aepli and Danica Abanto were locked for ninth with scores of 9.850.
Moving to vault, Ohio State posted a 49.075, which was good enough for fourth. Sydney Jennings tied her career mark on a 9.900 to place second.
The Buckeyes closed out the meet on uneven bars, where they earned a third-place finish with a 49.100. Jenna Swartzentruber came in second thanks to a score of 9.900. Aepli tied for third place with a 9.875.
Ohio State continues its road excursion with a trip to Columbia, Mo. for a tri-meet against Missouri and Minnesota at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28.