Ohio State improves to 2-0 against Auburn in the all-time series record

COLUMBUS, Ohio – In a season full of adversity, the Ohio State women’s gymnastics team has proven that injuries alone cannot stop the squad’s spirit. The Buckeyes defeated No. 17 Auburn with a season high, 195.525-194.725, Saturday afternoon in front of a crowd of 1,009 in St. John Arena. Ohio State now leads the all-time series vs. the Tigers, 2-0, after posting an upset on the road last year.

“We had to switch up the lineup some so we could rest Hillary Dow so Kristin Perchatsch and Colleen Dean really stepped up for us in the all-around,” Carey Fagan, Ohio State head coach, said. “The team really pulled together for the seniors and that is what you have to do to beat Auburn because they have a really good team.”

On Ohio State’s senior day, junior Rebecca Best hit a season-high 39.150 and freshman Colleen Dean followed with a career-best 39.075 to finish 1-2 in the all-around. Sophomore Casey Williamson had a 38.900 and senior Kristin Perchatsch competed in the all-around for the first time this season scoring a 38.750 to take third and fourth, respectively.  

“The nice thing about today is that we are at home in St. John Arena where we will be competing for a Big Ten championship March 27,” Fagan said. “For the next two weeks, the team will have this great memory in their heads as they are practicing.”

For the sixth time this season, sophomore Nicole Krauter scored a 9.800 on vault to spearhead Ohio State on the event as the first gymnast up. Classmate Taylor Jones took it up a notch with a 9.825 for second place while junior All-American Rebecca Best added a 9.850 for the event win. The Buckeyes scored a 48.775, finishing just .150 behind Auburn’s 48.925.

On bars, senior captain Hillary Dow led the squad on her only event of day, scoring a 9.800 for third. Best tied Dow, also scoring a 9.800 as Ohio State combined for a 48.900 – a new season high. Jones and Dean added a pair of 9.775s for sixth to help the Buckeyes finish just .050 behind Auburn who scored a 48.950 on the event.

With two rotations completed, the Buckeyes trailed the Tigers, ranked fourth in the Central Region, by just two-tenths of a point.

Behind a career-high and team-best 9.875, Dean finished second on beam while Best continued her night with a 9.850 for fourth as the Buckeyes hit another event season best, scoring a 49.000. Krauter and sophomore Casey Williamson added a pair of 9.775s for fifth to help the squad outscore its previous event best by .175. With the season-best event tally, Ohio State was able to gain a .925 advantage over Auburn who had a 48.075 combined total on beam.

Taking the crowd’s energy and the team’s momentum from beam, Ohio State watched Jones and Dean finish 1-2 on floor as the Buckeyes won the rotation, 48.850-48.775, and the meet, 195.525-194.725. Jones scored a season-best 9.850 while Dean had a 9.825. Perchatsch rounded out her day, tying her career high with a 9.750 for fifth and Krauter added a 9.725 to tie for sixth.

Ohio State has the next two weeks off before hosting the 2010 Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics at 2 p.m. March 27 in St. John Arena. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-GO-BUCKS.