EAST LANSING, Mich. – The No. 14 Ohio State women’s gymnastics team extended its win streak to three straight meets, all on the road, with a 196.200 against Michigan State on Sunday afternoon at Jenison Field House in East Lansing, Mich. The Buckeyes improve to 3-1 on the season and 2-0 against conference opponents. Michigan State scored a season-high 195.225 but falls to 1-5 overall and 0-2 in Big Ten meets.
“We are definitely a fighting team that is not giving up,” said head coach Meredith Paulicivic. “I definitely feel like we’ve still not fired on all cylinders yet, and still not really hit a meet the way we can, but I love the fact that they are again fighting to the end and not giving up.”
Ohio State saw its first two 9.9’s of the season from sophomore Jenna Swartzentruber on bars and senior Jamie Stone on floor, both season-bests.
“We have some more 9.9’s that just haven’t hit yet, and it’s tougher to get those on the road so that was great for those girls,” Paulicivic said. “Morgan Lowe was absolutely on her way to a 9.9 [on beam] and just missed her foot on the dismount. In the gym, I’m seeing many more 9.85’s and 9.9’s, so hopefully with a little rest and being at home, we can start seeing some more of those.”
The Buckeyes notched a third-straight mark of 49.000 or higher on the bars, hitting exactly 49.000 to start off the meet. Swartzentruber took first overall, tying her career-high of 9.900. Junior Olivia Aepli stuck her landing and finished second with a 9.825. Freshman Colby Miller kept up the consistency, scoring a 9.800 and tying for third.
On vault, OSU registered a season-high mark of 48.975 behind three 9.825s all tying for first place from Aepli, Stone and sophomore Morgan Lowe. Another season-high came on floor after the Buckeyes cracked the 49.000 threshold for the first time and posted a 49.125. Stone’s 9.900 tied for first while senior Janelle McClelland finished tied for third, scoring a 9.875. In the lineup for the first time of her Buckeye career, freshman Miriam Perez earned a 9.800.
Ohio State had a last minute change to the beam lineup but didn’t falter, completing the meet with a 49.100. Stone was once again clutch, claiming first with a season-best mark of 9.875. The late addition to the lineup, sophomore Danica Abanto tallied a 9.850 in her first appearance on the beam.
“I said, ‘Hey guys, Jenna’s ankle isn’t feeling great so I’m going to bump everyone up a spot. Dani, you’re going to go in at the back and let’s have her back.’ That’s pretty much what they did,” Paulicivic said. “We do that a lot in practice, so they’re used to that. What a great night for Dani and Miriam that came in and stepped in. I’m really proud of those young guys for handling it and doing their job. It was great.”
After a full month on the road, the Buckeyes are finally home on Saturday, Feb. 2 at noon to host Iowa for the last season at St. John Arena.
“We’re so ready to be in St. John and in front of our own fans and on our own stuff,” Paulicivic added. “I think we’re all excited and really looking forward to being home next week.”