Dec. 11, 2002

Columbus, Ohio- The Ohio State women’s gymnastics team will have its final tune up before the regular season Saturday as they compete against one another in the Formal Intersquad competition at St. John Arena. The meet is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

The Lineup

First Two Rotations Scarlet Team- Vault Black Team- Vault 1. Shelley Harris 1. Kaylin Schlecht 2. Sarah Spring 2. Julie Levi 3. Leah Boccaccio 3. Rickee Wirtzberger 4. Sarah Spring 4. Shelby Warner 5. Jill Weber 5. Liz Meaney 6. Tiffanie Janke

Grey Team- Bars Red Team- Bars 1. Sarah Spring 1. Sarah Spring 2. Emily Sineway 2. Megan Porter 3. Beth Groskopf 3. Laura Sommerville 4. Kaylin Schlecht 4. Jill Weber 5. Shelby Warner 5. Shelley Harris

Second Two Rotations Scarlet Team- Beam Grey Team- Beam 1. Kyla Watson 1. Beth Groskopf 2. Leah Boccaccio 2. Emily Sineway 3. Shelley Harris 3. Jenni Lymanstall 4. Megan Porter 4. Sheri Greig 5. Laura Sommerville 5. Shelby Warner 6. Jill Weber 6. Kaylin Schlecht 7. Tiffanie Janke 7. Liz Meaney

Grey Team- Floor Scarlet Team- Floor 1. Julie Levi 1. Kyla Watson 2. Rickee Wirtzberger 2. Laura Sommerville 3. Kaylin Schlecht 3. Sarah Spring 4. Emily Sineway 4. Leah Boccaccio 5. Sheri Greig 5. Jill Weber 6. Shelby Warner 6. Tiffanie Janke 7. Liz Meaney*

Mixed Pairs Recap
The men’s and women’s gymnastics teams started the 2002-03 season Sunday (12-8) in the Mixed Pairs Championship at St. John Arena. Freshman Shelby Warner and sophomore Kerry Adderly and combined to win the event with a score of 55.225. In the final rotation, Warner posted a 9.8 on floor to push her team into first place. She recorded a 9.35 on beam and 9.575 on bars. Adderly scored an 8.5 on floor, 8.9 on rings and 9.1 on parallel bar. The duo of Randy Monahan and Tiffanie Janke placed second with a score of 54.9. Cody Trobaugh and Kaylin Schlecht complied 54.875 points and landed in third place. The other pair to reach the final rotation was the tandem of Jamie Houle and Laura Sommerville.

“Any time you have a competition like that, the best thing you get out of it is it’s a wake-up call that the season is here,” Larry Cox, women’s head coach, said. “It’s a good way to work on the little aspects and to look and see what areas we need improvement in.”

Cox Begins 24th Season
Head coach Larry Cox begins his 24th season as head coach of the Ohio State women’s gymnastics program. He has the third-longest tenure of any present coach at Ohio State. Cox, the three-time regional Coach of the Year, is one of the country’s most prominent women’s gymnastics collegiate coaches. Cox has guided Ohio State to a NCAA Regional appearance in each of his 23 seasons at the helm. He led the Buckeyes to five-consecutive Big Ten titles between 1983-87. During that same decade, Cox’s squads finished no lower than third in the Big Ten, except in 1980 and 1988. His squads also won six NCAA Regional titles, advancing to the NCAA Championships between 1983-90.

Prior to the NCAA Championships, Cox guided his squad to seven-consecutive OAISW tournaments, finishing first in 1980, ’81 and ’82.

Cox earned co-Big Ten Coach of the Year honors in 2001, leading the Buckeyes to a 13-3 dual-meet record. The Buckeyes set several school records while earning another berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Fagan Joins Coaching Staff
Carey Fagan, a native of North Canton, Ohio, was added to the women’s gymnastics coaching staff in early December. Fagan replaces Nina Dent who spent seven seasons as an assistant for the Buckeyes.

“Carey brings a lot of positive energy to the gym,” Cox said. “That really works out well with how we run practices. She has an outstanding gymnastics background and has a lot to offer our kids. We’re very excited to have Carey on our staff.”

Fagan graduated from Penn State in 1998 where she was a four-year member of the gymnastics team. While at Penn State, Fagan was a three-year letterwinner, serving as captain her senior year in 1998. Fagan was a member of the NCAA Northeast regional championship team from 1995-1998 and competed at the NCAA championships in 1995, 96 and 98. In high school, she was a member of the 1993 Region Five Level 9 National Team and was a U.S. Championship qualifier in 1991.

Season Outlook
After an injury-plagued 2002 season, the Ohio State women’s gymnastics team has every intention to rebound from its uncharacteristic 3-15 season and competing amongst some of the elite women’s gymnastic programs in the nation. Ohio State’s schedule includes meets with Nebraska, Utah and Michigan, all of whom finished ranked in the Top 10 nationally in 2002.

Despite losing four letterwinners to graduation, the Buckeyes will return 12 letterwinners, including four seniors, who will provide the Buckeyes with valuable depth and experience. Seniors Sheri Greig, an All-Big Ten selection as a junior and Sarah Spring, who tied the school record in floor exercise last season, will be the focus this season.

“Sarah Spring has gotten better each year,” Cox said. “She is so clean and has won more events at the uneven bars than anyone on the team. She has worked hard to overcome a lot of elements in our sport. I’m looking for big things from Sheri and Sarah this season. They have both overcome a lot.”

In addition, fellow classmates Stephanie Marshall and Rickee Wirtzberger, who did not participate during her sophomore season and much of last season due to a neck injury, will be strong contributors to this year’s team.

“Rickee qualified for the national championships as a freshman,” Cox said. “She got hurt as a sophomore, rebounded last year and now wants to make a difference this year in her events. This senior class has been really interesting to watch. They have improved year after year and if they can take it one more step and be the leaders, they can be very competitive. That’s what I expect out of them. Our juniors are chomping at the bit. They have spent two years pushing each other. I expect them to be a major support system on this team.”

Tiffany Janke, who had a personal best last year on the balance beam with a 9.9 against Iowa, along with Bethany Groskopf, Megan Porter, Julie Levi and Jenni Lymanstall, who did not compete last year due to injury, round out a strong junior class for the Buckeyes.

Six freshmen will join the Buckeyes’ talented roster this season. Despite stepping up to a new level, this class should not have a hard time adjusting. Michigan native Shelby Warner placed fourth in the all-around and first on bars at the 2002 Junior Olympic National Championships and Jill Weber is a six-time Junior Olympic qualifier and three-time Maryland State Champion.

“Our incoming freshman should be able to come in and contribute right away,” Cox said. “Our walk-ons are going to surprise some people also.”

Coach Cox said that freshman Kaylin Schlecht, who placed eighth on the beam at the 2001 Junior Nationals, might be the Buckeyes secret weapon.

“Right now she is outstanding in three events and the other one is still developing,” Cox said.

Other freshmen include Leah Boccaccio of Connecticut, who was a Junior Olympic National Qualifier in 2000 and 2002. Emily Sineway was a six-time regional champion and Georgia State champion in 2002 and Texas-native Kyla Watson was a Level 9 and 10 state floor champion and also finished second on beam.

“Emily is going to be very strong in three events,” Cox said. “Leah Boccaccio has proven to be very aggressive and we look for her to give strong contribution in all four events. Kyla Watson’s strengths are on beam and floor. She also will provide depth in other events for us. If our freshman competes as well as we expect them to, then we should see a completely different competitive stature. This year’s sophomore class did a great job last year also. Almost all of them got injured towards the end of the year and it hurt us. If these two classes can compete well, we’ll be a much different team this year.”

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Information on the Ohio State women’s gymnastics team and the 35 other Buckeye sports is available online at the official website of the Ohio State Athletic Department,

Next Up
The Buckeyes will enjoy the holidays before returning to action Saturday, Jan. 11 when they venture to Ann Arbor, Mich. to take on the Michigan Wolverines at 6 p.m. The Buckeyes first home meet of the regular season will be at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25 at St. John Arena against Big Ten rival Michigan State.