COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s gymnastics team, ranked seventh in the GymInfo national poll, returns home for a showdown against fifth-ranked Penn State at 4 p.m. Saturday in St. John Arena. The Buckeyes have been on the road since hosting Illinois Jan. 30 in Columbus.
FOLLOW IT LIVE
Live streaming and scoring for Ohio State’s home contest vs. Penn State can be found on the women’s gymnastics’ schedule page at OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
ADMISSION IS FREE
Admission for all regular-season Ohio State home gymnastics meets in St. John Arena is free of charge. After Saturday, the Buckeyes will have two more regular-season meets, duals vs. California (1 p.m. March 6) and Oklahoma (4 p.m. March 13) before hosting the 2010 Big Ten Men’s Gymnastics Championships at 7 p.m. April 2-3.
Tickets for the conference meet are currently on sale. All seating in St. John Arena will be general admission with single-session tickets starting at $8 for adults, $5 for students and youth and $4 for groups of 10 or more. All-session tickets also can be purchased for $14.
Group tickets must be purchased in advance. For more information, contact Mike Johnson in the group sales office at 614-247-1984. Tickets can be purchased online at OhioStateBuckeyes.com (click on “For the Fans” along the top bar for links), by calling Ticketmaster (1-800-745-3000) or in person at any Ticketmaster outlet or the Ohio State Ticket Office.
OHIO STATE SETS NEW HIGHS
The Scarlet and Gray recorded new event highs last weekend on floor, pommel horse and high bar. Senior captain Justin Myers won floor with a career-high 15.05, topping his previous score of 14.95. Other Buckeyes followed suit on the event with sophomore Mike Behles (14.5) and freshman Blaize Monks (14.7) also posting career bests.
Pommel horse was won by redshirt-sophomore Steven Spencer with a season-high 15.1 while sophomore Matt Rayl earned a career-high of 14.45. Ohio State posted a 57.45, marking the team’s best score this season.
Senior Tai Lee led the Buckeyes on high bar, earning a career-high 15.3 to tie the Ohio State program record while junior Sean Regan followed with a personal-best 14.75 to help the squad to season-best 54.85 event tally.
BUCKEYES IN THE RANKINGS
On pommel horse, redshirt-sophomore Steven Spencer is currently ranked eighth in the national poll and seventh in the Big Ten with a 14.367 average this season. Sophomore Matt Rayl, who has a 13.9 average, is ranked 19th and 12th, respectively in the NCAA and conference polls.
On vault, sophomore Philip Onorato is ranked eighth nationally and forth in the league standings while holding a 15.8 average on the event.
ALL-TIME VS. PENN STATE
Ohio State leads the all-time series with Penn State, 62-42, but competition between the two squads over the last decade has tightened. In 2009, Penn State won a close battle, 347.60-346.50, in Rec Hall in University Park, Pa.
NO. 5 PENN STATE
The Nittany Lions are 8-2 on the season and led by senior Nick Virbitsky. The team has been plagued by injuries to top gymnasts Allen Harris, Warren Yang, Matt Albrecht and Noam Shaham this season and has had to rely on its large 10-member freshman class. Last time out, Penn State fell to then-No.1 Illinois, 354.6-345.95, Feb. 20 in Rec Hall.
Randy Jepson is in his 18th season as head coach of the Nittany Lions.
Penn State women’s gymnastics assistant coach Randy Monahan is no stranger to Ohio State. Monahan competed for the Buckeyes from 2001-2005 and served as a senior captain. While at Ohio State, Monahan was a seven-time All-American, as well as a Big Ten champion in the all-around (2003-04) and on rings (2005).
Ohio State remains home to hold duals vs. California at 1 p.m. March 6 and Oklahoma at 4 p.m. March 13 before closing the regular-season at Michigan March 20.