Jan. 26, 2005

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s gymnastics team is set to face Illinois at 8 p.m. Saturday at Huff Hall in Champaign, Ill.

This is the second meeting of the season between the No. 1 Buckeyes (6-1; 4-1 Big Ten) and the No. 2 Fighting Illini (6-0; 5-0 Big Ten). Earlier in the year OSU (220.10) placed second behind Illinois (221.80) in the Windy City Invitational.

In the win over Illinois-Chicago Jan. 22, Ohio State set three all-time event records. The Buckeyes surpassed their former team highs of 37.15 on pommel horse, 38.25 on rings and 38.0 on high bar by scoring a 37.4, 38.475 and 38.4, respectively.

Buckeyes Willie Ito and Randy Monahan also notched Ohio State records in the meet against UIC.

Ito scored a 9.9 on high bar to beat Monahan’s 9.85, which he tallied last year vs. Minnesota.

Monahan compiled a 9.925 on rings, besting Daren Lynch’s 9.8 from 2001.

Both the team highs and individual scores are Ohio State all-time records since 2001, when tougher NCAA rules were implemented. Prior to 2000, the team highs on pommel horse, rings and high bar were 39.0, 39.175 and 39.3. Individually, David Eckert (1996) holds the rings record with a 10.0 and current Ohio State Assistant Coach Doug Stibel (1997) is the record-holder on high bar with a score of 10.0.

In his first collegiate meet, freshman DJ Bucher re-wrote the Ohio State men’s gymnastics record book with his 9.85 and first-place parallel bars finish at the Windy City Invitational. The Mason, Ohio, native owns the individual OSU record on parallel bars, surpassing Raj Bhavsar’s 9.650, which he tallied at the 2001 NCAA Championships. Both scores are records under the scoring system implemented after the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

For the second-consecutive meet, OSU swept all six events. Ohio State claimed every event against No. 9 Minnesota Jan. 15. In the win over then-No. 12 Illinois-Chicago, the Buckeyes continued their streak, winning each event.

Last season, Ohio State swept all six events only once (Illinois-Chicago).

Ohio State is the only team in the country that boasts two gymnasts that are No. 1 in the country on an event.

Willie Ito is the top high bar gymnast (9.55) and DJ Bucher is No. 1 (9.617) on parallel bars.

After compiling its highest point total (223.875) in a meet since 2000, Ohio State became the No. 1 team in the nation.

The Buckeyes also are No. 1 in the nation on pommel horse and high bar, averaging 36.175 and 37.075 points, respectively. OSU holds the No. 2 spot on rings (37.75) and parallel bars (36.433) and is ranked third on vault (36.992). Ohio State is the fifth team in the country on floor, averaging 36.525 points.

Individually, DJ Bucher and Willie Ito are No. 1 in the nation on parallel bars and high bar, respectively. Bucher is averaging 9.617 points and Ito is compiling 9.55 points per meet.

Senior co-captain Randy Monahan is second on floor and rings, tallying 9.508 and 9.8 points.

Ronald Ferris is the top Buckeye on pommel horse, placing fourth with 9.3 points.

The No. 2 Fighting Illini are 1-0 in dual-meet competition after defeating No. 9 Minnesota, 219.075-214.375, in Minneapolis, Minn.

In the win, freshman Wes Haagensen recorded a school record 55.95 in the all-around. The former record was held by teammate and senior Justin Spring (55.6).

The 2004 Big Ten Champions returned four All-Americans to a squad that also finished third in the national championships. Junior Adam Pummer was a 2004 All-American on floor and vault, while Spring was the 2004 high bar national champion. Spring also garnered All-America laurels on parallel bars and was the Big Ten champion on floor.

Seniors Ben Newman and Peter Shostchuk also return; both captured All-America honors on pommel horse.

Guiding the Fighting Illini in his 28th year is Yoshi Hayasaki. The University of Washington alum started out as a graduate assistant in 1971 before taking over as head coach in 1974 and has since led Illinois to one NCAA championship and four Big Ten titles.

Ohio State trails Illinois 22-39 in the all-time series. The Buckeyes hold a 7-0 advantage over the Fighting Illini in dual meet action, dating back to 1995. The last time OSU dropped a dual meet to Illinois was in 1986.

Then-No. 1 Ohio State defeated then-No. 3 Illinois, 220.20-219.00, Jan. 31, 2004 in a co-ed meet at St. John Arena. The Buckeyes won four of six events- floor (37.35), rings (36.90), parallel bars (36.200) and high bar (36.9500), while recording a then- team season high score.

“Tonight we saw two powerful teams,” Miles Avery, Ohio State head coach, said. “Illinois is an awesome team and they did a fabulous job. We wanted this win and I can see we are getting healthier and better. Hopefully all our progress will culminate at the Big Ten’s and nationals.”

Ronald Ferris posted two then-career highs, as he recorded a 9.5 on pommel horse to finish second. On high bar, Ferris also scored a career high 9.45. Earning a 9.250 and 9.3 on floor and pommel horse, respectively, senior Jamey Houle surpassed his former career highs of 9.150 and 9.20. Houle’s 9.20 was enough to earn him third place. Kristopher Kline recorded a personal best on floor with a 9.0.

Junior captain Randy Monahan posted career highs on floor and a then-career high on rings with a first place 9.750 and 9.70. Cody Trobaugh rounded out the Buckeyes surpassing career highs, as he tied his then-career high of 9.6 on rings to finish third and recorded a 9.250 on parallel bars to earn second place.

At least one Buckeye placed in the Top 3 in all six events. On floor, Kerry Adderly finished third with a 9.400. Trobaugh recorded a 9.350 on vault to place second and Monahan posted a 9.550 on high bar to take the third place spot.

Monahan captured the all-around title with a score of 55.350. Houle placed second, scoring a 52.550.

Ohio State topped No. 12 Illinois-Chicago, 223.875-198.250, Jan. 25 at St. John Arena. The Scarlet and Gray captured all six events and recorded team all-time event records on pommel horse (37.4), rings (38.475) and high bar (38.4).

Willie Ito and Randy Monahan tallied OSU individual all-time records on high bar and rings, scoring a 9.9 and 9.925, respectively.

“It was a better meet than anything we did last year,” Miles Avery, Ohio State head coach, said. “I think that is a testament to the potential this team has and how far this team can go. It was good to see those high scores. They get the guys excited.”

The Buckeyes came out strong in the first rotation, notching a 36.15 on floor before their record-breaking pommel horse and rings performance (37.4 and 38.475). Ohio State’s former highs were 37.15 and 38.25. On the fourth and fifth rotation, OSU recorded a 36.95 and 36.5 on vault and parallel bars, prior to surpassing its previous team high of 38.0 on high bar. The Buckeyes reached the 220 mark for the second time this season. OSU’s score of 223.875 beats the team season score from a year ago (221.350), recorded at the 2004 NCAA championships.

Ohio State held the Top 3 spots on each event. Freshman DJ Bucher earned his fourth event win on vault, scoring a 9.75. Ronald Ferris scored a 9.55 to win pommel horse and Jimmy Wickham tallied a 9.3 to capture vault. In addition to winning rings, Monahan claimed floor with a score of 9.4.

Sophomore Willie Ito and freshman Mike Marino completed their first collegiate all-around competition. At the Windy City Invitational Ito was the lone all-around competitor for the Buckeyes, scoring a 52.75 to finish tied for sixth. Against Illinois-Chicago, Marino recorded a 51.95 to place second.

Seniors Randy Monahan and Cody Trobaugh were selected team captains for the 2005 season by their teammates.

The honor is the first for Trobaugh and the second for Monahan. The Elizabethtown, Pa., native served as co-captain last season.

Members of the Buckeye squad will compete in the Winter Cup Challenge. The meet will be held Feb. 4-5 in Las Vegas.

Keep track of the latest men’s gymnastics news, scores and stats by logging on to the official Ohio State athletic website at