Feb. 27, 2003

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COLUMBUS, Ohio-The No. 14 Ohio State women’s gymnastics (5-4, 2-2) team will travel to Logan, Utah Friday to take on the No. 22 Utah State Aggies (6-6). The scheduled meet has been changed from its original time of 7 p.m. MT to its new time of 11 a.m. MT.

Despite a loss to No. 18 Penn State Saturday, Ohio State moved up eight spots from No. 21 to No. 14 in this weeks GymInfo Top 25 Poll. The rankings as of Feb. 24 are based on Regional Qualifying Average. The Buckeyes have a 195.490 Regional Qualifying Score.

Ohio State also moved ahead two spots from No. 5 to No. 3 in the Central Regional Rankings behind Alabama (197.100) and Auburn (195.680).

“I feel that this team is in a great position right now to prepare for its postseason meets. In order to secure that, we have to go into Logan, Utah and have another great road trip. Utah State is a good team. To beat them at home will be a tall order, however that is our intention. “

The No. 22 Utah State Aggies are 6-5 heading into Friday’s matchup with Ohio State. The Aggies are off to one of their best starts in seven years, scoring better than 195.00 on four of its first seven meets. Three of Utah State’s five losses have come to the hands of Top 25 teams such as then-No.25 North Carolina State, then-No. 4 Utah and No. 19 Oklahoma who was unranked at the time.

The Aggies have been producing good numbers on bars lately scoring at least 49.025 on bars in each of its last four meets. The Aggies are averaging 48.561 on vault, 48.796 on bars, 48.368 on beam and 48.825 on floor.

Freshman Meagan Nelson and senior Nicole Kilpatrick have guided Utah State to success thus far. Nelson is the first gymnast in Utah State history to score more than 39.000 in the all-around in seven-consecutive meets. Kilpatrick already has 18 top 3 finishes on the year and is ranked No. 21 nationally and No. 6 regionally in the all-around.

Friday’s meet between Ohio State and Utah State will be the first meeting amongst the two schools. The Aggies and the Buckeyes will meet again March 22 in Columbus, Ohio in St. John Arena. The Buckeyes are 35-18 all-time against opponents they have faced three time or less.

After starting the season with a sluggish 1-2 start, the Buckeyes have won four of its last six meets and are continually staying on a roll.

In the Buckeyes’ five wins, their average margin of victory is 1.41 with their greatest win coming over Ball State, 195.500-192.875 Feb. 8.

The No. 14 Buckeyes are ranked in the Top 20 nationally in every event. The Buckeyes’ high ranking team scores have come from consistent outings by freshmen Jill Weber and Shelby Warner, sophomore Elizabeth Meaney and junior Tiffanie Janke.

The Buckeyes have two gymnast nationally ranked in the Top 50 in every event except uneven bars. Freshman Kaylin Schlecht is the only Buckeye gymnast ranked in the Top 50 on the uneven bars.

After Ohio State’s .550 loss to No. 18 Penn State Saturday, the Buckeyes fell to 0-3 on the season against ranked oppponents.

The Buckeyes fell short to then-No. 11 Michigan in the season opener and to then-No. 5 Nebraska Feb. 14.

Ohio State will look to capture its first win over a ranked foe against the No. 22 Aggies Friday.

Other teams currently ranked in the Top 25 left on the Buckeyes schedule include No.21 Kent State March 15 and another meeting with Utah State March 22 at St. John Arena.

Other ranked opponets not on the regular season schedule but who the Buckeyes will face in the Big Ten Championships March 29 are No. 20 Iowa, No. 23 Minnesota.

The NCAA Regional meet will be held April 12 with a site to be determined. The NCAA Championships will be held in Lincoln, Neb. April 24-26.

Ohio State fell to No. 18 Penn State Saturday, 195.875-195.325 in its closest contested match of the season. The Buckeyes held close with the Nittany Lions in every event, winning bars with a team season-high score of 49.125 and floor with a 49.150.

Jill Weber posted a career-best 9.875 on bars while Shelby Warner recorded a 9.850

Thanks to Warner and Elizabeth Meaney each scoring a 9.850 the Buckeyes were able to edge the Nittany Lions on floor by .100 Tiffanie Janke led the way for the Buckeyes on vault with a 9.850 while Meaney and Kaylin Schlecht each posted a 9.800 on beam.

Warner was first in the all-around with a score of 39.075. Schlecht was third recording a 39.000 while Weber posted a 38.800.

Utah State’s assistant coach Mark Lee is a 1982 graduate of Ohio State. Lee is in his fifth year as assistant coach on Ray Corn’s staff.

Lee, a former Buckeye gymnast, coached the 1988 women’s Olympic team in Seoul, Korea and was a member of the U.S. National coaching staff from 1984-1994. Lee now resides in Garden City, Utah.

The Buckeyes are 3-3 on the road this season winning two out of its last three away meets. At home the Buckeyes have a record of 2-1.

Utah State is also 2-1 at home on the season. Its only loss came to Southern Utah Feb. 10.

Utah State’s head coach Ray Corn has complied an overall record of 407-355-2 in his 26th year as head coach of the Aggies. Corn’s current regular season record is 349-216-2. A victory over Ohio State would give Corn his 350th regular season victory. The Aggies win over Boise State Jan. 24, 2002 gave Corn his 400th overall victory.

Corn is the only coach in USU’s Division I gymnastics history and has led the Aggies to the postseason 24 times including five trips to the national championships. Corn took a club-level Utah State gymnastics team in 1978 and transformed it into an AIAW power, finishing 30-4 in his first season. The next year, the Aggies made the first of four-consecutive trips to the AIAW National Championships, finishing as high as ninth in 1982.

The Big Ten Conference currently has five teams ranked in this weeks GymInfo Top 25 Poll: No. 10 Michigan, No. 14 Ohio State, No. 18 Penn State, No. 20 Iowa and No. 23 Minnesota.

Ohio State is ranked second in the Big Ten behind Michigan.

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,

The Buckeyes return to home March 8 to play host the All-Ohio Championships at St. John Arena. The All-Ohio Championships will include Ohio State, Bowling Green and Kent State. The meet is slated to start at 7 p.m.