Jan. 17, 2001

OSU Looks for Ohio Bragging Rights
The Ohio State women’s gymnastics team visits Bowling Green Sunday for the All-Ohio Championships. The meet, which includes No. 10 Bowling Green and No. 19 Kent State, kicks off at 2 p.m. at BGSU’s Anderson Arena.

Noting the All-Ohio Championships
Bowling Green will play host to this year’s All-Ohio Championships after capturing last year’s inaugural title at St. John Arena in Columbus. With a score of 194.025, the Falcons topped Kent State (193.9) and the host Buckeyes (193.425). All three squads enter Sunday’s competition with Top-20 national rankings – BGSU at No. 10, Ohio State at No. 15 and Kent State at No. 19.

Buckeyes Bounce Ball State
Led by a career-best performance from Sarah Spring, Ohio State posted a 193.500-192.900 victory over Ball State Friday at St. John Arena. Spring captured the all-around title with a career-high 39.050 and also won the floor exercise with a career-best 9.925. OSU tied a school record on uneven bars, recording a score of 49.250 to tie the mark, previously set at Michigan Feb. 22, 1997. All five scoring Buckeyes set or tied career highs with at least a 9.8 on the apparatus. Lindsey Vagedes won the vault title (9.875) and tied for the bars crown with Mary Beth Doerr (9.9). Vagedes also nabbed runner-up laurels on floor (9.85) to Spring. OSU also received a fine performance on balance beam from Jenni Lymanstall, who tied for first place with a 9.775.

Scouting Bowling Green
The Falcons enter Sunday’s meet on a roll, winning their first two meets while averaging an impressive score of 194.162. BGSU is paced by Mid-American Conference Gymnast of the Week Marny Oestreng, who is ranked first in the nation on vault (9.925). The Falcons are guided by fifth-year head coach Dan Connelly (USC, 1970), who boasts a 34-50 career record.

Scouting Kent State
Kent State enters Sunday’s meet with a 1-1 record, falling to Bowling Green and defeating Northern Illinois last weekend in a tri-meet at BGSU. The Golden Flashes recorded a score of 192.925 and were led by Jenny Eckel’s runner-up finish in the all-around (38.950). Kent State is led by head coach Brice Biggin (Kent State, 1983), who has recorded a 67-42 career record.

Series Records
Ohio State holds a commanding 20-5 lead in the series with Bowling Green. Kent State holds a 17-14-1 lead in the series with OSU. BGSU and KSU each topped the Buckeyes last season in Columbus.

Last Year at the All-Ohio
Bowling Green captured the first All-Ohio Championships crown last season, besting Kent State and Ohio State at St. John Arena. The Falcons, with a score of 194.025, were led by Marny Oestreng, who took first place on vault, bars and in the all-around. Ohio State saw individuals take first place in three of four events, but struggled on balance beam en route to a third-place finish (193.425). Kent State narrowly finished second with 193.9.

Ohio State in the Rankings
Ohio State is ranked 15th in the latest GymInfo poll, which is based on team high scores. OSU holds Top-25 rankings in each of the event rankings, highlighted by a No. 3 ranking on uneven bars. The Buckeyes will square off with seven teams ranked in the Top-25 preseason poll this season.

Individuals in the Rankings
Lindsey Vagedes is nationally ranked in two events – fourth (tied) on vault and ninth (tied) on bars – and is ranked 10th nationally in the all-around. Sarah Spring is tied for fifth on floor and 15th in the all-around, while Mary Beth Doerr is tied with Vagedes for ninth on bars.

Lymanstall Heads Home
Freshman Jenni Lymanstall will return to her old stomping grounds Sunday. The Defiance, Ohio, native and graduate of Tinora High School grew up about 40 miles west of Bowling Green.

Bucks Hit Jackpot on Bars
OSU has been solid on uneven bars this season, posting its highest event score on bars in each of the first two meets. Last week, the Buckeyes tied a school record with a 49.250 on bars, tying the mark set Feb. 22, 1997, at Michigan. All five scoring Buckeyes recorded career highs of at least 9.8 in the event.

Home Sweet Home
Ohio State has been virtually unbeatable at home over the past four-plus seasons, defeating 21 of the last 25 opponents who have come to Columbus. OSU won its home opener, 193.500-192.900, over Ball State last Friday.

Vagedes No Stranger to Success
Lindsey Vagedes continued her fabulous start to the season with first-place finishes on vault and uneven bars. Vagedes has won the vaulting competition in both meets this season. In the season opener at Minnesota, she won the vault and all-around crowns while tying for the beam title. For her efforts at Minnesota, she earned Big Ten Athlete of the Week honors. Vagedes earned All-Big Ten distinctions on vault, beam, floor and in the all-around last season, joining Michigan’s Sarah Cain as the only Big Ten gymnast to earn All-Big Ten laurels in four or more events. Vagedes also is a three-time Big Ten individual champion, earning the 1998 and 1999 vault crowns and the 1999 beam title.

Bucks Score Well, But Fall to UM
Despite posting a strong score in its season opener, Ohio State dropped a 194.275-192.250 decision to No. 18 Minnesota Saturday, Jan. 6, in Minneapolis. Lindsey Vagedes had a stellar meet for Ohio State, winning the all-around competition with a score of 39.175. Vagedes also captured the vault competition, scoring 9.850, and tied for first place on balance beam with a 9.800. She added a fourth-place finish on uneven bars (9.725) and a fifth-place finish in the floor exercise (9.800). Sarah Spring also starred for the Buckeyes, taking second to Vagedes in the all-around with a 38.325. Spring won the bars crown, scoring 9.775 to squeak past teammate Mary Beth Doerr, who tied for second (9.750).

A Good Way to Start
Ohio State’s score of 192.250 in the season opener at Minnesota was by far its best score to open a season. It topped last season’s season-opening tally of 190.650, set in a quadrangular meet at Michigan State.

Wirtzberger Out For Season
After a stellar freshman campaign which included a trip to the NCAA Championships, Rickee Wirtzberger will miss the 2001 season with a neck injury, suffered in practice over the summer. Wirtzberger advanced to the NCAA Championships after tying for first place on floor at regionals with a 9.925 – a career best.

OSU Head Coach Larry Cox
Three-time regional Coach of the Year Larry Cox heads into his 22nd season as the Ohio State women’s gymnastics coach. Cox has guided OSU to a NCAA Regional appearance in each of his 21 seasons at the helm and has produced four All-Americans. He has led the Buckeyes to five Big Ten crowns, six NCAA Regional titles, and six NCAA Championships berths. Cox began his career at Odessa (Texas) Junior College, winning the Junior College National Championship on parallel bars in 1975. He transferred to Arizona State in 1976 and won the WAC parallel bars title in 1977. That same year, Cox was a finalist for the Nissen Award, presented annually to the nation’s outstanding senior male collegiate gymnast. After graduating in 1977, Cox remained at ASU as assistant coach for the men’s and women’s gymnastics teams. In 1979, Cox became head coach at Ohio State.

2000 Season In Review
After struggling throughout much of the season, Ohio State came alive down the stretch of the season, earning a bid to the NCAA Regionals – the team’s 21st straight bid to the postseason. OSU took fourth at the Big Ten Championships and followed it up with a strong third-place finish at regionals, missing by one place of advancing. Buckeyes Rickee Wirtzberger and Jill Tucker each advanced to the NCAA Championships as individuals, tying for the floor exercise crown with scores of 9.925. OSU also posted a school-record score of 49.450 on floor at the regional meet – the second-best score posted by any team competing in the NCAA Regionals.