Feb. 28, 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 18 Ohio State women’s gymnastics team hits the road to take on Illinois State at 5 p.m. ET Sunday in Normal, Ill.

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Ohio State posted a season-best 196.300 to top Illinois last Saturday in St. John Arena. Sarah Miller either won or tied for the event title in all three events she competed in while Melanie Shaffer tied her career-best 39.350 to take the all-around title. As a team, the Buckeyes posted season bests on bars and floor exercise while tying a season high on beam.

Ohio State is currently ranked 18th nationally in the GymInfo Top 25. Six other Big Ten teams are ranked including Michigan (No. 3), Nebraska (No. 10), Minnesota (No. 14), Illinois (No. 19), Penn State (No. 22) and Iowa (No. 24).

As a team, the Buckeyes are 14th nationally on balance beam (48.910 RQS), 18th on floor exercise (48.990), 21st on uneven bars (48.925) and tied for 22nd on vault (48.970).

Individually, Sarah Miller is tied for eighth nationally on beam, 11th on vault and tied for 18th on floor exercise.

Sarah Miller was named Big Ten Event Specialist of the Week, the conference office announced Feb. 25. The award marks the 13th career Big Ten weekly honor and fifth of the season for the Collegeville, Pa., native.

Miller either won or tied for the event title in all three events she competed in as the Buckeyes posted a season-best 196.300 in a dual meet win over Illinois Feb. 23. She tied a career best 9.950 to take the vault title, tallied a 9.925 to win beam and tied for first with a 9.875 on floor exercise.

Ohio State was picked third in the Big Ten Preseason Coaches’ Poll, the conference office announced Dec. 12. In addition, juniors Sarah Miller and Melanie Shaffer have been named Gymnasts to Watch in the conference.

Nebraska was picked first followed by Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Minnesota. Illinois, Iowa and Michigan State rounded out the poll.

Senior Colleen Dean and juniors Sarah Miller and Alex DeLuca have been named captains of the 2013 Buckeyes, head coach Carey Fagan announced.

Miller earned second team All-America honors on balance beam and floor exercise last season while Dean garnered second team All-America honors on floor exercise. The duo became the seventh and eighth All-Americans in Ohio State women’s gymnastics history. It is the first time the Buckeyes have had multiple All-Americans in the same season. DeLuca is a two-year letterwinnner who posted career bests of 9.850 on bars and 9.875 on floor exercise a year ago.

The Buckeyes host Bridgeport at 4 p.m. March 9 on Senior Day in Columbus.