Bateman finishes second in all-around

COLUMBUS, Ohio The seventh-ranked Ohio State men’s gymnastics lost a conference dual to Illinois, 351.95-349.05, Saturday night at Huff Hall in Champaign, Ill. Senior captain Jake Bateman finished second in the all-around for the second-consecutive week with an 87.05.

“It was a hard-fought competition tonight,” Miles Avery, Ohio State head coach, said. “We started slow on horse and dug ourselves too big of a whole to dig out of. It was a great improvement from last weekend so I’m proud of our guys.”

On pommel horse, Ohio State scored a 54.45, bettering its score from a week ago by more than 2.5. Junior captain Tai Lee registered a Buckeye-high 13.95, which tied Illinois’ Daniel Ribeiro for fifth, while freshman Steven Spencer tallied a 13.85 and Bateman added a 13.75. Even with its improvement, Ohio State dropped pommel horse, 56.8-54.45.

On floor Eddie Hay separated himself from the competition, earning a 15.35 to capture first. Luke Stannard of Illinois was second with a 14.6. The senior from Butler, Pa., boosted the team to a 57.7 event total to tie Illinois on floor. Competing in his first meet of the season, sophomore all-arounder Brandon Wynn had the second-best Buckeye score with a 14.2 while junior Shachar Tal scored a 14.15.  

Ohio State moved to vault in the third rotation. Only one-tenth of a point separated the Buckeyes and Illini with Illinois winning the event, 62.4-62.3. Freshman Philip Onorato received a meet-high 16.0 to win on vault. Junior Justin Myers tied for fourth with a 15.5 and Bateman added a 15.45.

Wynn and Bateman went 1-2 on rings, scoring a 15.05 and 15.0, respectively as the team beat Illinois, 59.7-58.75. Also supporting the team effort were classmates Lee and Tal. Lee finished tied for fourth with a 14.85 tally and Tal finished sixth with a 14.8.

For the second-consecutive meet, Myers led the Buckeyes on high bar, finishing third with a 14.45. Just trailing the junior from Hinckley, Ohio, was Bateman in fourth with a 14.4 and sophomore Sean Regan in fifth (14.2). The Scarlet and Gray scored a 57.2 but it was not enough to top Illinois’ 58.85.

Bateman concluded his all-around effort with a second-place finish (14.85) on parallel bars but Ohio State dropped the event, 57.45-57.7. Myers had the second-best score with a fifth-place 14.5.

The Scarlet and Gray next compete at USA Gymnastics’ 2009 Winter Cup Challenge Feb. 5 and 7 in Las Vegas.