No. 17 Ohio State finishes third in central regional championships

COLUMBUS, Ohio – With a 39.350 all-around total at the NCAA Central Regional Championships Saturday, sophomore Rebecca Best advances to the NCAA National Championships hosted by the University of Nebraska April 16-18. Led by Best, the No. 17 Ohio State women’s gymnastics team placed third with a 195.950 team total score in St. John Arena.

“I couldn’t be happier,” Carey Fagan, Ohio State head coach, said. “I don’t want this season over. It has been a lot of fun and a positive experience for our student-athletes. This is where we will continue to build from and look to compete with the top teams in the future.”

LSU edged Oregon State by .075 to clinch the NCAA Central Regional championships. The Tigers posted a 196.875 and the Beavers notched a 196.800, which advances both teams to the national championship. Michigan State followed Ohio State for fourth with a team score of 194.825. Kent State marked a 194.650 to place fifth and Kentucky took sixth with a 193.700.

Best tied for second in the all-around to advance to nationals with a career-high 39.350 mark. She posted a 9.850 on vault, beam and floor, while posting  a 9.80 on bars. Last season, Best traveled to the national championships as an all-around alternate.

Ohio State opened the central region championships on floor with a 9.750 score from freshman Casey Williamson. Junior Hillary Dow followed with a 9.725 mark. Senior Alyssa Meyer and freshman Taylor Jones tied on the event with a 9.80 score and Best rounded out the Buckeyes first rotation with a team-high 9.850. Bests’ score boosted Ohio State’s team score to a 48.925.

On vault, the Buckeyes marked three individual career-high scores to post a 49.100 team total score. Dow led the way for Ohio State with a career-high 9.90. Her mark tied for fourth in the meet and was the highest mark by an Buckeye this season. Best tied her career-high score, along with junior Beth Ann Ballard who marked a 9.825. Jones added her second 9.80 of the night on vault for Ohio State and senior Amanda Surine posted a 9.725 on the event.

The Buckeyes posted a 48.875 on bars in their third rotation. Williamson, Best and senior Kiki Holman posted a 9.80 on the event. Holman’s 9.80 marked a season-best score. Ballard added a 9.775 and Meyer finished the night with a 9.70 on bars.

In Ohio State’s final rotation, Best and Holman posted a 9.850 to lead the Buckeyes to a season-best 49.050 team total on beam. The duo tied for third overall in the meet. The freshman class added solid performances to Ohio State’s season-high mark. Nicole Krauter posted a 9.825 to tie for sixth in the meet. Jones marked a 9.775 score and Krissi Woodward followed with a 9.750.