Fagan announces recruiting class for 2009-10 season.

COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State women’s gymnastics team has signed three high school seniors to NCAA National Letters of Intent to compete for the Buckeyes, head coach Carey Fagan announced. Colleen Dean, Sarah Gillespie and Lauren Ritter will be freshmen in the 2009-10 season.

Dean is the lone Ohio native in the class, having hailed from Sylvania and the Sunrise Gymnastics Club in Toledo. Gillespie currently lives in Newport News, Va., and trains at World Class Gymnastics under Tami Harrison and Jon Angle. Ritter is a Burlington, Ky., native, but trains at the prestigious Ohio club Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy under coaches Mary Lee Tracey, Kim Albrecht and Enrique Trabanino.

The three signees will join a team that has finished in the Top 20 nationally in each of the last two seasons and has made the three-consecutive appearances in the NCAA Regional under Fagan, the 2007 Big Ten Coach of the Year.

Dean comes to Ohio State after an accomplished career with the Sunrise Gymnastics Club. She garnered first-place finishes on vault, beam, floor and the all-around at the 2008 Buckeye Classic, while finishing second on the uneven bars. The 2004 and 2008 club coaches award-winner added impressive finishes at the 2008 Ohio state meet.

Fagan on Dean: “Colleen is a beautiful gymnast. She is very clean and will bring remarkable artistry to our floor and beam line-ups. She also has a great line on bars and will be an important factor on that event. Colleen is a great athlete and continues to learn new skills and develop in to a top all-around gymnast.”

Gillespie has competed with at least six clubs around the world while growing up the daughter of an Air Force pilot. For the last three years, she has been with World Class Gymnastics in Newport News, Va., where she completed her first full Level 10 season in 2006. In 2008, Gillespie finished fourth in the all-around at the Level 10 Junior Olympic National Championships earning her a spot on the National Team in 2008. Sarah went on to compete in an international competition where she represented the Region Seven All-Star team bringing home the gold medal from Puerto Rico this fall.

Fagan on Gillespie: “Sarah is coming off of a dynamite junior season, and is on track to make the JO National Team again this year. We had the opportunity to work with Sarah at our summer camp two years ago, and we knew right away that she was an athlete we wanted to coach. She is also very clean, with high difficulty on every event. She will have an immediate impact on all four events”.

Ritter, a member of the Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy from Burlington, Ky., is a six-time Junior Olympic National qualifier, dating back to the 2003 season. She is the 2008 and three-time state champion in the all-around with first-place finishes on vault, bars and floor this year. On the national stage in 2008, Ritter finished seventh on bars and 11th on vault at the Junior Olympics. Her highest finishes were in 2005 (Junior B division) when she became the national champion on floor and earned second place on beam and third in the all-around.

Fagan on Ritter: “Laruen has one of the best gymnastics resumes in the country. She shows remarkable consistency on every event, which is crucial in college gymnastics. She will also be in position to compete in the all-around as a freshman. Her strongest events are beam and floor, and she has the potential to anchor both of those line-ups.  Lauren is a very powerful gymnast, and we knew right away after meeting her that she would be a great addition to our team.”