COLUMBUS, Ohio The No. 17 Ohio State women’s gymnastics team will host the NCAA Central Region Championships at 6 p.m. ET Saturday in St. John Arena. This is the Buckeyes fourth-consecutive year in the regional championships, as they enter the meet seeded third in the six-team event.
Tickets for the Central Region Championships are available at the ticket booth on the day of the meet or online at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com, via phone by calling TicketMaster (1-800-745-3000). Tickets will not be available at Ticketmaster outlets. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and seniors.
REGIONALS IN ST. JOHN ARENA
This will be the fifth time Ohio State will host the NCAA regional championships in St. John Arena. In the four times as NCAA regional championships host, Ohio State holds three second-place finishes and one first-place finish. The Buckeyes won the meet in St. John Arena April 7, 1990 with a team total score of 188.175. The squad finished as the NCAA Northeast Regional runner-up April 11, 1987 with a 184.300 final score and April 3, 1993 with a 188.125. Ohio State last saw regional action in St. John Arena April 5, 1997 when the squad finished second with a team score of 193.800.
A LOOK AT THE REGIONAL FIELD
No. 5 LSU took the top seed of the central region and No. 8 Oregon State is seeded second. Following Ohio State in the fourth seed is No. 22 Kent State. No. 24 Kentucky is the fifth seed and Michigan State earned the final placement as the sixth seed.
Six teams, five all-around competitors who are not on a qualifying team and one individual event specialist per event were named to each of the six regional championships. The Top 2 teams and all-around competitors (who are not on an advancing team) from each region will receive an automatic bid to the national championship in Lincoln, Neb., April16-18, hosted by the University of Nebraska. In addition, the event winner at the regional championships will advance (in that event only) if they are not part of a qualifying team or the all-around qualifiers.
ONE YEAR AGO
With a 195.125 team total, Ohio State finished third at the NCAA Central Region Championships last year in Baton Rouge, La. The team score marked a program record for Ohio State at regionals and the Buckeyes’ best finish at a regional since a third-place finish in 2000.
Then-freshman Rebecca Best scored a 39.150 to tie then senior teammate Kaylan Clevinger for the second-best all-around score from a non-advancing team. Only two competitors from each region can advance to nationals, however, and Clevinger was given the nod from the regional officials by virtue of owning the highest event score between herself and Best.
Ohio State finished with a 48.775 on floor and vault, a season-best 48.900 on bars and a 48.675 on beam.
Best led the Buckeyes in the first two rotations with a 9.800 finish on floor and she tied her season-best on vault with a 9.850. Best added a 9.750 on both bars and beam to post an all-around total of 39.150.
Then juniors Kiki Holman and Alyssa Meyer posted consistent numbers for Ohio State in every event. Holman tied Clevinger on vault with a season-high 9.725 and on beam with a 9.80. Holman and Meyer scored a 9.75 on bars, while Meyer added a 9.70 on floor.
BUCKEYES IN THE CENTRAL REGION
In the central region, Ohio State ranks fourth with a regional qualifying average of 195.735. Against regional competitors, the Buckeyes also rank fourth on both bars and beam. They hold a 48.875 RQS on beam and a 49.000 on bars. On vault, Ohio State holds the sixth place regional position with a 48.955 regional qualifying score. With a 49.000 RQS on floor, the squad ranks seventh in the region on the event.
JONES NAMED BIG TEN FRESHMAN OF YEAR
Taylor Jones was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year at the Big Ten Championships March 21. With a 39.100, Jones finished second for Ohio State in the all-around at the conference meet. On floor, Jones posted her event high for the night with a 9.875. She claimed a 9.80 on vault, a 9.725 on beam and a 9.70 on bars. Jones has led the Buckeyes throughout the 2009 season, holding the top spot in the all-around, on floor and on vault.
ALL-BIG TEN HONOREES
Sophomore Rebecca Best, along with freshman Taylor Jones, was named All-Big Ten at the Big Ten Championships banquet. Best claimed her second second-team All-Big Ten honor, while Jones was named a first-team All-Big Ten honoree.
ACADEMIC ALL-CONFERENCE SELECTIONS
Senior Alyssa Meyer, junior Hillary Dow and sophomore Jessica Staton earned winter academic All-Big Ten honors. Meyer is one of five Big Ten athletes to maintain a 4.0 GPA throughout her academic career. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher.
OSU AT THE BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
At the Big Ten Championships March 21, Ohio State finished with a team score of 195.900 to place fifth in Champaign, Ill. Ohio State finished the night with a 49.125 on both vault and floor. On bars, the squad posted a 49.025. The Buckeyes added a 48.625 on beam.
Leading Ohio State in the meet, sophomore Rebecca Best finished the night with a career-high 39.350 in the all-around to place sixth in the meet. She notched a 9.850 on beam, vault and floor, while posting a 9.80 on bars. Her 9.850 mark on vault and beam marked a career-high score and a tied fifth-place finish on beam.
Junior Hillary Dow concluded the Buckeye all-around performers with a 38.600. On vault, Dow marked a career-high 9.875 to tie for sixth in the meet. On bars and floor, she posted a 9.775.
Freshman Casey Williamson added a solid night for the Buckeyes scoring above a 9.80 in each of her three events. Williamson notched a career-high 9.850 on bars, while equaling the score on floor. She finished with a 9.80 on vault. Junior Beth Ann Ballard tied Williamson on both vault and bars. The duo tied for sixth in the meet on bars.
Seniors Amanda Surine and Alyssa Meyer contributed strong showings in their final Big Ten Championships. Meyer posted a 9.750 on bars and a 9.775 on floor. Surine posted a 9.775 on vault, a 9.750 on floor and a 9.70 on beam. Freshman Nicole Krauter showed her young talent with a 9.750 on beam.
JONES HOLDS TOP SPOTS
Freshman Taylor Jones leads Ohio State in the all-around, on floor and on vault. She holds a 39.215 regional qualifying score in the all-around. Jones has competed in the all-around in eight meets this season, while leading Ohio State in five with two meet victories. She ranks seventh in the central region in the all-around and is No. 37 in the nation. On floor, Jones holds a 9.860 RQS, which is tied for No. 11 in the central region. She has posted at least a 9.70 on floor in all but one meet this season. On vault, Jones is tied for No. 21 in the central region with a 9.835 regional qualifying score. She led Ohio State in six meets this season on vault.
THE BEST THERE IS
Sophomore Rebecca Best is second for Ohio State in the all-around, on vault and on beam and ranks third for Ohio State on bars. She holds a 39.140 regional qualifying score in the all-around to rank ninth in the region. Best holds a 9.830 RQS on vault to rank No. 23 in the region. Best has led Ohio State on vault in four meets this season. On beam, Best holds a 9.790 regional qualifying score to tie for No. 17 in the central region. She has led Ohio State on beam the past two weeks with a 9.825 score at Auburn and a 9.850 mark at the Big Ten Championships. With a 9.800 RQS on bars, Best ranks No. 23 in the central region. She has tallied one meet win on bars and led the Buckeyes three times this season.
Buckeye freshmen lead the team on three events and in the all-around. Nicole Krauter ranks first for Ohio State on beam with a 9.830 regional qualifying average. In the central region, Krauter ranks No. 14 on beam. She has led Ohio State in six meets this season and has two first-place finishes.
Casey Williamson holds a 9.815 regional qualifying score on floor to rank second for Ohio State. In the central region, Williamson ranks No. 27 on floor. On vault, Williamson rounds out the Top 3 for Ohio State. She holds a 9.790 regional qualifying score on vault. Williamson has scored above a 9.70 in both events in each meet this season.
BUCKEYES LEADING THE WAY
Junior Beth Ann Ballard leads the way for Ohio State on bars with a 9.825 regional qualifying average. Her average is tied for No. 15 in the central region. She led Ohio State in six meets this season including a 9.850 the last two-consecutive meets.
Senior Alyssa Meyer follows Ballard on bars with a 9.815 regional qualifying score. She has led Ohio State in five meets this season and has three first-place meet finishes. In the region, Meyer ranks No. 19 on bars.
Junior Hillary Dow rounds out the Top 3 for the Buckeyes in the all-around. She holds a 38.895 regional qualifying score in the all-around after competing in the event in all but one meet this season. She ranks No. 13 in the central region.
Senior Kiki Holman has a 9.775 regional qualifying score on beam to rank third for Ohio State. She ranks No. 22 in the central region after posting above a 9.70 on beam in all but one meet this season.
BUCKEYES ON BIG TEN NETWORK
Ohio State welcomed the Big Ten Network to St. John Arena twice, while having four total meets aired on the network this year. The quad-meet vs. Missouri, Michigan State and Illinois and the dual meet with Iowa was shown in a delayed airing on Big Ten Network, as well as the meet at Penn State with Alabama last. The Big Ten Championships were also aired live on Big Ten Network.
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