COLUMBUS, Ohio – At the Big Ten Championships Saturday, freshman Taylor Jones was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and the No. 17 Ohio State women’s gymnastics team finished with a team score of 195.900 to place fifth in Champaign, Ill.

Michigan posted a 197.075 to clinch its 17th Big Ten and second-consecutive title. Host Illinois followed Michigan with a team score of 196.750.  Penn State placed third with a score of 196.525, which marked the same Top 3 in the conference championships as one year ago. Minnesota claimed fourth with a 196.000, leaving Ohio State, Michigan State (195.650) and Iowa (195.450) to finish out the conference placements.

With a 39.100, Big Ten Freshman of the Year Jones finished second for Ohio State in the all-around. 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.

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.

Best, along with Jones, were named All-Big Ten Friday at the championships banquet. Best claimed her second second-team All-Big Ten honor, while Jones was named a first-team All-Big Ten honoree.

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.

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.

The Buckeyes return home to St. John Arena to host the NCAA central region competition at 6 p.m. April 4. The field of teams will be announced Monday. Tickets are available online at, via phone by calling Ticketmaster (1-800-745-3000) and in person at the OSU Ticket Office. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and seniors.

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