COLUMBUS, Ohio The No. 18 Ohio State women’s gymnastics team concludes its regular season at No. 8 Auburn in Auburn, Ala., at 8 p.m. Friday. The Buckeyes (5-7, 1-4 Big Ten) will take on for the first time in the regular season. Ohio State holds a 195.310 regional qualifying average, while the Tigers have a 196.390.

“Going into our final regular season meet, the team is really focusing on minimizing every deduction in their routines,” Carey Fagan, Ohio State head coach, said. “We have hit 24 for 24 routines in back-to-back meets and are looking to continue that trend at Auburn and in the championship season. It has been great having a solid core of all-arounders to help set the pace these past few weeks.”

Ohio State holds a regional qualifying average of 195.310 to rank No. 18 in the nation after posting a season-high 196.475 last week vs. George Washington. The Buckeyes rank fourth as a team in the central region. In the nation, Ohio State is No. 16 on bars with a 48.890 regional qualifying score. The Buckeyes are ranked No. 17 in the country on beam with a 48.815 RQS. In the central region, the squad ranks fourth on both beam and bars. On floor, Ohio State is tied for No.22 in the nation and is fifth in the central region with a 48.920 regional qualifying average.  The Buckeyes hold a 48.820 RQS on vault to rank sixth in the region.

The Buckeyes rank fifth in the Big Ten Conference. They hold a 1-4 Big Ten record after a conference win over Iowa and two league losses to Michigan State and Illinois Jan. 31. Ohio State fell to Illinois and Penn State on the road to post its final conference regular season losses. Ohio State holds its highest conference event ranking on beam with third. The squad ranks fourth in the Big Ten on both bars and vault. On floor, the Buckeyes rank fifth in the conference.

Sophomore Rebecca Best is the only Buckeye gymnast to compete in the all-around in each meet this season. She holds a 39.055 regional qualifying score in the all-around to rank seventh in the region and No. 10 in the Big Ten. Best is tied for the No. 45 spot in the nation in the all-around. Best ranks second for Ohio State on vault with a 9.790 RQS. She has led Ohio State on vault in three meets this year to rank No. 19 in the Big Ten. On bars and beam, Best rounds out the Top 3 for Ohio State. She holds a 9.785 RQS on bars and a 9.775 regional qualifying average on beam. In the conference, Best ranks No. 18 on bars and No. 21 on beam.

Buckeye freshmen lead the team on three events and rank among the Top 3 in all but one event. Taylor Jones leads the way for Ohio State on vault and floor. She holds a 9.840 regional qualifying average on floor, which is tied for seventh in the conference and is No. 11 in the central region. On vault, Jones is tied for eighth in the Big Ten with a 9.815 RQS. Jones has led Ohio State in six meets this season on floor and five on vault. She has placed first in two meets on floor including at Penn State with a 9.90 mark. In the all-around, Jones is second for Ohio State with a 38.965 regional qualifying average. She has competed in the all-around in six meets this season and posted a career-best 39.300 in the past two meets.

Nicole Krauter ranks first for Ohio State on beam with a 9.820 regional qualifying average to tie for ninth in the Big Ten. In the central region, Krauter ranks No. 13 on beam.  She has led Ohio State in five meets this season and has two first-place finishes.

Casey Williamson holds a 9.800 regional qualifying score on floor to rank second for Ohio State. In the Big Ten, Williamson ranks No. 16 and she ranks No. 20 in the central region. Last week, Williamson posted a season-best 9.875 on floor.

Senior Alyssa Meyer leads Ohio State on bars with a 9.810 regional qualifying score. Her RQS is tied for No. 11 in the Big Ten and is No. 16 in the central region. Meyer has led Ohio State on bars in five meets this season and placed first in the event three times. On floor, Meyer is third for Ohio State with a 9.775 regional qualifying average. She has posted above a 9.70 all but once in the two events this season.

Junior Beth Ann Ballard ranks second for Ohio State on bars and third for the squad on vault. On bars, Ballard is tied for No. 14 in the conference with a 9.790 RQS. She ranks No. 23 in the Big Ten on vault with a 9.770 regional qualifying score. Ballard has led Ohio State on bars in four meets this season and has one first-place finish in the event. On vault, Ballard has posted a 9.80 in the last four meets.

Senior Kiki Holman has a 9.775 regional qualifying score on beam to rank second for Ohio State. She is tied for No. 16 in the conference. Holman has one first-place finish on beam this season and has led the Buckeyes in the event in four meets this season. She has posted above a 9.70 on beam in all but one meet this season.

Junior Hillary Dow is third for Ohio State in the all-around with a 38.785 regional qualifying average. She ranks No. 15 in the conference and No. 13 in the central region. Dow has competed in the all-around in nine meets this season and scored a season-best 39.225 vs. George Washington.

Led by freshman Taylor Jones’ career-high tying 39.300 in the all-around, Ohio State defeated George Washington, 196.475-192.775, last Saturday night at St. John Arena. The team score is the fourth-highest mark all-time at Ohio State and the top score in head coach Carey Fagan’s tenure.

The meet marked the second all-around win for Jones in her rookie season. Jones captured a Top 3 position on all four events led by the 9.875 on vault that gave her a tie for second with teammate Rebecca Best. Casey Williamson won the event for the first time this season, scoring a career-high 9.875.

Meyer marked her final regular-season meet in St. John Arena by taking first place on the uneven bars with a 9.825, a score she matched on the floor exercise to take fifth. The Top 6 positions on the bars were filled with Buckeyes, including a three-way tie for the No. 3 spot. Nicole Krauter continued her strong showings on beam by winning the event for the second time this season with a career-high 9.900. Hillary Dow and Jones rounded out the Top 3 finishers with scores of 9.850 and 9.800, respectively.

The Buckeyes wrapped up the meet on the floor exercise, with Best scoring a meet-high score of 9.925 to take first place. Williamson, Jones and George Washington’s Kristen Simpson each earned 9.875’s to fill in the second spot.

Auburn is ranked No. 8 in the nation with a regional qualifying average of 196.390. In the central region, the Tigers rank third. On floor, Auburn is ranked fifth nationally with a 49.225 regional qualifying score. The squad ranks ninth on beam with a 49.065 RQS. With a 49.010 on bars, the Tigers are No. 12 in the nation. Auburn has a 49.140 RQS on vault to rank No. 11 nationally.

Auburn is led by Jeff Thompson who holds an 83-129 record after 10 years as head coach. The squad returned nine letterwinners from 2008 when it finished with an 11-15 record.

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 hosted by Illinois at 3 p.m. March 21 will be shown live by the Big Ten Network.

The Buckeyes will head into postseason action next week as they travel to the Big Ten Championships March 21 in Champaign, Ill.

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