Feb. 28, 2007

Columbus, Ohio – Senior Willie Ito was awarded his first Big Ten Gymnast of the Week honor this season and third of his career Wednesday for his performance on the road against No. 2 Penn State. Last weekend, Ito grabbed event wins on parallel bars (9.5) and high bar (9.55) to secure a third weekly conference honor for an Ohio State gymnast this season.

With the individual wins, Ito noted Big Ten Conference bests for the week of Feb. 19 on both apparatuses. The Huntington Beach, Calif., native won the Big Ten high bar title in 2006 with a score of 9.8 and also earned All-America honors on the event after finishing third (9.687) at the NCAA individual event championships.

As a junior, Ito earned his first Big Ten Gymnast of the Week accolade (Feb. 1, 2006) for propelling Ohio State over Illinois with first-place finishes on both parallel bars (9.7) and high bar (9.7). Last season, the Buckeye also shared the award with Penn State’s Derek Helsby (Feb. 22) after placing in the Top 3 on three events against then-No. 1 Oklahoma and then-No.7 California. At the tri-meet, Ito tied for first on high bar (9.6) and earned third on both pommel horse (8.95) and parallel bars (9.2).

Ohio State continues its difficult road schedule with a dual vs. two-time defending NCAA champion Oklahoma at 8 p.m. EST Saturday at McCasland Field House in Norman, Okla.