Ohio State aiming to improve on fourth-place finish in 2007 and raise Regional Qualifying Score

COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State women’s gymnastics team will travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday for the Big Ten Championships hosted by Michigan at 2 p.m.

Ohio State owns a 7-6-1 overall record and 5-4-1 record on the road. The Buckeyes’ will enter the championships with a 194.405 regional qualifying average, which ranks No. 7 in both the Big Ten and central region.

Ohio State owns five Big Ten Championships (1983-87) and is seeking its first Top 3 finish since 1999. Since the third place finish in 1999, the Buckeyes have four fourth-place finishes, including last season.

Fans can follow the Big Ten Championships at, which will provide live stats throughout the meet. The Big Ten Network will air the championships on tape delay in a two-hour feature April 3 at 8 p.m.

Ohio State ranks seventh in the Big Ten with a 194.405 regional qualifying average. Michigan leads the conference with a 196.825, followed by Michigan State (195.560) and Iowa (195.200).

The Buckeyes hold the No. 4 spot on floor with a 48.290 RQS. The squad is fifth in the conference on both bars (48.820) and vault (48.845). Ohio State ranks No. 7 on beam in the Big Ten with a 48.250 RQS.

Ohio State took fourth at the 2007 Big Ten Championships hosted by Penn State with a team total of 194.025. Michigan won its 14th league title in the last 16 years with a 196.575 team total, Penn State took second with a 196.475 and Illinois (195.250) was third. The Buckeyes finished with a score of 48.575 on vault, 49.075 on bars, 47.925 on beam and 48.450 on floor.

Ohio State seniors Kaylan Clevinger and Maalika Moore-Thomas return after being named 2007 first-team All-Big Ten. Moore-Thomas was one of three gymnasts to earn her second all-conference honor and the first-team honor for Clevinger was her first.

“We are looking forward to Big Tens this weekend,” Carey Fagan, Ohio State head coach, said. “The team has been working really hard and has shown good improvements in the last two weeks. Our goal for the weekend is to stay focused on hitting 24 routines. If we can do that, I think we can surprise a few of the teams ranked ahead of us.”

Freshman Rebecca Best holds the top spot for the Buckeyes on vault and in the all-around. Best holds a regional qualifying score of 39.035 in the all-around to tie for seventh in the Big Ten and 11th in the central region. With a 9.800 RQS on vault, she ranks No. 15 in the Big Ten and is tied for No. 18 in the region. Best is second for Ohio State on bars (9.765), beam (9.720) and floor (9.850). Best is 10th in the region and in the conference on floor.

On bars, Clevinger leads the way for Ohio State with a 9.870 regional qualifying score to rank third in the Big Ten and in the central region. Clevinger has won the event outright in six meets this season and has led Ohio State in every meet this season. On floor, she holds a 9.810 RQS to rank No. 17 in the Big Ten.

Moore-Thomas is first for the Buckeyes on floor. She ranks No. 8 in the central region and is tied for fourth in the Big Ten on the event with a 9.860 RQS. Moore-Thomas is third for Ohio State on vault with a 9.790 RQS, which ties for No. 16 in the Big Ten.

Junior Kiki Holman leads Ohio State on beam with a 9.740 regional qualifying average, which is tied for No. 24 in the conference. Sophomore Hillary Dow is third for the Buckeyes on beam with a 9.650 and Meyer is third for the squad on bars with a 9.740 RQS.

Sophomore Beth Ann Ballard ranks second for the Buckeyes on vault with a 9.800 regional qualifying average to tie for No. 16 in the conference.

VAULT RQS (Big Ten Rank)
1. Rebecca Best 9.825 (t-11)
2. Beth Ann Ballard 9.800 (15)
3. Maalika Moore-Thomas 9.790  (t-16)

BARS RQS (Big Ten Rank)
1. Kaylan Clevinger 9.870 (3)
2. Rebecca Best 9.765 (23)
3. Alyssa Meyer 9.740  (28)

BEAM RQS (Big Ten Rank) 
1. Kiki Holman 9.740 (t-24)
2. Rebecca Best 9.720 (t-30)
3. Hillary Dow 9.650 (37)

FLOOR RQS (Big Ten Rank)
1. M. Moore-Thomas 9.860 (t-4)
2. Rebecca Best 9.850 (10)
3. Kaylan Clevinger 9.810 (17)

1. Rebecca  Best-39.035 (t-7)

Ohio State ranks among the Top 25 nationally in three events. The squad ranks No. 23 on bars with a RQS of 48.290, No. 25 on vault (48.845) and is tied for No. 22 on floor (48.820).

In the central region, the Buckeyes rank fifth on floor and bars. Ohio State ranks No. 6 on vault and No. 8 on beam in the region.

Posting its highest team score in the last six weeks, Ohio State won at West Virginia, 194.775-194.025, to wrap up the regular season. Led by two event wins by Clevinger, the Buckeyes scored .555 over their regional qualifying score.

Clevinger won bars with a 9.875 and floor with a 9.875, which tied her career best. Holman led the Buckeyes on beam with a 9.825, which tied her career high and placed second in the meet. Holman added a season-best 9.775 on bars to place second on the squad behind Clevinger and tie for second in the meet.

A week after having four all-arounders, only Best was in the all-around at West Virginia. She posted a 38.925 to place second in the meet. Her 9.725 on beam placed third in the meet and second for Ohio State behind Holman.

For the second-consecutive week, Ballard scored a 9.85 on vault to tie her career high and lead the Buckeyes in the event. Her vault score placed third in the meet. Senior Jessica Rosette’s 9.80 on floor was her best score of the season and was Ohio State’s second-best floor score behind Clevinger. It ranked fourth overall in the meet. Dow tied her season high on vault with a 9.80, which was Ohio State’s next-best score after Ballard.

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