April 25, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio – – The Ohio State women’s gymnastics team finished its 36th season with a record of 6-10 and ranked No. 8 in the GymInfo Central region poll. The Buckeyes claimed victories over perennial national contenders such as Maryland, Pittsburgh, Ball State and George Washington. The 2005 season also marked the first for new head coach Carey Fagan.

OHIO STATE AT A GLANCE The Buckeyes finished the 2005 season averaging a team score of 194.160. Ohio State averaged marks of 48.344 on vault, 48.344 on bars, 48.469 on beam and 48.555 on floor. Ohio State was ranked No. 8 in the final GymInfo Central Region poll.

RECAPPING THE BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS Ohio State concluded its 2005 season March 26, with a seventh-place finish at the Big Ten Championship held at the University of Iowa’s Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. The Buckeyes finished the evening with a team score of 192.875. Michigan claimed the event for the seventh-consecutive year with a score of 196.250. Penn State finished second with a mark of 196.125 followed by Minnesota (195.375), Michigan State (193.775), Illinois (193.725) and Iowa (193.000). Liz Meaney led the Buckeye rotation with a fourth-place, 9.875 on beam. Meaney, a first team All-Big Ten selection this season, also notched an eighth-place finish on floor with a mark of 9.800. Teammate Karley Walek, who was named second team All-Big Ten this season, posted Ohio State’s best finish on vault, placing 12th with a score of 9.800. Maalika Moore-Thomas turned in OSU’s best all-around performance, placing 10th with a score of 38.625. Moore-Thomas’ best individual performance came on beam where she tallied a mark of 9.775 to finish 10th. Kaylin Schlecht posted Ohio State’s top routine on bars, placing 16th with a score of 9.750. MEANEY, WALEK NAMED ALL-BIG TEN Ohio State gymnasts, Liz Meaney and Karley Walek were named All-Big Ten at the annual Big Ten conference awards banquet March 25 in Iowa City, Iowa. Meaney received her third consecutive honor with a first team selection while Walek earned second team All-Big Ten distinction. Meaney’s honor comes on the heels of a 2005 campaign in which she has posted a 9.850 or higher on beam in nine of Ohio State’s ten meets, including a season-high 9.950 against Arizona, March 5. She also has won the beam competition on eight different occasions this season and her beam average of 9.875 is ranked 18th in the GymInfo national beam rankings. Meaney also has been Ohio State’s top floor competitor, averaging a 9.77 and one of the squad’s top bars performer, averaging a 9.660 Walek, who as a freshman has been one of the Buckeyes’ most consistent all-arounders and vaulters, becsme the first freshman to be named all-conference since Jill Weber and teammate Kayln Schlecht in 2003. Walek finished 2005 as the Buckeyes’ top all-arounder, averaging a 38.683 and she won the all-around competition twice, first against Pittsburgh Feb. 12 and then against LSU Feb. 20. Her vault average of 9.783 is tops on the team as well.

MEANEY, SCHLECHT AND WALEK COMPETE AT NCAA REGIONALS Three Buckeye gymnasts, Elizabeth Meaney, Kaylin Schlecht and Karley Walek, concluded their 2005 season, April 9, with a strong showing at the NCAA Central Region Championships in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Meaney competed on beam, while Schlecht competed on bars. Walek competed as an all-arounder. Meaney placed third on beam with a score of 9.850, while teammate Schlecht finished fourth on bars with a score of 9.825. Walek posted an all-around score of 37.925 to place 17th. She finished the evening with scores of 9.600 on bars, 9.050 on beam, 9.600 on floor and 9.625 on vault.

NOTING THE 2005 BUCKEYES Senior Liz Meaney posted a 9.850 or better on beam in nine of Ohio State’s 10 meets this season. She also won eight balance beam titles this season. In addition, Meaney was the Buckeyes’ top floor competitor, averaging a 9.783. Freshman Karley Walek had no trouble fitting into the Ohio State line-up this season. Walek was the Buckeyes’ top all-arounder, averaging a 38.683. Walek also won the all-around competition twice, first against Pittsburgh Feb. 12 and then against LSU Feb. 20. LSU transfer Brittany Brown was the Buckeyes’ No. 2 floor competitor. Brown averaged scores of 9.737 on floor and posted a 9.775 or better in seven of nine meets. Brown also competed as an all-arounder against Arizona (March 5), placing second with a score of 38.850 and against Illinois (March 12) finishing third with a score of 38.150. Freshman Maalika Moore-Thomas averaged a 9.605 on vault, a 9.752 on beam and a 9.681 on floor. Freshman Helina Manesis averaged strong numbers this season, with a 9.640 on bars, a 9.625 on vault and a 9.468 on floor.

WOMEN’S GYMNASTS HONORED FOR WOMEN IN SPORTS The women’s gymnastics team, as well as members of Ohio State’s other women’s sports, were honored at halftime of the Ohio State-Indiana women’s basketball game, Feb. 6, 2005 as part of the National Women In Sports Day. Representing the gymnastics team were Kaylin Schlecht, Elizabeth Ahlberg and Karley Walek.

HOME SWEET HOME The Buckeyes have enjoyed success in meets held at St. John Arena. Since the 1994 season, Ohio State is 45-18 at home. The Buckeyes also have won seven of their last 12 home meets dating back to the 2003 All-Ohio Championships.

MEANEY RANKED AMONG NATION’S BEST After averaging a score of 9.853 on balance beam, Liz Meaney ended the season ranked 19th in the Gym Info national beam rankings.

A LOOK TO 2006 The Buckeyes return 15 competitors for the 2006 season including Britanny Brown, All- Big Ten selection Karley Walek and Maalika Moore-Thomas. All three will look to provide Ohio State with depth as all-arounders. Ohio State also returns its top bars performer in Kaylin Schlecht. Schlecht averaged a 9.700 on bars this season and competed at the 2005 NCAA Regionals. “We are regrouping for next year via returning strengths,” Carey Fagan, head coach said. “We plan to make a statement of re-structuring this program to the next level in 2006.”

FRESH FACES The Buckeyes have much to celebrate with their 2005 recruiting class. The five-member scholarship class will bolster an already talented Ohio State squad. The Ohio State freshman class features two top Florida gymnasts in Jessica Rosette and Maalika Moore-Thomas, who will provide the Buckeyes with depth as all-arounders. Shawnee, Mo., native Kaylan Clevinger will give the Buckeyes an added boost in the all-around as well. Having only been involved in gymnastics for a little over six years, Clevinger won the 2003 Level-9 Junior Olympics National Championship on vault, beam, floor and all-around before moving onto Level-10 in 2004, where she was runner-up in the Level-10 Missouri State Championships. Karley Walek of Pequannock, N.J., will be looked upon to help Ohio State improve on vault. Walek is a three-time all-state selection and a 2004 Junior Olympic competitor. Another New Jersey native, Helina Manesis, will provide the Buckeyes with a spark in every event. Manesis won the state vault title in 2003. Fagan also added Canonsburgh, Penn., product Megan Flood and Landisville Pa. native Amanda Gamby to the 2005 roster. Louisiana State University transfer Brittany Brown joins the roster as well this season. Brown, a junior, will no doubt make an impact to the Buckeye season as an all-arounder. During her sophomore campaign at LSU, Brown averaged a 9.860 on floor and a 9.775 on beam.

BUCKEYES COMPETE AGAINST JAPAN COLLEGE ALL-STARS The Ohio State men’s and women’s gymnastics team broke from regular-season action to take on the Japan College All-Stars March 3, at St. John Arena in Columbus, Oho. The women’s team claimed a 190.350-187.800 victory, while the No. 1 men’s squad dropped a 228.200-214.600-decision. The Buckeyes were led by Helina Manesis, who claimed first on both bars with a score of 9.725 and beam with a mark of 9.8. Manesis also finished the evening with a second-place finish on vault with a tally of 9.6. Elizabeth Meaney and Kaylin Schlecht also contributed solid performances. Meaney tied for first on beam with a 9.8, while Schlecht placed second on floor with a 9.575.

FAGAN ERA IN FULL EFFECT Last June long time Ohio State women’s gymnastics coach Larry Cox retired from the ranks of head coach after 251 wins, five Big Ten championships and 24 trips to the NCAA Regional Championships. Enter newly appointed head coach Carey Fagan. After spending the last three seasons as an assistant coach for Ohio State, Fagan is now the head coach for the Buckeyes and 2005 will mark the beginning of the Fagan Era, as she inherits a team which went 9-7-1 in 2004. “I am extremely excited to be here as head coach,” Fagan, a graduate of Penn State University, Fagan, Ohio State head coach, said. “You think you know what a soup kitchen is like and you think you know what to expect, but it’s still shocking when you see it, especially the families.” Fagan and her team wanted to begin a tradition of doing community service projects. After talking to members of the Ohio State Student Athlete Support Services Offices the team decided working a soup kitchen was an excellent idea.

COACH FAGAN HER FIRST SEASON “Overall I was satisfied with our season,” Fagan said.”We had some ups and downs but we overcame our challenges. I had fun coaching these girls in my first season. I can’t wait to get our team back together this fall and prepare for 2006.”