COLUMBUS, Ohio With two regular season match-ups left in the 2008 season, the Ohio State women’s gymnastics team will return to the road at Arizona State at 9:30 p.m. ET Friday in Wells Fargo Arena. The Buckeyes are 4-3-1 on the road, while Arizona State holds a 1-7 record at home.
Live results of the meet Friday will be available at thesundevils.com.
COACH FAGAN ON THE MEET
“We are ready to head back on the road for the next two weeks before heading to Ann Arbor for the Big Ten Championships,” Carey Fagan, Ohio State head coach, said. “We need to hit these next two weeks in order to prepare for Big Tens. This will be the team’s first time competing at Arizona State and we hope to have a strong showing on our first west coast trip.”
OHIO STATE IN THE RANKINGS
Ohio State holds a 194.135 regional qualifying average, which ranks No. 7 in both the Big Ten and central region.
With a 48.900 RQS, the Buckeyes rank No. 21 in the nation on floor, No. 5 in the central region and No. 4 in the Big Ten. Ohio State’s team regional qualifying average on floor is the highest average of the four events.
The Buckeyes hold a RQS of 48.790 on both bars and vault. On bars, the squad ranks No. 20 in the nation, fifth in the central region and third in the Big Ten. Ohio State ranks No. 23 nationally on vault, No. 6 in the region and fourth among conference teams. Their 48.000 RQS on balance beam is seventh in the Big Ten and eighth in the central region.
LEADING THE WAY
Freshman Rebecca Best ranks among the Top 2 for Ohio State in each event, including the top-place position on vault, floor and in the all-around. She is tied for the top spot on beam with junior Kiki Holman. The two hold a 9.685 RQS. Best ranks No. 8 in the Big Ten and No. 11 in the central region in the all-around with a 39.005 regional qualifying average. On floor, she holds a 9.850 RQS to rank No. 8 in the central region, tie for fifth in the Big Ten and rank No. 40 in the nation. Best has posted three 9.900 on floor this season. On vault, Best is tied for 10 th in the conference and No. 15 in the region with a 9.820 regional qualifying score. She holds a 9.740 RQS on bars to rank No. 22 in the Big Ten.
On bars, senior Kaylan Clevinger leads the Buckeyes with a 9.855 RQS. She ranks No. 3 in the central region, fourth in the Big Ten and is tied for No. 23 in the nation on bars. She has posted six first-place finishes on bars this season for Ohio State, including a 9.90 at Iowa. Clevinger ranks third for the Buckeyes on floor with a 9.765 regional qualifying average, which ranks No. 20 in the Big Ten.
Senior Maalika Moore-Thomas is among the Top 2 for Ohio State on floor and vault, while ranking third on beam. Moore-Thomas ranks No. 8 in the Big Ten and No. 9 in the central region on floor with a 9.845 regional qualifying score. She holds Ohio State’s season personal best score on floor with a 9.950. Moore-Thomas has a 9.775 RQS on vault to rank No. 15 in the Big Ten and a 9.570 RQS on beam.
Junior Alyssa Meyer ranks third for Ohio State on bars with a 9.735 regional qualifying score, which is tied for No. 23 in the Big Ten. Sophomore Beth Ann Ballard holds a 9.760 RQS on vault. Ballard is No. 19 in the Big Ten and No. 29 in the central region on vault. In the all-around, sophomore Hillary Dow ranks second for the Buckeyes with a 38.595 RQS. She is ranked No. 14 in the Big Ten and No. 15 in the central region.
LEADING THE WAY By the Numbers
VAULT RQS (Big Ten Rank)
1. Rebecca Best 9.820 (t-10)
2. Maalika Moore-Thomas 9.775 (15)
3. Beth Ann Ballard 9.760 (19)
BARS RQS (Big Ten Rank)
1. Kaylan Clevinger 9.855 (4)
2. Rebecca Best 9.740 (22)
3. Alyssa Meyer 9.735 (t-23)
BEAM RQS (Big Ten Rank)
1. Kiki Holman 9.685 (t-26)
1. t-Rebecca Best 9.685 (t-26)
3. Maalika Moore-Thomas 9.570 (35)
FLOOR RQS (Big Ten Rank)
1. Rebecca Best 9.850 (t-5)
2. Maalika Moore-Thomas 9.845 (8)
3. Kaylan Clevinger 9.765 (20)
ALL-AROUND RQS (Big Ten Rank)
1. Rebecca Best 39.005 (8)
2. Hillary Dow- 38.595 (14)
A LOOK AT THE COMPETITION
The 22nd-ranked Sun Devils hold a 194.815 regional qualifying average. The squad is ranked fifth in the Pac-10 and sixth in the south central region. Last week, Arizona State finished with a 194.550. Juniors Ashlee Hinkle and Tiana Jean led the squad by each scoring a 9.90 or higher in the meet. Hinkle posted a 9.950 on vault to take first in the meet, while Jean added a 9.90 first-place finish on beam. John Spini is in his 28th season as head coach of the Sun Devils and has led the squad to the national runner-up spot four times.
LOOKING OUT WEST
Ohio State last traveled to Arizona State Jan. 14, 2000. The Buckeyes took third of four with a 192.000, while host Arizona State finished first. The last meeting between the two squads was Feb. 23, 2002 in a quad-meet hosted by Nebraska. Arizona State finished third with a 194.600, while Ohio State followed with a 193.600. The Sun Devils lead the series record with Ohio State 8-4.
LAST WEEK: HOME FINALE
On senior day, Ohio State fell to Kentucky Sunday 195.275-193.400. Clevinger, Moore-Thomas and Jessica Rosette competed for the final time in St. John Arena, where they were honored after the meet.
Moore-Thomas and Clevinger both posted event victories. For the sixth time this season, Clevinger posted a first-place finish on bars. She tied to take the top spot with a 9.875 and led the Buckeyes on the event. Clevinger scored a 38.375 in the all-around in her fourth all-around competition this season. Maalika Moore-Thomas took first on floor with a 9.850. She posted a 9.775 on vault to place second for Ohio State.
On beam, Best and junior Amanda Surine scored a 9.70 to lead the Buckeyes. Best added a 9.80 on vault to tie Ballard for third place in the meet. Best scored a 9.775 on bars and led Ohio State in the all-around with a 38.775.
Dow finished with a 38.200 in the all-around. She posted a career-high 9.750 on bars and ranked second for the Buckeyes on floor with a 9.725. Meyer added a season-high 9.825 on bars for Ohio State, which placed third in the meet.
The Buckeyes posted a team score of 48.625 on vault, 48.900 on bars, 47.300 on beam and a 48.575 on floor.
BUCKEYES ON BIG TEN NETWORK
Fans across the nation can watch the Buckeyes in full-action three times this season with the Big Ten Network, which began with their Big Ten debut of the meet at Iowa followed by the co-ed meet against Penn State. The Big Ten women’s gymnastics championships March 29 in Ann Arbor, Mich., will be aired on tape delay in a two-hour feature April 3 at 8 p.m.
The Buckeyes will close out the regular season on the road at West Virginia March 22 before the Big Ten Championships get underway in Ann Arbor, Mich., March 29.
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