April 2, 2000

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Despite setting a school record in the floor exercise, the Ohio State women’s gymnastics team failed to advance as a team to the NCAA Championships, taking third place at the NCAA Region 4 Tournament, hosted in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Saturday night. The Buckeyes recorded a score of 193.625 to take third. Alabama (197.300) and Iowa State (196.100) finished one-two and earned the right to advance to the NCAA Championships.

Jill Tucker (So., Tallmadge, Ohio) and Rickee Wirtzberger (Fr., Madison, Ohio) each posted a 9.925 in the floor exercise, finishing in a four-way tie for first place. The scores were career bests for each gymnast.

The duo’s scores led OSU to the school-record score of 49.450 on floor, breaking the previous record of 49.425, set vs. Penn State on Feb. 27, 1999. Three Buckeyes – Tucker (9.925), Wirtzberger (9.925) and Lindsey Vagedes (Jr., Warrenville, Ill., 9.900) – scored at least a 9.9 on floor, while Stephanie Buerkel (So., West Chester, Pa.) nailed a solid 9.875 to enable the Buckeyes to break the record. Sarah Spring (Fr., Burke, Va.) provided the fifth score with a 9.775.

Tucker not only shined in the floor exercise, but also made her mark in the vault competition, where she registered a 9.9, taking third place in the event. The score tied a career high which she has now set four times in her career – all this season. Buerkel was also strong in the all-around for the Buckeyes, taking sixth place with a 38.875.

The meet officially marks the end of the season for the Buckeyes as a team, but OSU will wait and see if it qualified any individuals to the NCAA Championships, hosted by Boise State Apr. 13-15.

Meet Results (Event champions plus OSU results) Team 1. Alabama 197.300 2. Iowa State 196.100 3. Ohio State 193.625 4. Central Michigan 193.400 5. Kent State 193.125 6. Michigan State 192.925

Vault (OSU 48.700) 1. Shelly Kringen (ISU) 9.950 3. Jill Tucker (OSU) 9.900 Lindsey Vagedes (OSU) 9.775 Sarah Spring (OSU) 9.725 Lacey Hudson (OSU) 9.700 Stephanie Buerkel (OSU) 9.600 Mary Beth Doerr (OSU) 9.600

Bars (OSU 48.600) 1. Dara Stewart (ALA) 9.975 Mary Beth Doerr (OSU) 9.800 Elizabeth Jensen (OSU) 9.800 Sarah Spring (OSU) 9.725 Stephanie Buerkel (OSU) 9.700 Stefanie Marshall (OSU) 9.575 Lindsey Vagedes (OSU) 8.625

Beam (OSU 46.875) 1.Lissy Smith (ALA) 9.925 Stephanie Buerkel (OSU) 9.700 Lindsey Vagedes (OSU) 9.575 Elizabeth Jensen (OSU) 9.525 Amanda Allen (OSU) 9.050 Sheri Greig (OSU) 9.025 Rickee Wirtzberger (OSU) 9.025

Floor (OSU 49.450*) 1. Jill Tucker (OSU) 9.925 1. Rickee Wirtzberger (OSU) 9.925 1. Nicole Liphardt (CMU) 9.925 1. Andree’ Pickens (ALA) 9.925 Lindsey Vagedes (OSU) 9.900 Stephanie Buerkel (OSU) 9.875 Sarah Spring (OSU) 9.775 Jill McMillon (OSU) 8.900 * School Record

All-Around 1. Andree’ Pickens (ALA) 39.475 Stephanie Buerkel (OSU) 38.875 Lindsey Vagedes (OSU) 37.875