Feb. 12, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s gymnastics team (7-2, 0-1 Big Ten) will travel to meet the Nebraska Cornhuskers at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, in Lincoln, Neb. In the meet the Buckeyes will look to improve to 8-2 as well as pick up their first win in Lincoln since 1984. The Buckeyes also look to improve their record to 3-1 against ranked opponents this season.

Senior Tiffanie Janke set a career-high 39.575 all-around score to propel Ohio State to victories over the No. 19 Kent State Golden Flashes and the Bowling Green Falcons. The Buckeyes posted 195.450 points to slip past Kent State, who scored 195.375. Bowling Green finished third with a score of 193.725. The victory gives Ohio State its third championship in the past four years. The Buckeyes also claimed victories at the All-Ohio Championships in 2001 and 2003.

The Buckeyes were paced by Janke and junior Elizabeth Meaney, who tied for first place in the vault and balance beam competitions. Both gymnasts scored 9.900 on vault and 9.925 on bars. In addition to Meaney and Janke, senior Megan Porter placed third on uneven bars with a 9.850.

In addition to Janke, two other Buckeyes posted new career-highs in the meet. Elizabeth Ahlberg posted a 9.775 on vault to top her previous high of 9.700 set against Illinois and Illinois State, Jan. 31. Sophomore Leah Boccaccio set a new career high on vault, with a 9.700 topping the 9.650 set against Kentucky, Jan. 4.

The University of Nebraska enters the meet 3-2 on the year and No. 8 in the latest GymInfo poll. This past weekend Nebraska was victorious over No. 11 Oklahoma. The Cornhuskers are led by senior Tammie Harris. Harris has averaged a 9.900 on uneven bars and a 9.875 on floor exercise in her career and she also was selected as a second team All-American in 2003 on both floor exercise and vault. Against Oklahoma, Harris finished second in the all-around competition, with a score of 39.350 and tied for first place on uneven bars with a 9.900.

Dan Kendig is in his ninth season as the head coach of Nebraska. Since his arrival, Kendig has posted a career record of 252-84-2 and claimed nine of the past 10 Big 12 conference championships. In 2003, Nebraska finished fourth in NCAA Championships.

Ohio State is tied in the overall series against Nebraska at 5-5. Overall, the Buckeyes are 2-1 at home, 2-2 in Lincoln and 1-2 in neutral meets against the Cornhuskers. In last season’s contest Ohio State fell to Nebraska 196.700-195.575.

Despite a score of 39.400 by Jill Weber in the all-around, Ohio State fell to then-No. 5 Nebraska 195.575-196.700, Feb. 14, 2003. The loss put an end to the Buckeyes four meet win streak.

Though falling to the Huskers in all four events, the Buckeyes’ came closest on bars, setting a team season best score with a 49.100. Nebraska posted a 49.150 on bars. Kaylin Schlecht led the way for Ohio State with a 9.850, which tied her personal-best. Megan Porter and Shelley Harris also tied their career-best with scores of 9.825.

Elizabeth Meaney had a career night on beam, posting a personal-high 9.950. In addition, Schlecht and Weber had career-best performances with scores of 9.775 and 9.825, respectively.

Weber and Tiffanie Janke paced the Buckeyes on vault both earning a 9.850. Meaney contributed a 9.725 while Schlecht and Rickee Wirtzberger each received a 9.675.

The Buckeyes are 6-7 vs. the Big 12 conference. Ohio State is 5-5 against the University of Nebraska and 1-2 against Oklahoma University.

Senior Tiffanie Janke was awarded Big Ten Conference Gymnast of the Week honors Wednesday. The award comes after a spectacular all-around performance in leading the Buckeyes to their second consecutive All-Ohio Championship against Bowling Green and No. 19 Kent State, Feb. 8.

With gymnasts Jill Weber (So., Bel Air, Md.) and Kaylin Schlecht (So., Marion, Ohio) sitting out with injuries, Janke (Sr., Schaumberg, ll.) was moved in as an all-around competitor for the first time since her freshman year. In doing so, she posted a career-high 39.575 to win the competition.

Janke posted scores of 9.900 or higher in three of the four events. She tied for the top spot, with teammate Elizabeth Meaney (So., Ashtabula, Ohio) on vault (9.900) and balance beam (9.925). Janke also tied for fourth on uneven bars (9.825) and floor exercise (9.925).

Janke has enjoyed a stellar senior season thus far. She has posted team highs on balance beam with 9.925 at the All-Ohio Championship, and on vault, with a 9.925 against Maryland and Pittsburgh.

This is Janke’s second Gymnast of the Week award. She won the honor for posting a perfect 10.000 on vault at the 2003 All-Ohio Championships, March 8, 2003.

The Buckeye freshman class has had no problem of making an immediate impact on the 2004 season. Both Elizabeth Ahlberg and Brittany Livingston have seen their share of action this season and have produced strong numbers for the Buckeyes.

Livingston has competed on vault, floor exercise, uneven bars and balance beam in every meet this season. She placed third in the all-around with a score of 38.375 in the meet against West Virginia and N.C. State, Jan. 18, and her 9.850 on balance beam against West Virginia and N.C. State is tied with Elizabeth Meaney for the season-high score on balance beam

Ahlberg also has competed in every meet this season. She has posted strong scores on vault, scoring an individual season-high of a 9.725 against Maryland and Pittsburgh.

After a huge weekend at the All-Ohio Championships, Tiffanie Janke finds herself ranked No. 1 in the latest GymInfo central region all-around rankings with an average score of 39.575. Janke also is ranked 21st nationally in the vault rankings with an average score of 9.885, that average also places her fifth in the central region poll.

Joining Janke is junior Elizabeth Meaney. Meaney is ranked 10th in the central region floor exercise rankings with an average score of 9.850.

In the latest GymInfo regional rankings Ohio State is ranked No. 5 with an average meet score of 194.590. Alabama is ranked No.1 in the region followed by LSU, Auburn and Kent State.

After a 2003 season that featured a 10-4 record and a fifth place finish at both the NCAA Regional Championships and Big Ten Championships, along with the return of 11 letterwinners, the Buckeyes have high expectations for the 2004 campaign.

The Buckeyes return 11 veterans, who will provide Ohio State with valuable depth and experience.

Senior Tiffanie Janke and sophomore Jill Weber, both First Team All-Big Ten selections last season, will anchor the team this season. Both Janke and Weber tied a school record with a perfect 10 on vault last season.

In addition, fellow classmates Bethany Groskopf, Jenni Lymanstall, who did not compete last season, and Megan Porter will be strong contributors to the squad this year.

Ohio State features two strong juniors this season. Elizabeth Meaney, who captured the team’s Most Inspirational, Most Dedicated and Coaches’ awards, scored a 9.8 or better on both beam and floor exercise in 12 of the Buckeye’s 13 meets. Fellow junior Shelley Harris will also be a strong contributor, Harris posted a 9.75 or better in four of Ohio State’s last five meets.

Perhaps the most talented class for the Buckeyes is the sophomore class, which made up half of the competing team last season. The class is led by Jill Weber, who was nominated for the Big Ten Freshman of the year award last year. Weber is joined by Leah Boccaccio, Kaylin Schlecht, Emily Sineway, who was the teams Most Improved Gymnast, and Shelby Warner.

The Buckeyes added three freshmen for the 2004 season.

Elizabeth Ahlberg, a native of San Antonio, Texas, was a three-time regional qualifier and a 2003 Junior Olympic National qualifier.

Lindsay Puhl, of Sylvania, Ohio, is a transfer from Cornell University. Puhl earned First Team All-Ohio honors as a high school sophomore and help lead Northview High School to a state championship.

Brittany Livingston, from Lisle, Ill., is a six-time Junior Olympic Qualifier and captured the state vault title in 2003 along with helping her team to three Illinois state championships.

Ohio State will have many tests to pass this year with meets against some of the nation’s most premier squads. The Buckeyes’ schedule includes meets with Nebraska, Louisiana State and Penn State, all are ranked in the “GymInfo” Preseason Top-25.

Ohio State will begin its 2004 campaign home against Kentucky, Jan. and against Maryland and Pittsburgh, Jan.10. The Buckeyes will then travel to Morgantown W.Va., Jan. 18, for a meet against North Carolina State and West Virginia.

The Buckeyes return to Columbus for a meet against Illinois and Illinois State, Jan. 31, before traveling to Bowling Green for the annual All-Ohio Championships, Feb. 8.

Following the All-Ohio Championships, the Buckeyes travel to Omaha Neb., Feb. 15, and the return for their final home meet, Feb. 21, against Penn State.

Ohio State wraps up its 2004 season with three road meets against Michigan State, Louisiana State and Eastern Michigan.

Four Buckeyes have set career high scores this season. Sophomore Leah Boccaccio posted a career high 9.700 on vault, at the All-Ohio Championships, Feb. 8 while senior Jenni Lymanstall notched a career high 9.875 on the floor exercise in the meet against Illinois State and Illinois, Jan. 31.

Also against Illinois and Illinois State junior Elizabeth Meaney and sophomore Kaylin Schlecht posted new career highs. Meaney posted a career high 39.450 all-around score as well as a career-high, 9.950 on floor exercise, while Schelcht’s floor exercise score of 9.850 tops her previous high of 9.825 set against Kent State in 2003.

After their meet against Nebraska, the Buckeyes will return home for their final meet of the season against the No. 21 Penn State Nittany Lions. The meet set to begin at 7 p.m., Feb. 20, will be a coed meet with the No. 1 Ohio State men’s gymnastics team.