Jan. 13, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 7 Ohio State men's gymnastics team begins the 2012 campaign at the 42nd-annual Windy City Invitational at 8 p.m. ET Saturday at the University of Illinois-Chicago PE Building in Chicago, Ill.
A NEW ERA BEGINS
The 2012 Windy City Invitational will mark the first regular-season meet for head coach Rustam Sharipov at Ohio State. Sharipov, who spent the last six seasons as an assistant coach at Oklahoma, is excited to see his young team in action against some of the best competition in the conference.
"This year we will have a young team with eight freshmen and nine sophomores on the roster," Sharipov said. "Six freshmen will compete this weekend. Our goal for this meet is to show clean routines and see where we stand at this point. The season is long and we want to make sure by the end of it we can be in the best shape."
The Buckeyes will face host University of Illinois-Chicago and four Big Ten opponents, including No. 2 Illinois, No. 3 Michigan, No. 8 Minnesota and No. 10 Iowa at the Windy City Invitational this weekend.
Ohio State returns three All-Americans in 2012, including senior Ty Echard on pommel horse, sophomore Kris Done on high bar and sophomore Jeff Treleaven on vault. Done and Treleaven were the first freshmen to earn All-America honors since Steven Spencer accomplished the feat in 2009. Echard, a native of Carroll, Ohio, is a two-time All-American and will begin his journey for a national title on pommel horse in 2012 this weekend.
RECAP: 2011 WINDY CITY INVITATIONAL
The Buckeyes opened their 2011 season at the Windy City Invitational with a fourth place finish with a final team score of 339.800. Ohio State finished behind Big Ten opponents Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota. Brandon Wynn, Ty Echard and Jeff Treleaven led the way for the team during the competition. Wynn claimed the rings title with a 15.8. Echard had a meet-high 15.4 on pommel horse, while Treleaven tied for first on vault with a 15.9 score.
BIG TEN PREASEASON POLL
Ohio State was tabbed fourth by the Big Ten Conference coaches in a preseason poll released in December. Illinois was picked as the conference favorite, followed by Michigan, Penn State and Ohio State. Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa round out the preseason picks. For Ohio State, sophomores Kris Done and Misha Koudinov were named to the 14-member Big Ten Gymnasts to Watch list.
ECHARD, MONKS NAMED 2012 CAPTAINS
Senior Ty Echard and junior Blaize Monks were named co-captains for the 2012 season. Echard, a two-time All-American on pommel horse, holds the program record on the event with a 15.7 set in 2010. Monks, a native of Noblesville, Ind., competed in three events for the team at the 2011 NCAA National Qualifer. He also placed eighth on high bar at the 2011 Big Ten Championship Event Finals.
POMMEL HORSE SPECIALIST
Ty Echard continued his success on pommel horse during his junior season for the Buckeyes. Echard, a native of Carroll, Ohio, won seven pommel horse titles in 2011 with ten Top 3 finishes. The All-American posted a season-high 15.55 vs. Brockport Feb. 12 in St. John Arena. He holds the program record on the event after performing a 15.7 vs. Michigan in 2010. After claiming second place at the Big Ten Championships, Echard was named a second team All-Big Ten selection. He continued his success at NCAA Individual Event Championships in Columbus with a third-place finish on pommel horse with a score of 15.25
Sophopmore Jeff Treleaven had an impressive first season at Ohio State in 2011. The native of Glen Ellyn, Ill., Treleaven claimed three Big Ten weekly honors, including gymnast of the week (Feb. 14) and freshman of the week twice (Jan. 17 and Feb. 14). The Buckeye rookie swept the weekly award laurels after posting then-season highs of 16.1 on vault and 14.95 on floor exercise in the win against Brockport Feb. 12 at St. John Arena. Treleaven also posted a season-high 13.65 on parallel bars to tie for third overall. In the home regular season finale in a tri-meet against Illinois and Nebraska, Treleaven notched a team-high 16.4 on vault to earn his fourth vault title of 2011.
Treleaven made an impressive performance in postseason action, claiming second place on floor exercise and tied for third on vault at the Big Ten Championships en route to being named a second team All-Big Ten honoree. Treleaven claimed his first-career All-America laurel after tying for third on vault at the NCAA Individual Event Championships in Columbus.
KRIS GETS IT DONE
Sophomore Kris Done became the top performer for the Buckeyes on high bar last season and will look to lead the 2012 squad in the all-around competition this year. A native of Auckland, New Zealand, Done won four-consecutive titles on the event, posting a team-high 15.25 in the win against Illinois and Nebraska March 12 in Columbus. At Oklahoma, Done was second overall on high bar with a team-high 14.85 to help Ohio State notch a season-high 57.150 team score.
Done continued his success in postseason competition with a second place finish on both high bar and the all-around competition at the 2011 Big Ten Championships. Done was named a first team All-Big Ten selection and also was awarded the Buckeyes' Big Ten Sportsmanship honor. In his first NCAA appearance, Done received All-American honors with a fifth-place finish on high bar at the 2011 NCAA Individual Event Championships.
The Buckeyes are led by first-year head coach Rustam Sharipov. A native of Kharkov, Ukraine, Sharipov was named the 2006 National Co-Assistant Coach of the Year, helping the Sooners claim the NCAA Championship. In 2008, Sharipov helped guide the team to a second national title and was named co-assistant coach of the year for the second time in his career. In 2011, he was named the CGA West Region Assistant Coach of the Year, leading the Sooners to a NCAA runner-up finish in the team finals at St. John Arena. Sharipov, who most recently coached the United States at the 2011 Pan American Games, has experience at the highest levels of gymnastics as both a coach and an athlete.
Sharipov brings with him the experience of three Olympic medals including two gold medals.
Joining Sharipov are assistant coaches Casimiro Suarez and Bob Gauthier. Suarez, a native of Havana, Cuba has coached at the junior, collegiate and international levels. He was named the Junior Olympic Coach of the Year in 2010 after being a U.S. junior national team coach since 2004. Suarez also served as Cuba's women's national team coach from 1991-1994 and was Brazil's women's national team coach from 1995-1998. He spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Oklahoma from 1998-2000. Bob
Gauthier was an NCAA All-American at BYU (1984-85) and has coached gymnastics for more than 20 years at all different age levels at various local gyms. He also has spent time as an NCAA collegiate judge for 11 years. Gauthier was a member of the USA Gymnastics' team from 1985-1988.
The Buckeyes will open their home schedule at 4 p.m. Jan. 21 a co-ed meet against Oklahoma at St. John Arena.