No. 3 Ohio State Clinches Big Ten Championship
March 25, 2006
The No. 3 Ohio Sate men's gymnastics team (16-1; 13-0 Big Ten) won its second-consecutive conference title with a score of 215.625 at the 2006 Big Ten Championship Friday in Iowa City, Iowa. This marks the program's 11th team title. The men's gymnastics 2006 Big Ten Championship will be televised at 8 p.m. March 30 on CSTV.
No. 4 Illinois finished behind the Buckeyes with a second-place score of 214.800 and No. 7 Iowa rounded out the Top 3 with a 213.750. Michigan took fourth place (210.775), Penn State finished fifth (210.250) and Minnesota placed sixth (205.500).
"We won back-to-back Big Ten championships and that's something to be proud of," Miles Avery, Ohio State head coach, said. "It's two in a row, but we have to do more for the NCAA championships."
The Buckeyes began the competition on pommel horse with a team score of 33.550. Sophomore DJ Bucher (Mason, Ohio/Queen City Gymnastics) paced Ohio State with a 9.100 for the event win. Co-captain Willie Ito (Jr., Huntington Beach, Calif./South Coast Gymnastics) added a season-high 8.700 for sixth place on the apparatus.
In the second rotation, Pedro Pineda (So., Galloway, Ohio/Hocking Valley Gymnastics) led the Buckeye squad on rings with a season-high 9.175. Pineda's 9.175 tied Michigan's Phil Goldberg for fifth place. Bucher and Jake Bateman (Fr., Kingsport, Tenn./Premier Gymnastics) added a pair of 8.95s to give Ohio State a season-high team score of 35.975. After two rotations the Buckeyes climbed to fourth place with a 69.525. Ohio State vaulted to second place (106.475) after the team earned a 36.950 as five of six Buckeyes earned scores above 9.000 in the third rotation. Kristopher Kline (Jr., Westerville, Ohio/Hocking Valley Gymnastics Center) notched a career-high 9.300 on vault. Bateman added another 9.300 and David Ortiz (So., Cincinnati, Ohio/Queen City Gymnastics) posted a 9.200 to boost the squad. In addition, Jimmy Wickham (So., Gulfport, Miss./Planet Gymnastics) and co-captain Nicholaus Searcy (Jr., Dublin, Ohio/Hocking Valley Gymnastics Center) tallied 9.150s.
On parallel bars, Ohio State scored a 35.550 to remain in second with a 142.025 after the fourth rotation. Bucher placed third on the event with a 9.400 to lead Ohio State and Bateman contributed a fourth-place finish (9.050).
After high bar, the Buckeyes moved into first place with a 178.475. Ito won the event title on high bar with 9.500 and Ortiz tied for second with a 9.450. The team's high bar total of 36.450 earned Ohio State a second-place finish on the apparatus.
The Buckeyes won the final rotation of the championship (37.150) as four of five Buckeyes again scored above a 9.00 on floor. The event win secured the team's 2006 Big Ten Championship title. Wickham tied for second on the event and earned the highest score on floor for the Buckeyes with a 9.550 and freshman Eddie Hay (Butler, Pa./Butler Gymnastics) posted a 9.300. Bateman tied his career-high on floor (9.250) and Kline tallied his second career-high of the night with a 9.05.
The Top 8 gymnasts from each event qualify for the Big Ten individual finals at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
2006 Big Ten Championships