COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 25 Ohio State women’s gymnastics team earned a 196.500, the third-highest score this season, to finish third at the NCAA Columbus Regional Saturday at St. John Arena. No. 3 UCLA won the meet with a 197.650 while No. 10 Arkansas finished second at 197.775. No. 15 Boise State took fourth with a 196.225 and Pittsburgh was fifth at 195.125. Kent State rounded out the scoring at a 194.900.
Jamie Stone tied her career high and for first place on vault with a 9.900 to advance to the NCAA Championships in two weeks (Apr. 20-21) in St. Louis, Mo.
Ohio State’s third-place finish is the best since 2012 when the Buckeyes came in second at the NCAA Raleigh Regional. The team’s 196.500 is the 11th-best mark and highest score at an NCAA Regional in program history.
“When you come in as the fourth seed and do better than expected and stay in the mix, that’s exciting for a young inexperienced team,” said head coach Meredith Paulicivic. “Even though we’re a little disappointed because we came so close, it was a great meet and a great year. I’m so excited for Jamie to experience nationals and knowing she’s coming back next year. It’s been a great first year at Ohio State, it’s like I’m living a dream and I’m really looking forward to the future of this program.”
The Columbus Regional opened with a bye for the Buckeyes, who moved to uneven bars for the second rotation. Ohio State scored a 49.200, led by Olivia Aepli with a 9.875 to tie for fourth. Peyton Hinterberger had a career-high 9.850 while Amanda Huang, Kaitlyn Hofland and Jenna Swartzentruber all earned a 9.825.
After its second bye, Ohio State bounced back on floor exercise behind a 49.300, the fourth-best score this season. Jamie Stone topped the squad with a 9.900, which tied for second. Janelle McClelland and Merkle followed up with a set of 9.875s while Aepli and Mattern each had a 9.825.
The Buckeyes concluded the meet on vault with the second-highest score this season, a 49.150. Stone delivered her second 9.900 of the night for a first-place finish. Aepli tallied a 9.875 with Merkle and Mattern close behind at 9.800. Swartzentruber tied her career mark on a 9.750.
Mattern placed sixth in the all-around competition with a 39.225.