Illinois Hands Ohio State First Home Loss Since 1991
Feb. 15, 2002
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Fighting Illini men's gymnastics team accomplished something that has not been done in 11 years. Illinois downed Ohio State in Columbus, 214.375-213.525. That winning streak included winning the national title last season at St. John Arena. Illinois improves to 8-2 overall, 5-2 in the Big Ten.
"We always new Ohio State was a tough team, and they are tougher at home," head coach Yoshi Hayasaki said. "Beating Ohio State at home is a great accomplishment. It is a forward stride for our season. It is psychologically tough to perform on the road, although you should be able to perform wherever you are. We did that today. It shows that we are a solid team. A lot of good things happened for this team, but there are still some things we need to work on."
Ohio State took an early lead scoring a 36.500 on the floor exercise. The Illini accumulated a 36.200 on the pommel horse giving the Buckeyes a lead after the first rotation. Illinois cut into the Ohio State advantage in the second rotation scoring a 35.650 on the floor to OSU's 35.500 on pommels. The Illini outscored the Buckeyes by more than a full point in the third rotation but were outscored by nearly a point in rotation four giving the Buckeyes a lead of 0.050 with two rotations remaining. The Illini scored their third straight 36.350 on the high bar, which, combined with their 33.450 in their final event, the parallel bars, was just enough to down the Buckeyes at home for the first time since 1991.
Illinois placed two individuals among the top three in every event. The Illini started with a 1-2 finish in the pommel horse. Freshman Peter Shostchuk took the individual title, scoring a 9.300, followed by fellow freshman Ben Newman who scored a 9.100 to finish second. From there the Illini moved to floor exercise where Sean-Paul Crawford and Bob Rogers each scored 9.100 to tie for second place. Crawford then tied for first with a vault of 9.300. Scott Wetterling's vault of 9.250 was good for third place.
In the next event, the Illini also finished first and third. J.G. Ketchen took the rings title (9.400) followed by Newman in third (9.000). Illinois individuals took the top three spots in the high bar as Wetterling won the event (9.350) while Rogers and Ketchen tied for second (9.150). Illinois finished the meet on one of its weakest events, the parallel bars. The team score was low, but Ketchen and Jonathan Plante walked away with individual honors. Ketchen scored an 8.900 to finish second while Plante took third with an 8.800.
Illinois' team total of 214.375 was the second highest road score in the nation this season. The highest is a 214.400 registered by Oklahoma. The Sooners were scheduled to compete at St. John Arena tonight, but were unable to due to traveling conflicts. The Illini strive for more top road scores as they travel to the UCLA Invitational on Feb. 21 and meet Santa Barbara and Stanford in California on Feb. 23.
RESULTS Floor - 35.450 T2 Crawford 9.1 T2 Rogers 9.1 7 Wetterling 8.8 T9 Plante 8.45 11 Garnett 8.3 12 Seward 8.25