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Women’s gymnastics: Alexis Mattern becoming the favorite for a Big Ten all-around title

Ohio State junior Alexis Mattern performs on floor against Iowa in St. John Arena on Jan. 21. Credit: Megan Russell | Lantern reporter

Ohio State women’s gymnastics junior Alexis Mattern placed first in the all-around for her fourth meet in a row with a score of 39.375 in OSU’s victory over West Virginia.

She was named the Big Ten Gymnast of the Week on Monday for the first time this season.

“It definitely is something I really didn’t expect,” Mattern said. “You shoot for the stars every day, and if you don’t, why are you training? To be able to be in this position after a couple of weeks of our competition season, it’s definitely nice to see.”

In addition to being ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten conference, Mattern is also first on vault, tied for second on floor and seventh on uneven bars. She is also ranked 13th nationally in all-around, 15th on vault and tied for 20th on floor.

With Mattern successfully taking title after title, OSU coach Carey Fagan sees potential for the gymnast to become the Big Ten all-around champion.

“I think that’s a very attainable goal for her,” Fagan said. “Now that we’re about halfway through the season, and she’s sitting at No. 1, I think she’s got to start realistically thinking about becoming a Big Ten champion.”

Week after week in the 2017 season, Mattern has consistently hit or tied her personal bests and has not walked away from a meet without snagging at least one title. She has placed first or tied for the all-around five times, won vault five times, captured three floor-exercise titles and won bars twice this season.

Mattern has set the bar quite high for herself, but said she strives to continue improving every day. Mattern also said that she tries to not let the pressure of constantly setting records get to her.

“She has figured out how to handle pressure, and has decided that she likes that,” Fagan said. “I think that’s the biggest difference that we are seeing in her this year, is just her mental approach to handling pressure.”

Mattern not only hopes to see her team become Big Ten champions and qualify for nationals, but she also has the personal goal of being named as a first-team All-Big Ten member. Mattern had been named to the All-Big Ten second team the past two years as a freshman and sophomore, but is now striving to step up to the first tier for the 2017 season.

Mattern said she also looks to her teammates for support during every meet.

“We live together here in the gym,” Mattern said. “If you’re ever down or out or at your highest, those people are always there to bring you back up or keep you level headed. Honestly, if I was in any situation and had any of them, I know I would be okay.”

OSU competes Friday at 7 p.m. against Denver.

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