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Women’s gymnastics: Ohio State hoping to regain momentum on road meet against Minnesota

Redshirt Freshman Amanda Huang preforms on beam against Iowa in St. John Arena on Jan. 21. Credit: Megan Russell | Lantern reporter

Now sitting at No. 22 in the country after falling to the Iowa Hawkeyes in a close meet last Saturday, the Ohio State women’s gymnastics team plans to make several lineup changes for their meet on the road at Minnesota.

The Buckeyes added an extra practice this week to focus on floor, an event that has seen lower average scores in the last two consecutive meets. Coach Carey Fagan is using the extra practices from this week to determine potential lineup changes in the coming meet in Minneapolis this Saturday.

“We need to get better on floor,” Fagan said. “That’s really the event we’ve struggled on. We’re going to get three days of floor in before we leave for Minnesota.”

Among the athletes being considered to compete for the Buckeyes on floor on Saturday is junior Taylor Harrison, who has been absent from the lineup due to a hip injury.

“I think if she has a solid week of practice, we may put her in the floor lineup in Minnesota,” Fagan said. “She had a good practice this last week, and I’d like to give her a couple more days, but if she’s ready, that will be exciting. She’s historically a 9.85 every time she goes on an event, so that’s going to be a big boost.”

The lineup for bars might also be altered against Minnesota. Freshman Amanda Huang has performed in the exhibition slot for the bar event in the last two meets and might be stepping up to the performance lineup.

Even vault, an event where the Buckeyes have excelled in the last two meets, might be changed to improve the already strong lineup. Senior Tenille Funches might make an appearance after also performing in the exhibition slot in the last meet.

Although no lineup is set in stone, Fagan said a meet on the road is the best time to implement them.

“Each week we have a six-person lineup, and depending on who is prepared that week, they go in and compete for the team,” junior Alexis Mattern said.

With 12 available athletes competing for limited spots, the Buckeye have more athletes to choose from for each different event.

“I think that probably for the next four or five weeks, you’ll see some things mixing up,” Fagan said. “As we get towards senior meet, it will be pretty solid, and barring any injuries or illnesses, it will probably be set from that point on.”

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