Jan. 15, 2004
Ohio State junior Randy Monahan was named the first Big Ten Men's Gymnast of the week of the 2004 season following his January 10th performance at the Windy City Invitational where he won the all-around competition. His score of 54.150 was just shy of his career high, although he did set personal bests on the high bar (9.65) and rings (9.50). The Elizabethtown, Pa. native led the No. 1 Buckeyes to a team championship at the invite over four other top ten teams. Monahan is a two-time All-American, in addition to being the reigning Conference champion in the all-around and earning 2003 Big Ten Gymnast of the Year honors. Here is how Randy answered some of our questions about new skills, memorable moments, and his efforts for a spot on the 2004 Olympic team.
You recently won the all-around competition at the Windy City Invitational and were named Big Ten Men's Gymnast of the Week. Does the early success come at all as a surprise?
I had a good competition and I was pleased with how I did. I always have high expectations going into the first meet, so I guess the success didn't really come as a surprise.
You compete in the all-around and have been successful in many events, but which one is your favorite?
The high bar is my favorite because it's the most exciting with the release moves and flying high.
Have you added any new skills this year?
I added a few new things this year, trying to get my start values up to a ten. I've added new things on the rings, floor, high bar, and pommel horse to increase my start values.
What kind of pre-meet or pre-routine rituals do you have?
I would say I do some visualization before compete on events. I'll go through the routine in my head that I'm about to do and visualize myself hitting it.
Have you ever scored a perfect "10?"
No, haven't hit a '10' yet. I probably got pretty close, you know, 'back in the day,' but I guess my most recent high score would be a 9.75.
When you approach an event in a dual meet, do you place more importance on the score, or what place to earn for your team?
The two really go hand and hand, so I just put my emphasis on hitting my routines and going out and competing well. Once you're out there, it's really in the judges' hands, so I just go out and do the best job I can.
Ohio State won the Big Ten team title in 2002 in your freshman season. Can you describe the feeling of winning a Big Ten team championship?
The feeling is amazing, having 15 other guys out there working towards the same thing, and to be able to share it with the other guys is incredible. Before I came to college, my mindset was always that gymnastics was an individual sport But to be successful with a team just makes it that much sweeter.
With this being an Olympic year, what kind of plans do you have for competing this summer or trying to make the team?
I'm not sure how it's going to work this year with people qualifying to US Nationals from NCAA Championships, but if I don't make it there, I'll go to a qualifier event in order to make it at Nationals. From there, they'll take the top 18 guys to go to (Olympic) trials. From trials, the top two guys automatically make the team and then they pick four more to go, plus one alternate.
What has been your most memorable moment, thus far, in your Ohio State career?
I would say last year at Big Tens when I won the all-around. As a team we didn't come out on top, but I was happy with my performance and effort to help the team finish well.