The Penn State women's gymnastics team will make the six-hour trip to Columbus, Ohio, this weekend, but their destination isn't Ohio State.
It's "Penn State West." That is according to Nittany Lions coach Steve Shephard, at least.
"We always tease Ohio State that it is Penn State West," Shephard joked. "Carey was one of our athletes, Bill was our assistant coach and Meredith was one of our athletes, too."
Shephard is referring to the Ohio State's coaching staff, which has strong ties to Penn State.
Buckeye head coach Carey Fagan competed for the Nittany Lions from 1995 to '98. Assistant coach Bill Lorenz held the same position for two years earlier this decade in State College, and assistant Meredith Yonushonis was a gymnast for Penn State, graduating in 2006.
Fagan, in her sixth season as coach, fondly remembers her Penn State career -- and her coach.
Fagan and Yonushonis reminisce frequently about their former coach at Penn State.
Fagan said Shephard was always full of memorable quotes and inspirational words.
What Fagan remembers most, though, is the knowledge Shephard bestowed on her that she has taken with her to Columbus.
Shephard taught Fagan about the need to see past the present and focus on the future, something she now preaches to her team.
"I think one of the biggest challenges is making [gymnasts] see the big picture and look beyond today and tomorrow and see down the road," Fagan said. "That's what he worked on."
Lions assistant and beam coach Jess Bastardi mentored Yonushonis throughout her Penn State career.
Yonushonis, who now coaches beam for the Buckeyes, used what she learned from Bastardi and has made an immediate impact on the Buckeyes early in her coaching career.
Last year, Yonushonis' first with the Buckeyes, she improved the team's balance beam average almost a full point.
"[Bastardi's] mindset was mental cues and all mental toughness and getting the girls to take that mentality on," Yonushonis said.
"I have taken some of the way Jess coached and tried to imitate with my own touch. It works for me and my team here at Ohio State, too."
Fagan helped lead the Lions to the NCAA national championship in all four seasons of her career, but her favorite moment came in 1996.
At the NCAA regional championships, Shephard looked to the sophomore Fagan to guide the Lions into the national championships.
They were down to their final event -- vault, which Fagan anchored -- and needed a high score to win the regional crown. Fagan, who slipped on her first vault, hit her second routine and secured a first-place finish for Penn State.
Now, Fagan is hoping to prevent a first-place finish, and she has had some recent success against the Lions in St. John Arena.
The last time the Lions visited Fagan in Columbus in 2008, she sent them home with a loss.
Overall, the Lions have won only one out of their last six trips to Columbus.
"[A win] would mean a lot," Yonushonis said.
"Our team only has two wins, and it would be a big morale builder for the team as we go into the final stretch for Big Ten."
It's clear Fagan, a North Canton, Ohio, native, will pull for her team on Saturday. But with so many ties to each school, where do her rooting interests lie the rest of the year when her employer and alma mater meet?
"I definitely have a strong place in my heart for Penn State," Fagan said, "but I'm an Ohio State fan now.
"But," Fagan added, "I'm married to a Penn State football player, and he makes it tough."