CORVALLIS, Ore. – The No. 12 Oregon State gymnastics team scored 195.200 to open the season despite tough judging to win a three-team meet at No. 19 Ohio State. The Beavers outscored the Buckeyes on three events to come from behind in the final rotation to earn the victories over Ohio State (194.750) and Bowling Green (191.950).
“There were some good things that happened this afternoon,” head coach Tanya Chaplin said. “We had a lot of new routines in there and we got a lot of good experience. It was a good start for a first meet on the road but we know there is work to be done this week to prepare for next week. Floor exercise can be the biggest area of improvement for our team. But still, when they got out of position they did a great job of fighting to stay on their feet and didn’t concede anything.”
With the sweep, Chaplin tied the Oregon State record with 317 career wins matching Jim Turpin, who coached the Beavers from 1986-97.
Oregon State (2-0) moves to 22-15 in season openers under Chaplin. The Beavers have won in all three trips they’ve made to Columbus and are now 10-4 in the all-time series against the Buckeyes.
The Beavers started the meet on the uneven bars posting the only 49-point rotation of the meet hitting six routines to score 49.150. Junior Taylor Keeker and freshman Kaytianna McMillan scored matching 9.75’s, in the first official routines of their respective careers, followed by a 9.80 from Chelsea Tang. Hannah Casey tallied a career-high 9.875 before Brittany Harris scored 9.85 and Erika Aufiero finished with a 9.875 to tie for the individual bars title. It is the first individual title of Casey’s career.
Oregon State moved to the balance beam, with the lead 49.150-48.950, where the Beavers ran into some tight scoring. Despite hitting all six routines the Beavers managed a team score of 48.700. Tang led the way with a score of 9.825 while freshmen McMillan and Madeline Gardiner added scores of 9.775 and 9.75.
Trailing Ohio State 97.925-97.850 at the halfway point, the Beavers moved to the floor exercise seeking to regain some momentum. The lineup, which entering the meet was OSU’s least experienced, included four new routines including sophomores Jaime Wright and Nicole Turner both of whom stumbled on their middle tumbling passes but fought to stay on their feet. McMillan led the Beavers with a 9.775 and Tang added a 9.75.
Still trailing 146.425-146.350 headed to the fourth rotation OSU’s vaulters hit six straight to score 48.850. Keeker’s 9.80 led the way while Megan Jimenez and Kelsi Blalock posted scores of 9.775. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes struggled on the floor taking three out-of-bounds deductions and scoring 48.325 in the final stanza.
Oregon State remains on the road next Sun., Jan. 19 at UCLA before hosting its home opener Sat., Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. against Iowa State.
Team Scores: No. 12 Oregon State 195.200; No. 19 Ohio State 194.750; Bowling Green 191.950.
All-Around: 1. Melanie Shaffer (Ohio State) 39.225; 2. Chelsea Tang (OSU) 39.125; 3. Alyssa Nocella (BGSU) 38.375 .