No. 16 Beavers Host Home Opener Saturday

Photo By: Scobel Wiggins/Oregon State Athletics   01-23-2014

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No. 16 Oregon State (2-1) returns to the friendly confines of Gill Coliseum for the first time this year when the Beavers host the Iowa State Cyclones (1-3) Sat., Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. ... the Beavers will start the meet on the vault - the first time this year they’ve started somewhere other than the uneven bars - then go to bars, balance beam and finish on the floor exercise.

The meet will stream live over the Internet on with former Oregon State gymnasts Heather Humphrey and Stephanie McGregor providing commentary. This is the fourth season Humphrey, a two-time All-American on bars for the Beavers in 1995 and ‘96, has called the action for OSU gymnastics on the web. McGregor rejoins Humphrey after finishing her eligibility in 2013. McGregor previously was on the call during the 2012 season while she sat out due to injury ... Fans can also follow @OregonStateGym on Twitter for all game day information, including score updates and observations.

Oregon State leads the all-time series with Iowa State 4-3. However, the Cyclones have come out on top in each of the last three meetings. The most recent encounter between the two schools came in a quad meet at Stanford where ISU finished second to OSU’s third, 196.075-194.100. Overall the Beavers are 1-1 against the Cyclones in Corvallis winning the most recent duel, which was a 195.525-195.100 decision in the 2005 Salbasgeon Suites Invitational.

Seventeenth-year head coach Tanya Chaplin needs one victory to become the school’s all-time winningest coach - currently tied with Jim Turpin (1986-97) at 317 wins. She already holds the school record with 255 regular season wins.

Oregon State has a 16-5 record in home openers under head coach Tanya Chaplin and beaten the last 10 opponents to venture to Gill Coliseum on opening night. Last year, OSU - ranked No. 9 at the time - knocked off No. 14 Ohio State 195.375-195.000.

The Oregon State gymnastics program’s seventh annual Pink Out Breakfast and Silent Auction is scheduled for Sat., Feb. 1 in conjunction with the Mon., Feb. 3 Dam Cancer gymnastics meet against Stanford. Register for this fantastic event hosted by the gymnastics booster club - the 10.0 Club - at

Season and single-meet tickets for the 2014 OSU gymnastics season are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online at, by calling 1-800-GO-BEAVS or in person at the OSU Ticket Office located in room 107 of Gill Coliseum.

The Beavers remain in Corvallis for the next three weeks with meets scheduled for Feb. 3, Feb. 8 and Feb. 15. The next meet is the annual Pink Out event when OSU hosts Stanford for a top 25 showdown Mon., Feb. 3. That meet will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks.

Oregon State took its first loss of the season in a top 15 match up at UCLA. The Beavers posted a season-high score of 195.625 but reached the 49-point mark on only one event - balance beam. Despite a lead off fall in the final rotation, the remainder of the lineup posted season-highs including a 9.875 from Chelsea Tang and a 9.85 from Madeline Gardiner to tally 49.175 as a team. A week after being the lone lineup to achieve a 49-plus mark, the bars lineup struggled taking several large deductions - although no falls - and were led by Brittany Harris’ 9.85 and Tang’s 9.80. Taylor Keeker once again led OSU’s vaulters, this time setting a personal-best of 9.90 while Kelsi Blalock and Tang added scores of 9.80. On floor exercise, Nicole Turner and Kaytianna McMillan’s performances (9.825) paced the Beavers. Tang won the all-around with a season-high score of 39.175.

Oregon State is ranked No. 16 in this week’s rankings, which are currently based on season average. See page 3 for the preseason top 25 and complete rankings. Three of OSU’s lineups are ranked among the top 25 in the nation with beam at No. 9, bars tied at No. 14 and vault at No. 20. Floor is currently ranked No. 28 ... individually Chelsea Tang is ranked No. 15 in the nation on the balance beam (9.85) and No. 23 in the all-around (39.150) and Brittany Harris is ranked No. 22 on the unevent bars (9.85) ... ten of OSU’s 2014 opponents were ranked in the preseason top 25: No. 4 UCLA, No. 6 Utah, No. 9 Stanford, No. 10 Nebraska, No. 17 Arizona, No. 19 Ohio State, No. 20 Washington, No. 22 California, No. 23 Boise State and No. 25 Arizona State.

In Oregon State’s season opener walk-ons Hannah Casey, Taylor Keeker and Katelyn Ohlrich made a dramatic impact on the Beavers’ lineups. Casey, a senior from Portland, Ore., has played a key role in the OSU bars lineup since her sophomore year mostly filling the lead-off position. Last week, Casey moved to the latter half of the lineup performing in the four-spot where she scored a career-best 9.875 and tied for first earning the first event title of her career ... Ohlrich, a junior from Bend, Ore., joined the beam lineup last year “hitting” all 12 of her routines despite a nagging knee injury that prevented her from training other events. Ohlrich has now solidified herself as a fixture in the middle of the lineup and has scored her career-high of 9.85 on three occasions ... Keeker, a junior from Keizer, Ore., performed in the competition lineup for the first time in her career last week at Ohio State led off the meet for the Beavers scoring 9.75 on the bars before posting the team’s top vault score of 9.80 at the end of the meet.

Through two meets, Oregon State’s routines have been split fairly evenly throughout the squad with the juniors leading the way with 33% (16 out of 48) of the routines performed this year. The seniors are providing 27% (13 of 48), the freshmen 21% (10 of 48) and the sophomores 19% (9 of 48).  In comparision, in 2013, the senior class accounted for 53% (151 of 287) of the production while the sophomores provided 23% (65 of 287), the juniors accounted for 18% (53 of 287) and freshmen 6% (18 of 287).

The Beavers entered the season seeking to replace four gymnasts and nine routines - three vault, two bars, two beam, two floor - from the 2013 lineup at the NCAA Regionals last April. Instead head coach Tanya Chaplin slotted in 11 new routines at Ohio State. In addition to filling the open slots on vault, bars and beam, the season-opening lineup featured two additional new floor routines for a total of four ... last Sunday at UCLA there were additional changes with Cerise Witherby and Jaime Wright joining the vault lineup - both new to that lineup. In addition, Witherby, who was a regular in the floor lineup in 2013, made an appearance for the Beavs in that lineup.

In June, Kelsi Blalock was officially granted a medical hardship for the 2009-10 season giving her a fifth year of eligibility. Blalock suffered an ankle injury during warm-ups at a dual meet at California, what would have been her fourth meet of the season, forcing her to miss the remainder of the season.

“Super-senior” Kelsi Blalock is the Beavers’ lone returning All-American after earning her first such honor as a NACGC/W Regular Season All-America selection on the vault. In addition, Brittany Harris and Chelsea Tang, both of whom were individual qualifers to the NCAA Championships in the all-around in 2013, are back. The Beavers also have four All-Pac-12 gymnasts returning: Erika Aufiero (bars - second team, Blalock (vault - first team), Harris (bars - first team) and Tang (beam - first team).

Oregon State has a quirk in the schedule in 2014 with four straight meets at home. After the Beavers’ two season-opening trips to Ohio State and UCLA they’ll return to Corvallis for a month with home dates Jan. 25, Feb. 3, Feb. 8 and Feb. 15. The Beavers will then have just one more home meet Mar. 1.

TWO FOR 2015
In November, two high school seniors signed the National Letters of Intent to join the Oregon State gymnastics program for the 2014-15 academic year. Danielle Dessaints (Henderson, Nev.) and Shireen Khamedoost (Bountiful, Utah) are scheduled to enroll at OSU this coming summer ... “I’m extremely excited to welcome two outstanding young women to the Oregon State Gymnastics family. I am confident that both will make an immediate impace on our lineup next season,” Tanya Chaplin said.