CORVALLIS, Ore. – The No. 13 Oregon State gymnastics team won the 34th annual Comfort Suites Invitational with a score of 196.675 Saturday night. Chelsea Tang won the all-around with a score of 39.325 and Madeline Gardiner tallied a 9.950 on the floor exercise on the way to the victory.
“This wasn’t a perfect performance and we had some misses, but I’m reason I’m proud of this team is that the back half (of the lineup) turned it around and stayed focused,” head coach Tanya Chaplin said. “In our meet down at UCLA that didn’t happen, so there has been some tremendous growth for this team. It’s not going to be perfect every time and they have to know that they can come back and be strong all the way through.”
The Beavers topped the 49-point plateau on three events posting the meet’s top marks on all three events en route to the win. It is the fourth straight year the Beavers have come out on top at the Comfort Suites Invitational.
OSU established a slim early lead on the vault scoring a season-best 49.225 while Boise State scored 49.175 on the bars. Kelsi Blalock nailed her vault to score a season-high 9.90 and Brittany Harris posted a 9.85 for the second straight week. A trio of Beavers – Tang, Erika Aufiero and Taylor Keeker – tallied marks of 9.825.
Despite a bit of a struggle at the top of the bars lineup and a team score of 48.950, the Beavers extended their lead in the second rotation when Utah State overtook BSU. Aufiero scored 9.90 while Hannah Casey tied her career-high of 9.875 in helping the Beavers widen the gap, 98.175 to USU’s 97.675 and BSU’s 97.600.
The Beavers’ beam gathered momentum with the final four gymnasts posting meet-high scores. Katelyn Ohlrich scored 9.825, Kaytianna McMillan tallied 9.85 and Gardiner and Tang tied for the event title with scores of 9.875. In all, OSU scored 49.100 in the rotation taking a 147.275-146.925 lead over Boise State into the final rotation.
Oregon State’s floor team was fantastic scoring an impressive 49.400, just two weeks after posting a 49.475 on the event, a score the Beavers hadn’t hit since 2010. Cerise Witherby led off with a career-best 9.85, which was matched by Nicole Turner and later by Brittany Harris, who was competing in the all-around for the first time this season. Tang scored a career-high 9.90 and Gardiner performed a beautiful routine to score 9.95, the best mark of her career.
Oregon State travels for the first time in more than a month when the Beavers face Utah in Salt Lake City, Sat., Feb. 22 on the Pac-12 Networks.
Team Scores: No. 13 Oregon State 196.675; No. 16 Boise State 196.000; Utah State 194.025; Seattle Pacific 192.650.
Vault (49.225): 1. Amanda Otuafi (BSU) 9.925; 2. Kelsi Blalock (OSU) 9.900; 3. Ciera Perkins (BSU) 9.875. Other OSU Scores: Brittany Harris 9.850; Taylor Keeker 9.825; Chelsea Tang 9.825; Erika Aufiero 9.825; Megan Jimenez 9.775 (Exhibition – Cerise Witherby 9.725).
Uneven Bars (48.950): 1. Diana Mejia (BSU) 9.925; 2. Erika Aufiero (OSU) 9.900; T3. Hannah Casey (OSU), Ciera Perkins (BSU), Kelsey Morris (BSU) 9.875. Other OSU Scores: Brittany Harris 9.800; Chelsea Tang 9.725; Madeline Gardiner 9.650; Taylor Keeker 9.325.
Floor Exercise (49.400): 1. Madeline Gardiner (OSU) 9.950; T2. Chelsea Tang (OSU), Ciera Perkins (BSU) 9.900. Other OSU Scores: Nicole Turner 9.850; Brittany Harris 9.850; Cerise Witherby 9.850; Kelsi Blalock 9.700 (Exhibition – Kailie Ponto 9.825).