TUCSON, Ariz. – The No. 15 Oregon State gymnastics team posted its highest road score of the season as the Beavers trounced No. 18 Arizona, 197.050-196.275 at the McKale Center in Tucson. Three OSU all-arounders set career-highs led by Chelsea Tang’s 39.500, while Brittany Harris and Madeline Gardiner each scored 39.400.
The Beavers (9-3) topped the 49-point plateau on all four events including a season-high tying 49.350 on the uneven bars and a season-best 49.325 on balance beam.
“This was a crucial meet for us and despite some adversity, we performed very well,” head coach Tanya Chaplin. “This is a wonderful building block as we prepare for the postseason. I’m very proud of the fire and determination that they carried through the whole meet. We look forward to carrying on the momentum later this week at Washington.”
The Beavers got out to a strong start tying their season-high of 39.350 on the uneven bars. Career-bests from Madeline Gardiner (9.825) and Erika Aufiero (9.925) set the standard for the Orange and Black and Chelsea Tang and Brittany Harris each added scores of 9.875.
Oregon State followed with a solid second rotation on the vault tallying 49.175. Tang led the Beavers with a season-best 9.875 while Aufiero and Harris each scored 9.85. Freshman Megan Jimenez and Madeline Gardiner, who performed the first vault of her career, each put 9.80 marks in the book as well.
Hanging on to a 98.525-98.400 lead at the halfway point, the Beavers headed to the floor exercise. Four straight scores of 9.85 from Tang, Gardiner, Harris and Kailie Ponto coupled with a pair of 9.80’s from Cerise Witherby and Nicole Turner gave the Beavers a 49.200 team floor score. Meanwhile, Arizona was forced to count a low score of 9.675 handing OSU a comfortable lead 147.725-147.450. It was the first competition routine of Ponto’s career.
Looking to finish strong in the final rotation, Witherby led off with the first 9.90 of her career and Tang added a 9.90 of her own. Gardiner topped off the Beavers’ scoring with a 9.925 to give the beam team a season-high 49.325.
Oregon State will be on the road again next week traveling to Seattle to face Pacific Northwest rival Washington and Seattle Pacific Fri., Mar. 14 at 7 p.m. at Alaska Airlines Arena.
Team Scores: No. 15 Oregon State 197.050; No. 18 Arizona 196.275.