Cerise Witherby

No. 12 Beavers Set for Tri-Meet in Seattle

Photo By: Scobel Wiggins/Oregon State Athletics   03-12-2014

No. 12 Oregon State (9-3) has a short week at home before returning to the road Friday, Mar. 14 at 7 p.m. when the Beavers face Washington and Seattle Pacific at UW’s Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle. The meet will stream live via www.gohuskies.com and www.osubeavers.com.

OSU has beaten all eight of its opponents that the Beavers have been ranked ahead of this year ... earlier this year Chelsea Tang scored a 9.90 on the bars for the first time in her career. She became the eighth gymnast in Oregon State history to record a 9.90 on all four apparatus ... Chelsea Tang has performed in the all-around in all eight of the Beavers’ meets this year - and 14 straight meets dating back to Feb. 16, 2013 when OSU beat then-No. 4 UCLA 196.725-196.075 ... Brittany Harris is one of the only other OSU gymnast to compete in the all-around for the Beavers this year, each of the last four meets ... freshman Madeline Gardiner joined the all-around last week at Arizona when she stepped into the vault lineup. She scored 39.400 in her all-around debut ... currently the Beavers are using four walkons to perform five routines in their competitive lineup ... the Pac-12 dual meet against California, scheduled for Sat., Feb. 8 was ‘snowed out’ when a winter storm closed the Oregon State campus on Thursday and Friday. It was the second time this season the Beavers were snowed out. Their annual Orange & Black Exhibition, originally slated for Dec. 6, was postponed to Jan. 3 due another snow storm.

Oregon State and Washington meet for the 124th time in history with the Beavers holding a 99-24 advantage. The Beavers also have a 20-13 edge in meets in Seattle. Oregon State has won 12 straight meetings, OSU’s third-longest current winning streak over Pac-12 schools (California - 24, Arizona - 15). The last Husky win over the Beavers came on Feb. 21, 2009 in a quad meet in Seattle, 196.000-195.800.

OSU meets SPU for the 44th time in history with the Beavers holding a 43-0 advantage. The Beavers have beaten the Falcons nine times in neutral locations. The last meeting came earlier this season in OSU’s annual Comfort Suites Invitational, a 196.675-192.650 win for the Beavers.

Here are some quick hitters about the Oregon State gymnastics team through seven meets:

  • Oregon State is ranked No. 12 this week, moving up three spots from last week ... With a season-high score at Washington, the Beavers could move as high as No. 9 in next week’s rankings. See page 3 for the preseason top 25 and complete rankings.
  • All four of OSU’s lineups remain ranked among the top 25 in the nation. Vault is ranked No. 18 (49.085 RQS); uneven bars is ranked No. 10 (49.235); balance beam is tied at No. 8 (49.140) and floor exercise is ranked No. 16 (49.125).
  • OSU’s floor team posted a 49.475 mark against Stanford (Feb. 3), the highest floor mark the Beavers have tallied since Feb. 7, 2010 at California when Mandi Rodriguez and Makayla Stambaugh each scored 9.95 and Melanie Jones added a 9.90.
  • Through eight meets, Oregon State’s routines have been split fairly evenly throughout the squad with the juniors accounting for the most with 38% (72 out of 192) of the routines performed this year. The seniors are providing 27% (52 of 192), the freshmen 20% (39 of 192) and the sophomores 15% (29 of 192). 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).
  • Oregon State has ‘hit’ 97% (186 of 192) of its routines through seven meets. In comparision, the Beavers ‘hit’ 92% (265 of 287) in 2013.
  • The Beavers’ loss to Nebraska, March 1, marked the first regular season loss in Gill Coliseum for OSU since Jan. 28, 2011. During that span of 15 meets OSU defeated 28 teams and tied one (UCLA - 2012).
  • Oregon State is on the road the rest of the season with three straight meets away from home leading into the postseason. The Beavs finish at Arizona (Mar. 9), at Washington with Seattle Pacific (Mar. 14) and at California for the Pac-12 Championships (Mar. 22).
  • OSU entered the season needing to replace four gymnasts and nine routines - three vault, two bars, two beam, two floor - from the 2013 end of season lineup. Instead, head coach Tanya Chaplin inserted 11 new routines into the lineup in the season-opener at Ohio State including two extras on the floor.
  • The Beavers’ lineups have been impacted dramatically in 2014 by a quartet of walk-ons that are currently performing five competition routines. Hannah Casey, who has been in the bars lineup for most of the last three seasons, has moved into the anchor spot  while Taylor Keeker has spent time leading off for the same lineup. Keeker has also been OSU’s best vaulter most of the season. In addition, Katelyn Ohlrich is in the middle of the balance beam lineup for the second year in a row. Kailie Ponto joined the action last week at Arizona performing in the competition lineup for the first time in her career, scoring 9.85 on the floor.
  • 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.

  • Tanya Chaplin set the Oregon State record for wins in the Beavers’ home opener with a 196.425-194.850 victory over Iowa State. It was the 318th triumph of Chaplin’s career pushing her into sole possession of first on Oregon State’s all-time list moving past Jim Turpin (1986-97). She also holds the school record with 262 regular season wins and currently has 324 overall.
  • Chaplin has led the Beavers to conference titles in two of the last three years, winning the 2011 Pac-10 title and the 2013 Pac-12 Championships.
  • She has directed OSU to the NCAA Championships 10 times in her 16 seasons at the helm.

Chelsea Tang was named Pac-12 First Team on the balance beam and qualified to the NCAA Championships as an individual all-arounder in 2013. Here are some quick hitters about Chelsea:
  • Named as the Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week, for the week of Jan. 13-19, for the first time in her career after scoring 39.275 in the all-around earning individual titles on bars and in the all-around.
  • Has nine total wins including five in the all-around plus two each on bars and beam.
  • She is tied for No. 16 in the all-around (39.305) and tied for No. 17 in the nation on the balance beam (9.880) ... scored a career-high 39.500 last week at Arizona.
  • This season, Tang has scored a 9.90 on the bars and floor for the first time in her career. She became the eighth gymnast in Oregon State history to record a 9.90 on all four apparatus joining an exclusive list that includes Annie Campbell (2000-02, 04), Jami Lanz (2006-09), Lindsay Nelson (2001-03, 05), Chelsea Plourde (2004-05), Tanya Ricioli-Hebron (2000, 02-04), Mandi Rodriguez (2007-10) and Makayla Stambaugh (2010-13).
  • Tang has performed in the all-around in each of the last 14 meets and 16 of the last 17.
  • She has ‘hit’ all 32 routines in 2014 and 91 out of 93 in her career.
  • Majoring in exercise and sport science with aspirations to be a physician’s assistant.
  • Her family runs and owns a Chinese restaurant in Eugene - Hong Kong Restaurant.

Brittany Harris is a two-time All-Pac-12 selection on the uneven bars and qualified to the NCAA Championships as an individual all-arounder in 2013. Here are some quick hitters about the senior:
  • Has one ‘win’ under her belt in 2014; she scored 9.925 on bars against Stanford (Feb. 3, 2014) to tie for the individual title ... Brittany has three individual titles in her career - one on vault (Jan. 14, 2011), one on beam (Feb. 3, 2013).
  • She was inserted into the floor lineup for the first time at Utah and has been in the all-around for the last three meets and has performed in the all-around 25 times in her career ... scored career-high 39.400 last week at Arizona.
  • Has ‘hit’ 26 out of 27 routines in 2014 and 152 of 158 in her career - the most on the squad.
  • Majoring in public health and will graduate next June. She plans to go on to grad school after graduation.
  • Her father, Steve Harris, played five seasons in the NBA for Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Clippers and Detroit Pistons.

Madeline Gardiner is one of the most decorated gymnasts ever recruited to Oregon State during the Chaplin era. Here are some quick hitters about the talented freshman:
  • Has won three event titles in her rookie season - two on beam (9.875) in the Comfort Suites Invitational (Feb. 15) and 9.925 at Arizona (Mar. 9) and one on floor (9.95) it the Comfort Suites.
  • Performed in the all-around for the first time in her career at Arizona (Mar. 9) scoring 39.400.
  • Has ‘hit’ all 20 routines in her career - one of 10 OSU gymnasts that have not ‘missed’ a routine in 2014.
  • Madeline was named the Pac-12 Specialist of the Week for the week of Feb. 10-16 after she posted career-bests of 9.95 on floor and 9.875 on beam to win the first event titles of her career ... named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week for the week of Mar. ??? after she won the beam title (9.925) and scored 39.400 in her first all-around performance.
  • Canadian National Team’s alternate for the 2012 Olympics in London.
  • During the team’s trip to Ohio State - the first road trip of her career - she introduced several teammates to Tim Horton’s Cafe and Bake Shop, a Canadian multinational fast casual restaurant.

Kaytianna McMillan was a four-time Junior Olympic Nationals qualifier and won the Level 10 national titles on balance beam and all-around in 2013. Here are some quick hitters about the talented freshman:
  • Won her first event title in her first meet at Gill Coliseum, scoring a 9.90 on the beam against Iowa State (Jan. 25).
  • Has ‘hit’ 12 of 13 routines - her one miss was on the bars at UCLA (Jan. 19).
  • She is currently nursing a foot injury that has held her out of the last three meets. Coaches are hopeful to have her available this week at Washington - her status is considered day-to-day.
  • Kaytianna trained at the National Academy of Artistic Gymnastics - the same gym as other OSU greats Chari Knight, Jami Lanz and current teammate Chelsea Tang among others and OSU head coach Tanya Chaplin.

Erika Aufiero was an All-Pac-12 selection on the uneven bars in 2013. Here is some quick hitters about the sophomore:
  • Erika is second on the team with five individual titles in 2014, all on bars.
  • She has scored 9.90 or better on bars four times this year.
  • Has ‘hit’ all 18 routines in 2014 and is 27-29 in her career.
  • Only performed on bars as a freshman during recovery from an Achilles injury as a senior in high school.
  • Has performed in the vault lineup all season with a best of 9.875 at Utah.
  • Inserted in the beam lineup against Nebraska & Arizona State and scored 9.825 in her first competitive performance.
  • Erika’s sister, Breyanna, is a sophomore gymnast at Utah State. The sisters squared off earlier this year at OSU’s Comfort Suites Invitational.

Junior Cerise Witherby has really come on for the Beavers in 2014. Here are some quick hitters about Cerise:
  • She has been outstanding in a utility role.
  • She’s ‘hit’ all 15 of her routines in 2014 and 31 out of 32 in her career. She hasn’t missed a routine since Jan. 19, 2013 at Utah - that’s 24 in a row.
  • Has led off the floor lineup for the last seven weeks ... set a career-high of 9.85 at the Comfort Suites Invitational (Feb. 15).
  • She joined the beam lineup six weeks ago ... scored a career-best and team-high 9.90 at Arizona (Mar. 9).
  • Cerise has been in the vault lineup twice ... posted a career-high 9.80 at Utah (Feb. 22).

Hannah Casey continues to be a steadying influence on the Beavers’ bars lineup. Here are some quick hitters about Hannah:
  • Hannah has won two individual titles in 2014, the first of her career. The first came in the season opener with a 9.875 on bars at Ohio State (Jan. 11) and the other with a 9.90 against Arizona State & Nebraska (Mar. 1).
  • Moved from the fourth spot in the lineup to the anchor position three weeks ago and has set or tied career-highs in each of the three meets since.
  • Has ‘hit’ all eight routines in 2014 and 30 of 31 in her career. In all, she has hit 25 straight dating back to Feb. 10, 2012 at UC Davis.
  • Will graduate with a degree in finance in June and plans to pursue a career as a financial analyst.
  • She is heavily involved in OSU’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee, in her third year on the executive council. Last summer, she represented Oregon State at the Pac-12 SAAC meetings in San Francisco.

Taylor Keeker had never performed a competitive routine for OSU prior to 2014 and yet was named a team captain before the season started. Here are some quick hitters about the junior:
  • Taylor, a walkon, could be considered one of the most improved gymnasts in the nation. Prior to this season she had never been in the competitve lineup and now is firmly in two lineups and has arguably been OSU’s best vaulter.
  • Has twice scored a 9.90 on vault - at UCLA (Jan. 19) and against Arizona State & Nebraska (Mar. 1).
  • She has performed in the bars lineup all season with a best of 9.80 which she has achieved three times.
  • Has ‘hit’ all 16 of her routines.
  • Majoring in human development and family science with an emphasis on childhood development and plans to be a first grade teacher.

Kelsi Blalock went through Senior Night last year but was granted a fifth-year of eligibility in May after missing most of her freshman season due to an ankle injury. Here are some quick hitters about the senior:
  • Is third on the team with three event titles in 2014 - one on vault (9.875 against Iowa State, Jan. 11) and two on floor (9.875, Iowa State, Jan. 11 & 9.950, Stanford, Feb. 3).
  • Has ‘hit’ 13 of 17 routines in 2014 with two misses each on beam and floor ... has ‘hit’ 123-136 routines in her career.
  • Kelsi injured an ankle on her floor routine against Nebraska & Arizona State and missed the Arizona meet ... she is considered week-to-week.
  • She is the team’s lone returning All-American after earning the distinction as a NACGC/W Regular Season All-American on vault in 2013.
  • Will graduate later this month with a degree in human development and family sciences with aspirations of working with at-risk youth after graduation.

Here are some quick hitters about the rest of the team:
  • Junior Katelyn Ohlrich has firmly established herself in OSU’s beam lineup. This is the walkon’s second season in the lineup and she’s never missed a routine 20-for-20 in her career. She also vaulted once last year and is 21-21 in her career.
  • Sophomore Nicole Turner has already competed more than twice as many times as she did as a freshman ... has ‘hit’ all eight routines in 2014 and all 11 in her career ... has a career-high of 9.875 on FX.
  • Freshman Megan Jimenez has performed in the vault lineup six times and has scored between 9.80 and 9.75 every time.
  • Junior Kailie Ponto performed in the competition lineup for the first time in her career last week at Arizona (Mar. 9). K-Po scored 9.85 to tie for the team-high score against the Wildcats.
  • Sophomore Jaime Wright began the season in the floor lineup and has also performed in the vault lineup.
  • Freshman Taylor Ricci has made two exhibition vaults.
  • Freshman Kana Kobayashi will miss the season due ankle/foot surgery.
  • Wright suffered a knee injury during warm-ups at Arizona (Mar. 9) and is out indefinitely.

The Beavers, like every other team in the country, are striving to reach the NCAA Championships and the Super Six. But to reach that goal teams must get through NCAA Regionals. In 2014, regionals will be held at Arkansas, Georgia, LSU, Minnesota, Penn State and Washington. The top two finishers at each regional will advance to the NCAA Championships.

The Pac-12 Conference has seven teams ranked in the Top 25. Utah is 6th, UCLA 8th, Stanford 10th, Oregon State 15th, Arizona 18th, Arizona State 21st, and California 22nd. Washington ranks 31st. All eight Pac-12 teams were ranked in the preseason Top 25.

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.