No. 9 Beavers Rebound with Win Over Buckeyes
Jan. 11, 2013
CORVALLIS, Ore. – The No. 9 Oregon State gymnastics team got back to their winning ways in Friday night’s home opener against No. 14 Ohio State. The 195.375-195.000 victory in front of 3,037 mostly-Beaver fans was the first gymnastics meet to air live over the Pac-12 Networks – it will re-air several times in the coming days.
“It isn’t how we would have drawn it up, but I’m happy with the end result,” head coach Tanya Chaplin said. “We’ve still got plenty of work to do in the gym as we prepare for a tough stretch of competition away from home the next several weeks. But I’m happy that (the gymnasts) fought through adversity and distractions to overcome and earn that little taste of victory.”
Oregon State record improved to 1-2, while Ohio State falls to 1-1. The win over the Buckeyes gives OSU a 9-4 edge in the all-time series.
“We improved in some areas but we still have work to do,” senior all-arounder Makayla Stambaugh said. “It’s still early in the season but we’ve got to work out those kinks.”
Oregon State got off to a strong start on the vault, an event that could be a strength for the 2013 club. The Beavers went six-for-six in the opening rotation with five vaulters tallying season-highs including Kelsi Blalock and Hailey Gaspar, who tied for the meet-high with scores of 9.875. Brittany Harris added a 9.85 and Stambaugh scored 9.80 to help the Beavers to their first event team score of 49-plus with a 49.150 on the vault.
The Beavers, who ranked No. 2 on the bars in 2012, rebounded from a disappointing bars performance last week with a second rotation score of 49.075. All six gymnasts registered season-bests with Stephanie McGregor and Erika Aufiero tying for the meet title at 9.85. Harris and Stambaugh added scores of 9.80.
Oregon State enjoyed a lead of nearly a full point 98.225-97.275 over Ohio State at the halfway point. However, the Beavers were forced to count a fall on the balance beam for the second straight week. Chelsea Tang led the Beavers’ beam team with a score of 9.775 and fellow sophomore Katelyn Ohlrich added a 9.75 routine.
The Beavers were clinging to a four-tenth lead entering the final stanza, 146.500-146.100. Cerise Witherby performed a solid routine to lead-off but was docked for backing out of bounds prior to her opening tumbling pass. Oregon State’s second performer on the event, Sarah Marquez was unable to complete her routine due to a knee injury. Marquez will continue to be evaluated over the weekend. However, Harris was able to collect herself and ignore the adversity and executed a fantastic routine to score 9.775 and get the Beavers rolling. Blalock and Melanie Jones posted scores of 9.725 and 9.825 respectively to set up Stambaugh for the win. Essentially needing to just stay on her feet, Stambaugh instead delivered the beautiful floor routine expected of a three-time All-American on the event. Her routine and score of 9.90 brought the crowd of 3,037 to its feet in victory.
The Beavers are on the road each of the next four weekends with trips to the states of Arizona, California, Texas and Utah imminent. OSU competes in a quad meet at Utah next Sat., Jan. 19, against West Virginia and Southern Utah as well.
Note: Freshman Sarah Marquez was unable to complete her floor routine due to a knee injury. She will continue to be evaluated over the weekend.
Team Scores: No. 9 Oregon State 195.375; No. 14 Ohio State 195.000.
Balance Beam (48.275): 1. Melanie Shaffer (OH ST) 9.825; T2. Alyssa Marohn (OH ST), Sarah Miller (OH ST) 9.800. Other OSU Scores: Chelsea Tang 9.775; Katelyn Ohlrich 9.750; Kelsi Blalock 9.700; Melanie Jones 9.700; Makayla Stambaugh 9.350; Brittany Harris 8.950.
Floor Exercise (48.875): 1. Makayla Stambaugh (OSU) 9.900; T2. Melanie Jones (OSU), Melanie Shaffer (OH ST), Sarah Miller (OH ST) 9.825. Other OSU Scores: Brittany Harris 9.775; Kelsi Blalock 9.725; Cerise Witherby 9.650.