No. 8 Beavers Deliver Shellacking on Senior Night
March 16, 2012
On Senior Night the emotions were high and the No. 8-ranked Oregon State gymnastics team held nothing back pasting New Hampshire and Seattle Pacific Friday at Gill Coliseum in front of 3,961 fans. Seniors Leslie Mak and Olivia Vivian, who performed in front of the home fans of Beaver Nation for the final time, led the charge helping the Beavers to a score of 196.725.
"Gill (Coliseum) is such an incredible arena to perform in," Vivian said. "I'm just so grateful to Beaver Nation for being so supportive the last four years. I couldn't really have done it without them. They've created such a great memory for me that I will never forget."
Oregon State's 196.725 bested New Hampshire (193.050) and SPU (191.000) by a considerable distance. With the victories Oregon State advances its record to 11-2-1, while the Wildcats fall to 12-5 and the Falcons go to 5-13.
The Beavers opened the meet with a six-for-six performance on the vault. Kelsi Blalock led the vaulters with a meet-high score of 9.925 to win the event title for the fourth time this season. Brittany Harris and Makayla Stambaugh tacked on scores of 9.85 and 9.825 for the second straight week each. OSU finished the opening stanza with a socre of 49.100 and had quickly established a commanding lead of more than a full point over UNH and SPU.
Oregon State's bars team, which has had a couple hiccups in recent meets, was back hitting on cylinders posting a team score of 49.250. Mak performed a brilliant routine that included one of the Beavers' four stuck dismounts and received a 9.95 from one judge, but settled for an overall score of 9.90 and the event title. Stambaugh and Melanie Jones tied for second with matching scores of 9.85 and Vivian and Harris added identical scores of 9.825. With their second strong performance in as many events, the Beavers had opened their lead to more than two points and the boat race was on.
The beam team, which is OSU's highest ranked lineup at No. 6 in the nation, turned in a workman-like performance with six more "hit" routines. Jones outscored the field posting a 9.875 on a beautiful routine. Mak covered a wobble to earn a score of 9.85 and Blalock, Harris and Vivian each notched scores of 9.80. The Beavers once again topped the 49-point barrier with a solid team score of 49.125 and further stretched the lead to three points.
Leading 147.475-144.475 over UNH heading into the final event, the Beavers were looking to notch another big set of scores. Mak paced the Beavers with a career-best 9.925 to win the floor title and Stambaugh closed out the meet with a 9.875. Blalock added a personal-best as well scoring 9.85 giving the Beavers a floor score of 49.250.
The Beavers travel to back to Salt Lake City for the second time this season to take part in the inaugural Pac-12 Championships. OSU will attempt to defend its Pac-10 title from 2011 against some of the toughest competition in the country including re-matches with No. 3 UCLA, which the Beavers tied with last month, and No. 7 Utah, which OSU lost to two weeks ago. Pac-12 Championships are scheduled for Saturday, Mar. 24 at the University of Utah's Huntsman Center.
"I think a meet like we had tonight is important for our confidence," Mak said. "I wanted to go out with a bang to kind of thank the fans and tell them to still keep believing in us. To me that was the most rewarding thing; the fans were all excited for us. As far as looking into the future, we're just going to keep building from here.'
Team Scores: No. 8 Oregon State 196.725; New Hampshire 193.050; Seattle Pacific 191.000.