Beavers Finish Eight at Nationals; Four Advance to Event Finals
April 15, 2011
CLEVELAND, Ohio -
The Oregon State gymnastics' team finished fifth in the evening session and eighth overall at the NCAA Championships Friday at the Wolstein Center on the campus of Cleveland State University. Jen Kesler, Leslie Mak, Makayla Stambaugh and Olivia Vivian advanced to Individual Event Finals on Sunday.
"I'm very proud of these young women," head coach Tanya Chaplin said. "They fought to the end tonight and it just wasn't quite enough. Nebraska and Alabama were just on fire tonight and three others fought it out for the last spot. Unfortunately it wasn't our turn to advance. We'll learn a lesson from this and use it to motivate us through the offseason and we'll bring those lessons with us next year."
Oregon State began the competition on the floor exercise for the second meet in a row. Sophomore Kelsi Blalock, competing at the national championships for the first time in her career after staying home with an ankle injury as a freshman, provided a solid and clean start for the Beavers with a 9.80. Freshman Brittany Harris, who was in the lineup for an injured Melanie Jones, followed Blalock with another clean routine to score 9.75. Olivia Vivian needed a step out of her first tumbling pass and was left with a 9.65. Leslie Mak performed a beautiful routine, which one judge deemed worthy of a 9.95, and scored 9.85. Makayla Stambaugh, a 2010 All-American on the event, dazzled the crowd with near-perfect tumbling and scored a 9.90 again earning the high praise of another judge who awarded a 9.95. Freshman Britney Ranzy put together a nice routine but stalled on her second tumbling pass and fell to score 9.175. The Beavers finished the opening rotation with a team score of 48.950 and in third place behind Nebraska (49.450) and Utah (49.050).
Moving directly to the vault, where Nebraska had just posted incredible scores, the Beavers were unable to stick their landings. Despite the lack of sticks the Beavers hit six out of six vaults to tally a 49.100 and pass the Utes, who were on the beam. Stephanie McGregor opened the vault rotation with a big step back on her landing to score 9.675. Mak followed with only the slightest bounce on the landing to score 9.80 and Makayla Stambaugh scored 9.775. Blalock performed a big vault with a tiny hop on the landing to score a team-leading 9.875. Becky Colvin fought to stick but took a small hop and scored 9.85 and Ranzy finished for the Beavers with a hop forward and a score of 9.80.
Following a bye the Beavers were in third at the halfway point trailing Alabama and Nebraska and holding a narrow lead over Utah. Florida, the second seed had to count a fall on the beam in the opening rotation, was in fifth.
In the fourth rotation, the Beavers took on the uneven bars where they are ranked No. 1 in the country. OSU's first five gymnasts stuck and the team tallied 49.400 to set the standard for the session. McGregor led off with a 9.85 and Harris followed with perfect handstands and a matching score. Jen Kesler and Stambaugh came next posting back-to-back 9.90's. Mak followed and despite hitting her foot on the bar during her Jaeger (release move) she still caught the bar and eventually nailed her dismount scoring 9.825. Vivian closed out the rotation with another strong routine and another 9.90 for the Beavers. The OSU trio of Kesler, Stambaugh and Vivian tied for the first on the event.
To complete their night, Oregon State moved to the balance beam where scoring was consistent but tight throughout the session. Blalock led off with a 9.65 and Harris followed with a really strong routine that scored 9.75. Kesler hit a great routine but had a step on her dismount to score 9.725. A fall by Stambaugh slowed the momentum and a wobble by Vivian scored 9.65. Mak finished the scoring for the Beavers with a 9.875, the highest score on the event to that point.
The Beavers finished the competition on a bye trailing Utah 196.200-196.100 and was forced to watch as Alabama (197.050) and Nebraska (196.850) continued to hit their routines and move past. Florida completed a furious comeback to finish fourth at 196.125. Kent State finished sixth in the session at 195.000.
Kesler and Vivian advanced to Individual Event Finals on the bars, Mak advanced on beam and Stambaugh advanced on bars and floor. All four gymnasts will compete on Sunday beginning at 1 p.m. ET.
Oregon State Notes: Sophomore Melanie Jones suffered a strained calf during the pre-meet warm-ups could not compete in her lineups (beam & floor) ... This marks the first time in Oregon State history that three gymnasts (Kesler, Stambaugh & Vivian) have earned first team All-America honors.
1) Alabama - 197.050
2) Nebraska - 196.850
3) Utah - 196.200
4) Florida - 196.125
5) Oregon State - 196.100
6) Kent State - 195.000
t1) Marissa Gutierrez (ALA), Erin Davis (NEB) - 9.950.
t3) Ashley Sledge (ALA), Geralen Stack-Eaton (ALA), Kayla Hoffman (ALA), Alaina Johnson (FLA), Marissa King (FLA), Janelle Giblin (NEB), Jamie Schleppenbach (NEB), Stephanie McAllister (UTAH) - 9.900.
UNEVEN BARS Results
BALANCE BEAM Results
1) Kayla Hoffman (ALA) - 9.900.
t2) Kim Jacob (ALA), Leslie Mak (OSU) - 9.875.
FLOOR EXERCISE Results
t1) Geralen Stack-Eaton (ALA), Marissa King (FLA) - 9.925.
t3) Maranda Smith (FLA), Alaina Johnson (FLA), Erin Davis (NEB), Lora Evenstad (NEB), Makayla Stambaugh (OSU) - 9.900.
1) Kayla Hoffman (ALA) - 39.500.
2) Geralen Stack-Eaton (ALA) - 39.400.
t3) Kim Jacob (ALA), Leslie Mak (OSU) - 39.350.
OSU: VAULT: 49.100, BARS: 49.400, BEAM: 48.650, FLOOR: 48.950
ALL-AROUND: Makayla Stambaugh 38.825.
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