July 5, 2012
CORVALLIS, Ore -
We’re only a couple weeks into summer vacation and already the Oregon State gymnastics program is a whirlwind of things happening. Leslie Mak went viral, Stephanie McGregor is writing a blog for a national media outlet, Olivia Vivian is training (and also blogging) as she tries to make a return to the Olympics, and several former Beavers went through graduation.
Redshirt-senior Stephanie McGregor is part of the Beavers Without Borders team that traveled to Ethiopia to build two homes for local families. McGregor wrote a blog for ncaa.org that began before the team’s departure. Unfortunately the Beavers didn’t have an Internet connection at their hotel and she was unable to update the blog during most of the trip. However, she kept writing and now that the team is back the blog entries are being released daily from ncaa.org. Catch up with the blog here.
Recently graduated All-American Leslie Mak went viral on YouTube in June. Mak is the main subject in a national advertising campaign. The 1-minute, 46-second video, which was shot at the Gladys Valley Gymnastics Center (the Beavers’ practice facility), has gained more than 135,000 views since its release less than three weeks ago and has associate head coach Michael Chaplin has been extremely excited with the extra attention gained for the OSU gymnastics program. Watch Leslie’s video here. Assistant coach John Carnery gathered footage of the video shoot and put together a 'Behind the Scenes' video as well, check it out here.
Another recent graduate Olivia Vivian left the States in May to return to her home country of Australia to pursue the opportunity to make a return appearance at the Olympics. Vivian performed on the uneven bars for the Australians at the 2008 Beijing Games. Recently Gymnastics Australia announced its official Olympic squad which consists of six gymnasts plus two traveling reserves. Despite not being on the list, Vivian was invited to remain with the team to train as a non-traveling reserve. More recently Vivian was asked to write a blog from training camp. Catch up with what’s happening down under here.
In late May, senior transfer Hailey Gaspar arrived on campus. Gaspar, who transferred for her final year of eligibility from Boise State, has begun workouts with the team and already appears ready to help the Beavers’ vault, beam and floor lineups next winter.
Speaking of the roster, OSU’s BRIDGE Program begins July 9 and the Beavers’ four incoming freshmen – Erika Aufiero, Sarah Marquez, Nicole Turner and Jaime Wright – are scheduled to join the program at that time. As part of BRIDGE, the freshman foursome will get their first tastes of college as well as the opportunity to begin working on their gymnastics with the OSU coaching staff as they prepare to make an impact in 2013.
In other news, Mak and Vivian as well as former gymnasts Adonica Glatt and Jen Kesler officially graduated from Oregon State. Kesler, who was a three-time All-American for the Beavers, was a fifth-year student in 2012 performing in an undergraduate coaching role. Glatt, who was a gymnast at OSU as a freshman in 2009, has served as a team manager for the last three years.
In other graduation notes, former All-American Chrissy Lamun graduated from dental school at UNLV, and Keegan Fitzgerald recently finished her master’s degree in physical therapy at Columbia University. Dr. Lamun will now begin her residency in Dallas. Keegan Fitzgerald recently finished her master’s degree in physical therapy at Columbia University.
Seven-time All-American Mandi Rodriguez, who was the team’s volunteer coach in 2012, has accepted a graduate assistantship in OSU’s Academics for Student-Athletes office.