Gymnasts Make Their Home Debut Friday Against Arizona State

Jan. 17, 2001

THIS WEEK: The Oregon State gymnastics team will make its 2001 home debut with the Cellular One Season Opener against Arizona State at 7 p.m., Friday, January 21.

TICKET INFORMATION: Reserved seats are available for $10, while general admission tickets are available for $6 (adults) and $4 (senior citizens/youth, HS and under). OSU students are admitted free with a valid ID. Two-for-One coupons are available at area BI-MART stores.

BEAVERS MOVE UP TO NINTH IN UNOFFICIAL RANKINGS: The Oregon State gymnastics team is unofficially ranked ninth in the nation in this week's rankings. The rankings are tabulated by season high scores this week and again next week. OSU's season best score of 194.900 came at Nebraska on Sunday, January 14. Scores are submitted via the computer through the internet, with rankings updated each Monday morning. However, several schools - Oregon State included - have reported problems accessing the score reporting system on the web and were unable to submit their scores on time this week. Therefore, there are several discrepancies in this week's rankings. It appears the Beavers, which aren't ranked in the official poll, would be ninth if their score were included. Several other top programs are also unofficially ranked higher than the official poll indicates.

OSU TO BE FEATURED ON RUNNIN' WITH THE PAC: The Beaver gymnasts will be featured on this week's edition of Runnin' with the Pac, a weekly program devoted to Pacific-10 athletics and aired on FOX Sports Net. The show will be aired at 9:30 p.m. PST, Friday, January 21 and again at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, January 22 on FOX Sports Net in the Northwest. Check local listings for air times on FOX Sports stations in other areas.

RECAPPING THE FIRST WEEK OF THE SEASON: It looked as though the Beavers sent two different teams to Michigan and Nebraska this past weekend, as the results went from one extreme to another during the first weekend of the year. Against Michigan, the Beavers suffered 10 falls and had two injuries en route to a 190.925-194.125 loss to the Wolverines. Despite the disappointing score, the Beavers did get two first-place finishes, with Katrina Severin winning the vault (9.85) and Annie Campbell tying for first on beam (9.75). OSU turned things around at Nebraska and scored a 194.900 to narrowly lose to the Huskers (195.225). Stephanie Bychowski captured first-place honors on beam with a career-high 9.90, and she also added a 9.90 to tie for second on bars. Annie Campbell took home top honors in the all-around with a 39.075 in her first all-around competition of the year.

COMMENTS FROM COACH TANYA CHAPLIN:

On building on a strong performance at Nebraska

'This week we're looking to capitalize on the momentum we gained at Nebraska and carry it over to the ASU meet. We hope to improve on our routines and consistency throughout the competition.'

A LOOK AT THE SUN DEVILS: Arizona State had last week off after competing against UCLA and Nebraska at the Maui Invitational on January 5. The Sun Devils placed third with a score of 191.525. Junior Laura Moon, who transferred to ASU after two years at Maryland, turned in a 9.95 on bars for ASU's best score on any event. Freshman Maggie Germaine was the only Sun Devil to compete in the all-around, she finished with a 38.755, including a 9.80 on bars and a team-best 9.775 on beam.

THE ASU/OSU SERIES: The Beavers hold a 20-7 advantage over the Sun Devils in the history of the series. The teams met twice in Tempe last year, with ASU winning a regular season dual meet (195.300-194.300) and OSU finishing ahead of the Sun Devils at the Pacific-10 Championships (OSU was second with a 196.175, while ASU was fourth with a 195.875).

STEPH'S STUFF: Stephanie Bychowski turned in some strong numbers in the first week of the season, hitting all four of her routines. She was impressive at Nebraska, where she scored a 9.90 on both bars and beam, with her beam score setting a new career-high. She won beam at the meet and was second on bars. In the season-opener at Michigan, she placed second on bars with a score of 9.825. She also scored a 9.60 on her beam routine after at that meet.

ONE COOL KAT: All-American Katrina Severin looks like she'll be having another great season if this past weekend is any indication. The senior scored a 9.825 on five of her six routines, highlighted by a 9.90 on floor at Nebraska to tie her caeer-best on that event set back in 1997 as a freshman. She added a 9.825 on floor at Michigan. On vault, she captured first-place honors with a 9.85 at Michigan and was second with a 9.875 at Nebraska. She tied for third on beam at Nebraska with a 9.825, although she fell on her dismount at Michigan, where she scored a 9.225.

BEAVER DEPTH COMES THROUGH: In this year's preseason, coach Tanya Chaplin emphasized the amount of depth her team has. The Beavers proved her right in Sunday's meet at Nebraska. OSU had to replace six spots in the lineup after Tanya Ricioli (all-around) and Elizabeth Jillson (vault/bars) missed the Nebraska meet because of injuries suffered at Michigan. Annie Campbell and Lindsay Nelson each competed in the all-around at Nebraska after making the lineup in just two events apiece at Michigan, while Marissa Bruch and Soni Meduna each competed two events Sunday after making the lineup in just one event Friday. Those four gymnasts responded to the challenge and put up solid numbers - and a few career-highs - in the process. Campbell won the all-around with a score of 39.075, highlighted by 9.825 scores on both beam and floor. Nelson, competing in just her second collegiate meet, scored a 38.725 to finish third on the afternoon. Her top scores were a 9.80 on bars and 9.775 on beam. Meanwhile, Bruch turned in a career-high 9.70 on beam, while Meduna added a career-high 9.675 on bars.

NEW VAULT FORMAT WORKS OK WITH BEAVERS SO FAR: The Oregon State gymnasts did just fine on vault in the first weekend of trying out the new format. This year, gymnasts are allowed just one vault as opposed to previous year s when they were given two attempts with the higher score counting. The Beavers hit 10 of their 12 vaults this weekend and did not have to count a fall on the event at either meet. Katrina Severin led the way with a first-place 9.85 at Michigan and a second-place 9.875 at Nebraska. Lara Degenhardt also turned in high marks at both meets, scoring a 9.80 at Michigan and a 9.85 at Nebraska.

FRESHMAN COMES UP BIG AS AN ALL-AROUNDER: After competing in just two events at MIchigan, Lindsay Nelson was slated to compete in all four at Nebraska after injuries left several spots to be filled. The freshman stepped up to the challenge and came through for the Beavers by finishing third in the all-around with a score of 38.725. Interestingly enough, the event she scored the highest on was bars - one of the events she wasn't originally in the lineup on. She turned in a 9.80 on that event, to go along with a fifth-place 9.775 on beam and 9.575 scores on both floor and vault. At Michigan, she competed only on beam (9.575) and vault (9.525), although she also performed an exhibition floor routine and scored a 9.675, which would have been OSU's third best score if it had counted.

CAMPBELL SCORES TWO WINS ON THE ROAD: Annie Campbell came away with a victory at each of OSU's two meets last week, winning the all-around (39.075) at Nebraska and tying for first on beam (9.75) at Michigan. Although her victory came on beam, her top performances of the week came on the floor. She led OSU with a 9.85 at Michigan, good enough for a third-place tie, and she also added a 9.825 at Nebraska. Adding to her 9.825 on floor en route to the all-around title at Nebraska, she scored a 9.825 on beam, 9.75 on bars and 9.675 on vault. At Michigan, she competed on just beam and floor, although she also performed exhibition routines on vault (9.525) and bars (9.30) and would have turned in an all-around score of 38.425 had all four routines counted.

MEDUNA NOTCHES CAREER-HIGH IN FRONT OF HOMETOWN CROWD: Soni Meduna shattered her previous personal best on bars by scoring a career-high 9.675 at Nebraska in front of many friends and family on Sunday. Meduna hails from Colon, Neb., which is about 45 minutes from the University of Nebraska campus in Lincoln. Her previous best on bars was a 9.525, which she scored at Michigan just two days before the Nebraska meet. Meduna also competed on vault (9.025) and performed an exhibition floor routine (9.675) at Nebraska, while she competed solely on bars.

INJURY/RETIREMENT UPDATE: The Beavers are without two gymnasts because of injuries suffered at the first meet of the season, while OSU also lost two others prior to the start of the season. All-American Tanya Ricioli ruptured the achilles tendon in her left leg while performing her floor routine at Michigan and will be out for the season, while Elizabeth Jillson suffered a knee injury while vaulting at the same meet. Her status is questionable until test results are returned. The Beavers also lost Tiffani White and All-American Annette Taylor before the season started. White retired from the sport because of back problems, while Taylor will not be returning to the team for medical reasons compounded by an administrative/ coaching decision. Both White and Taylor will continue their studies at Oregon State University and will work in the athletic department while completing their degrees.

HEAD COACH TANYA CHAPLIN: Tanya Chaplin is in her fourth season as head coach of the OSU gymnastics program. Last year she guided the Beavers to their first trip to nationals since 1996 and was named Oregon State's Female Coach of the Year. After an 0-2 start this year, Chaplin's career record is 29-17 for the regular season and 54-31 including postseason competition. In 1999, she was named Pacific-10 Coach of the Year after the Beavers posted a 16-8 record in 1999 and finished second at the Pac-10 Championships, where OSU set a school record with a 197.400 score. She was an assistant coach at Washington for seven years before moving to OSU. Formerly Tanya Service, she was a six-time All-American and held six school records while competing for UCLA from 1986-89.

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