Gymnasts Look For First Win When They Host California

Jan. 24, 2001

THIS WEEK: The No. 14 Oregon State gymnastics team will compete at home for the second week in a row, this time hosting No. 12 California at 2 p.m., Sunday, January 28 in the Younger Oil/Texaco Showdown.

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. Doors to all OSU gymnastics meets open one hour prior to the start of the meet.

BEAVERS RANKED 14TH BY HIGH SCORE: The Oregon State gymnastics team is ranked 14th in this poll, which is based on season-high scores. OSU's top score of the year is a 194.900, which the Beavers scored at Nebraska on Jan. 14. This is the last week the rankings will be based on high scores, next week's rankings will be based on season average. The Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) will determine rankings later in the season.

COMMENTS FROM COACH TANYA CHAPLIN:

'We're working on consistency and confidence. When they're stepping up to an event, we want them knowing they're going to make it. They've had some good practices early this week, and we hope that continues through to the competition.'

RECAPPING LAST WEEK'S ACTION: For the second meet in a row, the Beavers came up just short. After losing to Nebraska by a mere .325 points two weeks ago, OSU's battle with Arizona State last week was even closer. Just .025 points separated the Beavers and the Sun Devils, with ASU coming away with a 193.750-193.725 victory in Corvallis on Jan. 19. Despite the team loss, the Beavers won every individual event except the all-around. In fact, two OSU seniors claimed first-place honors on every one of their events, and two other seniors turned in top-three performances. Katrina Severin took top honors on vault (9.825) and floor (9.90), while Stephanie Bychowski placed first with a 9.925 on bars. Bychowski and Severin also scored 9.825 marks on beams to tie for first on that event (ASU's Rhonda Robinette also tied for first on that event). Lara Degenhardt placed second on vault (9.75) and tied for second on bars (9.80), while Marissa Bruch tied for third on floor (9.80).

A LOOK AT CALIFORNIA: The Golden Bears are a much-improved team from last year. After not qualifying for regionals the last two years, Cal has turned things around and is ranked 12th in this week's poll after scoring a season-best 195.175 in a loss to No. 11 Oklahoma last week. Cal's top all-arounder is Carrie Kriefels, who is averaging 38.783 with a season-high of 39.175.

THE OSU/CAL SERIES: The Beavers are 29-1 all-time and a perfect 7-0 against the Golden Bears since Tanya Chaplin took over as OSU head coach in 1998. Last year, the Beavers won a dual meet in Berkeley, 193.675-192.000. OSU also finished ahead of Cal at the Pacific-10 Championships at ASU last year. (OSU was second with a 196.175, while Cal was fifth with a 194.675).

KAT'S CORNER: All-American Katrina Severin is off to a great start for her senior year. In three meets, she's scored 9.825 or above on all but one of the nine routines she's performed. Four of those nine routines have also earned her first-place honors. She's averaging a 9.875 on floor, with career-highs of 9.90 at the last two meets. She's averaging a 9.85 on vault, with a season-high of 9.875 at Nebraska. On beam, she's averaging a 9.625, but she's scored a 9.825 on her last two routines after missing her dismount in the season-opener. Last week against ASU, she won all three of her events: vault (9.825), beam (tie, 9.825), and floor (9.90). She also won vault at Michigan (9.850) in the season opener. She is ranked 15th in the nation on vault and is 21st on floor.

STEPH'S STUFF: Stephanie Bychowski continues to turn in strong numbers on her two events. She's ranked ninth in the nation on bars and is 15th nationally on beam. She tied her career-high on bars with a 9.925 last week after scoring a 9.90 on the event the week before. She's averaging 9.883 on the event. On beam, she's averaging 9.775, including a career-high 9.90 at Nebraska two weeks ago. She has won the event at OSU's last two meets. She's also won bars once this season.

INJURY UPDATE: Injuries have hampered the Beavers in the early part of the season. Lindsay Nelson joined the group of injured athletes when she sprained her left ankle on her beam dismount against Arizona State last week. She is doubtful for this week's meet against California. Elizabeth Jillson, who injured her right knee at Michigan was cleared to resume practicing late last week. She is probable on bars for this week's competition after missing OSU's last two meets. Tanya Ricioli underwent successful surgery last week to repair the ruptured achilles tendon in her left leg (the injury occured at MIchigan on 1/12). She will miss the remainder of the season.

LOPEZ BACK TO OLD FORM ON FLOOR: Jerra Lopez scored a season-high 9.85 on her floor routine against Arizona State last week to place second in that event. Prior to the ASU meet, she had suffered rather uncharacteristic falls on the event at the first two meets of the season. Last year she hit every one of her floor routines and was named the team's Co-Most Consistent Gymnast on that event. Lopez has competed as an all-arounder at all three meets this year. Her top score on bars was a career-high 9.90 at Nebraska, which ties for the 16th best score in the nation on that event. Her top vault score this season is a 9.625, which she scored against ASU. She is still looking to hit her beam routine, however. Her top score on that event so far this year has been a 9.25 at Michigan. Her top all-around score came against ASU, when she turned in a 38.050.

FOURTH TIME'S BEEN A CHARM FOR DEGENHARDT BEFORE: If history repeats itself, Lara Degenhardt should have a strong floor routine this week after struggling with the event at the first three meets (She's averaged just a 9.25 on floor so far this year.). But, that's been the case before and each year, she's hit her floor routine at the fourth meet of the year (scoring a 9.80 or better each time) and then gone onto to achieve key honors on the event later in the season. As a junior last year, she hit just one of her first three floor routines, but then hit all but one the rest of the year and went on to earn All-American honors on the event. As a sophomore, she had falls on floor at the first two meets of the year, but after that she made every routine but one and scored a perfect 10.0 at the Pac-10 Championships, won the NCAA Region 1 floor title and qualifed for the NCAA Championships on the event. Her freshman year, she also missed her first three floor routines but went on to score a 9.80 or better six times - including a 9.925 - that year. Degenhardt's already been solid on her other two events this year. She's averaging 9.80 on vault, with a season-high of 9.85 to rank 23rd in the country. On bars, she's averaging 9.775, with a season-best of 9.825 that just missed tying her career-high of 9.85 set two years ago.

MEDUNA COMES UP BIG IN THE CLUTCH: Soni Meduna was slated to compete on vault and bars against Arizona State, but after Lindsay Nelson went down with an ankle injury on beam, Meduna also found herself in the floor lineup. She was originally scheduled to perform an exhibition floor routine, which meant she'd be the last performer of the night, but she ended being the first Beaver on the event. She responded by scoring a 9.75, which set the pace for a season-high 48.850 team score on floor. Meduna also scored a season-high 9.45 on vault and added a 9.65 on bars at the ASU meet. The previous week at Nebraska she scored a career-high 9.675 on bars.

BEAVERS LOOKING FOR CONSISTENCY AGAINST CALIFORNIA: Consistency and falls have troubled the Beavers this season, and the team will look to improve this week against California. OSU has lost its last two meets by less than .500, which is the deduction a gymnast receives for each fall - and the Beavers have had to count at least one fall at every meet this season. The Beavers have been fairly consistent on vault - they've scored a 48.525 at the last two meet and are averaging 48.492 on the event - but have struggled with consistency on the other events. OSU scored a 49.175 on bars and a 49.025 on beam at Nebraska, but at the other two meets this year, the Beavers scored in the low-48 range on bars and failed to reach 48.00 on beam. OSU had three falls on beam and two on bars at Michigan, and last week OSU had two falls on bars and two on beam (plus an additional routine that received a low start value). It's been the same with floor. Last week against Arizona State, OSU scored a season-high 48.850 on the event after scores of 47.050 and a 48.175 in the first two meets. OSU had four gymnasts fall on floor at Michigan and two fell at Nebraska.

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 29-18 for the regular season and 54-32 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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