No. 14 Gymnasts Continue Road Swing At No. 3 Utah

March 6, 2001

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THIS WEEK: No. 14 OSU travels to Salt Lake City for a dual meet at No. 3 Utah. The meet, which is OSU's third consecutive road competition, is set for 6 p.m. PST, Friday, March 10.

SEVERAL BEAVERS RANKED NATIONALLY: For the second week in a row, the Beavers have at least one gymnast ranked nationally on every event (except all-around). Katrina Severin is third in the country on vault, and she also jumped up to sixth in the rankings on floor after ranking 13th a week ago. Stephanie Bychowski is eighth on bars and 23rd on beam, while Lara Degenhardt is 21st on vault.

TOUGH SCHEDULE CONTINUES FOR OSU: Oregon State has faced one of the toughest schedules in the nation this season. The Beavers have already competed against five of the top eight teams in the country and OSU's meet against No. 3 Utah this week adds another top eight opponent to that list. The Beavers have already competed against No. 1 UCLA, No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 Nebraska, No. 7 Arizona State and No. 8 Michigan. All seven Pacific-10 schools that have gymnastics are currently ranked in the top 25. The difficult competition has played a factor in OSU's overall record (they lost to all five of those top eight teams), but it should be noted that records aren't all that important in gymnastics. It's the team's scores that count in qualifying for regionals and nationals, and the Beavers are ranked 14th in the nation based on their RQS (Regional Qualifying Score). The RQS is determined by taking a team's top six scores (three of which must be from away meets), dropping the highest of those six scores, and averaging the remaining five scores.

RECAPPING LAST WEEK'S ACTION: The Beavers scored a 195.050 in a loss to No. 4 Stanford last week. That score did improve OSU's RQS slightly (allowing the Beavers to drop a 194.575), but the Beavers still had to count two falls, one on bars and one on floor, keeping them from recording a 196+ for the third week in a row. Katrina Severin had a solid overall competition for the Beavers, as she scored a 9.90 on vault to win that event for the seventh time this year, She led the Beavers with a 9.925 on floor to place third, and Severin also finished fourth on beam with a 9.85. Elizabeth Jillson also captured an individual title, tying for first on bars with a 9.90.

OSU VS. UTAH: The Beavers are 5-25 all-time against Utah. The teams met twice last year, including a dual meet in Corvallis. The Utes won that meet, 196.525-195.200. The teams also met at nationals in the afternoon session of the preliminary competition. Utah was second with a 196.125, while OSU was fifth at 194.750.

A LOOK AT THE UTES: Utah is coming off a 196.725 tie at Washington this past week. The Utes had the early lead but had a fall and a couple out-of-bounds deductions on floor late in the meet to open the door for the Huskies. Still, Utah is ranked third in the nation and is averaging 196.722 per meet, with a high of 197.900 earlier this season. The Utes have the top beam team in the country, led by Shannon Bowles and Theresa Kulikowski, who are tied for first nationally on that event. Kulikowski also ranks second bars. Utah also has the fourth-ranked all-arounder in Deidre Graham, who's ranked 12th on floor, 17th on bars and 21st on vault as well. Veronique LeClerc rounds out the list of nationally ranked Utes, checking in at fifth on vault.

SENSATIONAL SEVERIN: All-American Katrina Severin is ranked in the top 10 nationally on two different events. She's third in the nation on vault and tied for sixth on floor. The standout senior has won a total of 11 individual event titles this year: seven on vault and two on both beam and floor. She needs just one more vault victory this year to become the first Beaver to win eight vault titles in a single season since All-America Tina Barnes in 1987. Severin's averaging a team-leading 9.903 on vault and became just the second Beaver to score a perfect 10.0 on that event when she did so against UCLA. She's scored a 9.90 or better on the event five times this season. She also has the team's top average on floor at 9.828, including a career-high 9.975 against the Bruins. Severin has scored a 9.90 or better on her floor routine six times this year, including marks of 9.925 or better at the last three meets. Up until this season, she hadn't scored a 9.90 on floor since her freshman year in 1997. On beam, she's averaging 9.708, highlighted by a career-high 9.90 against Cal. She's scored a 9.85 or better four times on that event, including the last three meets.

DEGENHARDT'S DYNAMIC NUMBERS: Lara Degenhardt has scored a 9.80 or better on her last 15 routines (including vault, bars and floor). Last week at Stanford she scored a 9.90 on floor, a 9.825 on bars and a 9.80 on vault. Degenhardt has the team's best average on bars (9.831) and has scored a 9.80 or better in every meet but one, highlighted by a career-high 9.90 at Washington two weeks ago. Degenhardt's average is impressive in itself, but it's even more impressive considering that she'd scored above a 9.825 on bars only once before this season (she had a 9.85 once as a sophomore). She has the team's second-best average on vault, with a 9.828. She's ranked 21st in the nation on that event and has scored a 9.80 or better in every meet but one this year. She's scored a season-high 9.875 twice. Her average on floor is a 9.633, but she's averaging 9.910 in the last five weeks. The reason for the change in average scores from the first month of the season to the second month? Tumbling and inconsistencies. After inconsistent performances on the event in the first four meets (she fell in all four of those meets), she changed her tumbling passes and has hit every routine since then (five meets). Her top score was a 9.975 against UCLA, just missing her second career perfect 10.0 on that event. She was crowned the Pac-10 champion on floor with a 10.0 in 1999. She's one of only two Beavers to receive a perfect score on that event.

LIZ A WHIZ ON BARS: Elizabeth Jillson scored a 9.90 on bars at Stanford last week, earning a 9.90 or better on the event for the fourth time in seven meets this season. That score against the Cardinal also earned her a first-place tie on the event, good for her second victory of the season. She also tied for first on bars at Arizona, where she scored a career-high 9.95. She missed two meets with a knee injury (she was injured on vault in the first meet of the year), but she's been solid for most of the year. With four scores of 9.90 or better this year, she's now scored a 9.90 or better on bars in six collegiate competitions. She had one 9.925 and one 9.90 score as a rookie last season.

BYCHOWSKI AMONG NATION'S BEST ON BARS, BEAM: Stephanie Bychowski fell twice on her bar routine at Stanford, but the senior has been outstanding on the event this year. She's ranked eighth in the nation and has scored 9.90 or better six times, with a career-high 9.95 at Arizona. She's won the event four times and is averaging 9.70 for the year. Bychowski also ranks 23rd nationally on beam and has OSU's best average on that event (9.786). She's scored a 9.85 or better four times, with a career-high 9.95 against UCLA. She's turned in marks of 9.875 at OSU's last two meets. She's won the event twice this season.

CAMPBELL'S STREAK ENDS: Annie Campbell had hit 16 straight routines but she fell on beam at Stanford to end her streak. That also ended her streak of scoring 39+ in the all-around, which she had done at OSU's last three meets before the meet at Stanford. Still, Campbell put up solid marks in that meet, scoring a 9.875 on floor, 9.80 on bars, 9.675 on vault and 9.275 on beam for a 38.625. She turned in a season-high 39.300 all-around score at Washington two weeks ago, surpassing the 39.0 mark for the fourth time this season. Campbell's beam fall was uncharacteristic, as she has won the event four times this season. She's scored a career-high 9.90 twice (both on the road) and is now averaging 9.714 (second on the team) after last week's meet. Her 9.761 average on floor is also second on the team, and her average of 9.675 on vault is the team's third best on that event. She also has an average score of 9.594 on bars. She's had 15 scores of 9.80 or better on various events this season. The only event on which she hasn't reached the 9.80 mark yet this year is vault. However, she has scored a 9.70 or better on that event four times this season while performing a vault that has a maximum value of 9.80. Her top floor score has been a 9.925 (against UCLA), and her top bars score was a career-high 9.825 against Boise State. She's won the all-around twice this year and is averaging 38.784 when competing all four events.

NELSON BACK ON THREE EVENTS: Lindsay Nelson has competed on three events at the last three meets after seeing limited action prior to that because of an ankle injury. In last week's meet at Stanford, she scored a 9.85 on bars, a 9.75 on beam and a 9.625 on vault. Nelson had competed as an all-arounder in one meet this season (at Nebraska) and was scheduled to compete all-around against Arizona State on Jan. 19, but she sprained her ankle on her beam dismount and was unable to compete on floor in that meet. Nelson missed the next meet (Cal) completely, was back in the bars lineup at Arizona and competed on bars and vault against Boise State before rejoining the beam lineup three meets ago. Her best event has been bars, having scored a 9.825 or better at the last four meets. She's averaging 9.75 on that event, with her best score (9.875) coming against UCLA. She's averaging 9.621 on vault, with a season-high 9.70 at Washington. Her top beam score is a 9.825, also against UCLA, and she's averaging 9.583 on that event. She scored a 38.725 in her only all-around appearance, and she competed on floor twice this year for an average of 9.625 on that event.

YODER PUTTING UP SOLID MARKS: Elaine Yoder has been putting up solid marks on her three events this season (she doesn't compete bars). Her best event is beam, with four scores of 9.80 or better, including a career-high 9.875 twice (vs. UCLA and at Washington). She's averaging 9.692 on that event and has hit her last eight routines (including two exhibitions) after falling in the season opener. Yoder has scored a 9.70 or better on all five meets she's competed on floor. She's averaging 9.745 on that event since making the lineup five weeks ago, and she had a high of 9.80 against UCLA. Yoder has also vaulted in six meets (seven counting an exhibition) and has had a career-high 9.65 three times (all on the road). She's averaging 9.493 on that event.

BRUCH'S NEWS: Marissa Bruch has had some struggles with consistency this season, but when she hits, she puts up high marks on her two events (beam and floor). Last week at Stanford, she scored a 9.75 on her beam routine but fell on her second tumbling pass on floor to score a 9.40. It was the second meet in a row she fell on floor, but she had a career-high 9.875 on the event the week before (vs. UCLA). Bruch has scored a 9.80 or better on floor four times this year and is averaging 9.567. She has three scores of 9.80 or better on beam, highlighted by a career-best 9.90 vs. UCLA three weeks ago. She's averaging 9.644 on that event.

THE SCOOP ON SONI: Soni Meduna scored a 9.65 on her vault at Stanford last week, but she had falls on her other two events at that meet. Her bar routine looked to be the best of her career, but she fell on her dismount and scored a 9.30. She also fell on floor for the first time this year and finished with a 9.15. Soni has competed on bars in every meet this year and is averaging a 9.569 on the event. She had a career-high 9.75 at Washington two weeks ago. Meduna also had another career-high in that meet with the Huskies, scoring a 9.70 on her vault. She's competed on that event in every meet but one and has an average of 9.525. She's made the floor lineup seven times (eight counting an exhibition) with a high score of 9.80against Boise State. Her average on that event is a 9.60.

SURATT, DIXON CONTINUE TO EXHIBITION: Megan Suratt and Lyndsay Dixon have been performing exhibition routines on beam and bars, respectively, in recent weeks. Suratt scored a career-high 9.90 on her beam routine against UCLA, but since it was an exhibition, the score didn't officially count. She has exhibitioned beam at the last three meets after being in the official lineup twice. However, she fell in both those meets for scores of 9.25 and 9.225. Overall, she's averaging 9.475 in five total routines. She also performed three exhibition bar routines earlier in the year, with a high score of 9.55. In addition, Lyndsay Dixon has performed exhibition bar routines at the last four meets. She's averaging 9.319, with her best score (9.675) coming against UCLA.

BEAVERS LOOKING TO GO 24-FOR-24: OSU has had to count at least one fall in every meet but one this year, and the Beavers have had at least three falls in every meet this season. Most recently, OSU had five falls and counted two of them at Stanford last week to score a 195.05. OSU's meet at Washington two weeks ago (196.325) was the only meet the Beavers haven't counted a fall this year, although they still had three falls in the meet. OSU's most consistent event has been vault, averaging a 48.678 and ranking 19th in the nation. That's the one event the Beavers haven't had to count a fall on, and the Beaver vaulters have hit all but three vaults this year. But OSU has had nine falls on bars, 14 on floor and 14 on beam. OSU's bars scores have ranged from a near-school record 49.400 to a 48.050, and the Beavers have had two falls on the event at four different meets this year. Beam scores have ranged from a school record 49.400 all the way to a 47.400, and the Beavers have had to count a fall on beam at five of the nine meets this season. OSU has had just two meets without a fall on floor and has had to count at least one fall in five meets. Team scores have ranged from 49.550 down to a 47.050 at Michigan, where four of the six competitors fell.

RICIOLI, LOPEZ OUT FOR THE SEASON: Tanya Ricioli and Jerra Lopez are out for the season. Both are out after rupturing an Achilles tendon. Ricioli injured her left Achilles in the season opener at Michigan, while Lopez injured her right Achilles at home against California.

HEAD COACH TANYA CHAPLIN: Tanya Chaplin is in her fourth season as head gymnastics coach at OSU. Last year she guided the Beavers to their first trip to nationals since 1996 and was named OSU's Female Coach of the Year. Including this year's totals, Chaplin's career record is 31-23 for the regular season and 56-37 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.

JENNIE THOMPSON AT OSU: Former U.S. National Team member Jennie Thompson is enrolled at Oregon State and is working with the team while she completes her studies. She does not have collegiate eligibility and will not be competing. Thompson was a member of the U.S. National Team from 1992 until retiring in June, 2000. She competed at two World Championships, won the 1999 Visa American Cup and was the 1993 Junior National Champion.

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