Gymnasts Headed To Georgia For NCAA Championships.

April 15, 2001

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UP NEXT: Oregon State has earned a trip to the NCAA Championships for the second year in a row by virtue of its second-place finish at the NCAA West Regional meet last week. The NCAA Championships are set for April 19-21 in Athens, Ga. The Beavers will compete in the afternoon session of the team preliminary competition at 10 a.m. PDT, April 19. Should OSU finish in the top three of that session, the Beavers will participate in the Super Six on April 20. Any individual competitors who place in the top four on an individual event in either preliminary session will compete in the event finals on April 21.

TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets can also be purchased through the Georiga ticket office at 877-542-1231. All session passes are $40 for adults and $32 for students. Individual session tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students, however, individual session tickets must be purchased through the Georgia ticket office and won't go on sale until Monday, April 16.

TELEVISION INFORMATION: The NCAA Championships will be televised by CBS on a tape-delayed basis, with the competition airing Sunday, April 29 at 10 a.m. PDT. The talent will be Craig Bolerjack (play-by-play), Amanda Borden (color) and Bonnie Bernstein (sideline).

ROTATION ORDER: The Beavers will begin the competition on beam and will finish on bars. Following is the complete rotation order for the afternoon session.

Rot.	Vault	Bye	Bars	Beam	Bye	FloorI	Okla.	Fla.	Mich.	OSU	UCLA	Ala.II	Ala.	Okla.	Fla.	Mich.	OSU	UCLAIII	UCLA	Ala.	Okla.	Fla.	Mich.	OSUIV	OSU	UCLA	Ala.	Okla.	Fla.	Mich.V	Mich.	OSU	UCLA	Ala.	Okla.	Fla.VI	Fla.	Mich.	OSU	UCLA	Ala.	Okla.

OTHER TEAMS PARTICIPATING: Georgia, Stanford, Nebraska, Denver, Utah and Arizona State will compete in the evening session of the April 19 preliminaries.

FOLLOW THE MEET ON THE WEB: Georgia will be providing live updates on its website throughout the various competitions. Georgia's website is http://www.georgiadogs.com.

HOW THEY GOT THERE: OSU advanced to the NCAA Championships with a second-place finish at the NCAA West Regional Championships at UCLA. The Beavers posted a 194.075, second only to UCLA's 197.775 score. OSU hit its first two events (bars and beam) solidly and had a comfortable one-point lead for second place halfway through the meet. But, the final three Oregon State floor performers had falls to narrow the gap between second and third. OSU responded with one of its most solid vault rotations of the season, hitting six-of-six for a 48.750 to secure the trip to Georiga. The Beavers had six gymnasts place in the top 10 on at least one event. Katrina Severin's 9.90 beam score tied for second place, she tied for fourth on vault with a 9.90 on that event as well. Stephanie Bychowski placed fourth on bars (9.85), and Annie Campbell tied for sixth on beam (9.85). Marissa Bruch finished the meet with a pair of ninth-place routines, scoring a 9.80 on both beam and floor. Rounding out the top 10 finishers were Lara Degenhardt and Elizabeth Jillson, whose 9.75 scores on bars tied for eighth place.

OSU AT NATIONALS: Oregon State is making its second consecutive and 18th overall trip to nationals (15th at NCAAs to go along with three AIAW competitions). OSU's highest finish has been fourth place - in 1996 (5th in Super Six), 1992, 1982 and 1980. OSU has also had five gymnsasts combine for seven individual national championships, all on beam and floor. The most recent came in 1993, when Amy Durham's perfect 10.0 gave her the title on floor. The last time the NCAA Championships were in Athens (1995), OSU placed fifth in the preliminaries and took sixth in the Super Six. At last year's NCAA Championships at Boise State, OSU placed 10th with a 194.750 score. Four Beavers earned second team All-American honors, including three current team members. Seniors Katrina Severin (beam, 9.80) and Lara Degenhardt (floor, 9.85) earned All-American honors as juniors. Current sophomore Tanya Ricioli also earned All-American honors on floor (9.85) as a rookie last year, although she's missed this season after rupturing an Achilles' tendon in the season opener at Michigan.

BEAVERS FACE ONE OF NATION'S TOUGHEST SCHEDULES: While OSU enters the NCAA Championships with a 12-13 overall record (5-9 regular season), it's important to note the difficulty of OSU's 2001 schedule. The Beavers faced six of the top eight teams in the country this season, including three losses to No. 1 UCLA and two losses to No. 6 Stanford. OSU also lost at No. 4 Nebraska, at No. 5 Utah at No. 7 Michigan. The Beavers won one and lost one against No. 8 Arizona State, and lost to NCAA qualifier Denver on neutral territory (All rankings are prior to regionals).

SEVERAL BEAVERS RANKED NATIONALLY: The Beavers have at least one gymnast ranked nationally on every event (except all-around). Katrina Severin is ranked nationally on all three of her events, and Stephanie Bychowski is ranked on both her events. Severin is fourth in the country on vault, tied for 12th on floor and tied for 23rd on beam, while Bychowski is tied for eighth on bars and is 12th on beam. Lara Degenhardt ranks 20th (tie) on floor, Annie Campbell is tied for 23rd on beam, and Elizabeth Jillson is tied for 24th on bars.

SEVERIN JOINS ELITE GROUP: Katrina Severin joined an elite group when she was named to the All-Pac-10 Team on all three of her events (vault, beam and floor) this season. Seven-time All-American and American Award winner Chari Knight is the only other OSU gymnast to earn All-Pac-10 honors on three events in the same season, Knight was recognized on bars, beam, floor and all-around in 1992. This is the first time Severin has been named all-conference on any event. The All-Pac-10 Team is based 50 percent on scores from the Pac-10 Championships and 50 percent on gymnasts' regional qualifying scores prior to the conference meet. The top three gymnasts (plus ties) on each event are named to the All-Pac-10 Team. The top six all-arounders are also named all-conference. Severin was the only gymnast to be honored on three individual events, although Washington's Stacy Wong was honored as an all-arounder as well as on two individual events (vault and bars).

MORE ON SEVERIN'S SUCCESSES: All-American Katrina Severin is ranked nationally on all three of her events. She's fourth in the nation on vault, 12th on floor and 23rd on beam. She turned in a pair of 9.90 routines at regionals (vault, 2nd, beam, 4th), although she missed her floor routine for just the second time this season (9.20). She had scored a 9.90 or better on all three of her events at the two meets prior to regionals (Pac-10s and the Shanico Inn-vitational), and she also accomplished that feat against California on January 28. In fact, she's had a total of 22 scores of 9.90 or better this year: nine on vault, nine on floor and four on beam. She scored a perfect 10.0 vault against UCLA on Feb. 16 to become just the second Beaver to record a perfect vault score. Her top beam score this season is a career-high 9.95, set at the Pac-10 Championships. Her top floor score was a career-high 9.975 against UCLA. Up until this season, she hadn't scored a 9.90 on floor since her freshman year in 1997. She had scored a 9.925 or better on floor in six straight meets until ending the streak at regionals. Heading into nationals, she has a streak of five meets with 9.90 or better marks on vault and has scored a 9.90 or better on beam at the last three meets. The standout senior has won a total of 11 individual event titles this year: seven on vault and two on both beam and floor. Severin has the team's top average on vault (9.906) and floor (9.804), and is second on the team on beam (9.771).

BYCHOWSKI'S BITS: Stephanie Bychowski is having an outstanding senior year. She's ranked nationally on both of her events, checking in at eighth on bars and 12th on beam. She placed in the top 10 on both events at the Pac-10 Championships, placing second on bars (9.95) and ninth on beam (9.875). She took fourth on bars at the NCAA West Regionals with a 9.85, although she had a wobble on beam to finish with a 9.70 at that meet. Bychowski leads the Beavers with a 9.810 average on beam this season, highlighted by a career-high 9.95 twice (at Utah and at home against UCLA). She's scored a 9.80 on the event nine times this year and has won the event three times. Bychowski has also put up strong numbers on bars, although she's had some inconsistencies throughout the year. After hitting her first six routines of the year (including five 9.90+ marks), she's had three falls in the last seven meets - although she's hit her last two routines for scores of 9.95 and 9.85. When she hits, she scores high. Of the 10 routines she's hit this year, she scored a 9.90 or better in all but two of them, including three career-high 9.95 scores (all on the road - at Pac-10s, at Utah, and at Arizona). She's won the event five times and is averaging a 9.706.

DYNAMITE DEGENHARDT: All-American Lara Degenhardt brought a streak of 24 consecutive scores of 9.80 or better into the regional meet at UCLA, but the streak ended when she scored a 9.775 on vault, a 9.75 on bars and a 9.20 on floor at regionals. Up until then, she had scored a 9.80+ on vault, bars and floor in every meet since the Feb. 2 meet at Arizona. Her top scores this year are 9.975 on floor (twice), a 9.95 on vault and a career-high 9.90 on bars. Degenhardt has the team's best average on bars (9.835) and has scored a 9.80 or better in every meet but two (the season opener and regionals), highlighted by a career-high 9.90 at Washington on Feb. 25. 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 9.838. Like bars, she has scored a 9.80 or better in every meet but two this year. She's scored a 9.875 three times and she had a season-high 9.95 at the Shanico Inn-vitational. Her average on floor is a 9.671. She missed her first four floor routines this season, but then changed her tumbling passes and had hit every routine since making the switch until missing at regionals. Until her fall at regionals, she was averaging a 9.910 since Feb. 2 (the first meet she performed with the different tumbling). The switch also pushed her into the national rankings on the event, as she's 20th in the nation on floor. She's scored a 9.975 twice and had scored a 9.875 or better in every routine (up until regionals) since making the change. She qualifed for the 1999 NCAA Championships as an event specialist on floor, and she was crowned the Pac-10 champion on floor that same year when she scored a 10.0 at the conference meet. She's one of only two Beavers to receive a perfect score on that event. Earlier this year, Degenhardt was honored as a National Strength and Conditioning All-American as well as a Verizon District VIII Second Team All-Academic selection.

LIZ A WHIZ ON BARS: Elizabeth Jillson ranks 24th in the nation on bars, her only event. She's scored a 9.90 or better seven times this season, although her streak of four straight 9.90+ scores was ended with an eighth-place 9.75 at regionals. She placed fifth with a 9.925 at the Pac-10 Championships, and she won the event at Stanford (9.90) and at Arizona (career-high 9.95). She's averaging a 9.750 on the event. She started off the season in the vault lineup as well, but she injured her knee on the event in the season opener at Michigan (Jan. 12) and has not competed the event since then. She missed two meets after the inury and returned to the bars lineup against California on Jan. 28.

RISS'S PIECES: Marissa Bruch has come on strong in the last four meets, posting marks of 9.80 or better on both of her events in all four competitions. She scored a 9.80 on both beam and floor at regionals to place ninth on both events. That marked the fifth time this season that she's scored a 9.80 on both events on the same night, and her performance last week led her to being OSU's Female Athlete of the Week for the week ending April 8. She's scored a 9.80 or higher seven times on beam and eight times on floor this year. She's averaging 9.717 on beam and 9.644 on floor. She had perhaps the best collegiate meet of her career on Senior Night at the Shanico Inn-vitational on March 17, winning beam with a career-high 9.95 and adding a near-career-high 9.85 on floor. In addition to picking up her first collegiate victory on any event, she also received an unexpected surprise at the end of the night. Boyfriend Steve Rodriguez proposed in front of the crowd while the final scores were being tallied, and Bruch accepted.

CAMPBELL'S CORNER: Annie Campbell is OSU's only competing all-arounder after injuries sidelined the three other athletes who have competed as all-arounders this year. She has surpassed the 39.0 mark five times this season, including a career-high 39.625 on March 17. That was also good for the fourth best all-around score in OSU history. If she hits all four events, she'll likely score a 39. She's had just five meets all season when she hit all four events on the same night - and those were the five meets she surpassed the 39.0 mark. She's missed at least one routine in every other meet this year and thus is averaging a 38.856 as an all-arounder. She taken top honors in the all-around three times this season. Her best event is beam, which she has won four times this year. She ranks 23rd nationally and is averaging 9.767 on that event (third-best on the team). She's scored a career-high 9.925 twice and has scored a 9.85 or better seven times, including the last four meets. Her 9.715 average on floor is also third on the squad, although she had a fall on the event at regionals. Her top score this season is a 9.925, which she's scored twice. Her most consistent event is vault, with an average of 9.683 (also third on the team). She's missed just one vault this season. After hitting nine Yurchenko layouts (worth a maximum of 9.80) in the first nine meets, she added a half twist to her vault to up the start value to a 10.0. She hit the vault in the first two meets she attempted it (9.825 at Utah and a 9.90 in the Shanico), but then fell at Pac-10s. She went back to the layout for regionals and scored a 9.75. On bars, she has an average of 9.658, with a career-high of 9.875 on March 17. Overall, she's had 26 scores of 9.80 or better on various events this season (nine on beam, eight on floor, seven on bars and two on vault).

MEDUNA'S MARKS: Soni Meduna stepped up to the challenge on vault at regionals with a trip to nationals on the line. After the Beavers had three falls on floor on the previous rotation, they knew they'd have to hit vault to advance to nationals. Meduna responded with a 9.70 vault - tying her second-best score of the year on that event. She had a career-high 9.80 - a perfect score for her vault, a handspring front tuck - at the Shanico Inn-vitational on March 17. She's now averaging a 9.575 on the event. Meduna also competes bars and floor for OSU. She's averaging 9.635 on floor, with a season-high of 9.80 against Boise State on Feb. 9. She's made the bars lineup in every meet this season, with a career-high 9.775 at the Shanico meet. Her average on that event is a 9.587.

NELSON'S NEWS: Lindsay Nelson has been back in the lineup on three events (vault, bars and beam) in the last seven meets after seeing limited action prior to that because of an ankle injury. In Nelson's most recent outing (NCAA Regionals at UCLA), she scored a 9.65 on bars, a 9.625 on vault and 9.250 on beam (she put her hands down on her dismount). Nelson had competed as an all-arounder at Nebraska in the second meet of the season and was slated to go on all four events the following week against Arizona State (Jan. 19). However, she sprained her ankle on her beam dismount against ASU and thus did not compete on floor. She missed the next meet (Cal) entirely, was back in the bars lineup at Arizona and competed on bars and vault against Boise State before rejoining the beam lineup seven meets ago. She has not officially competed on floor since the injury, although she did perform an exhibition routine on March 17. Nelson's best event has been bars, having scored a 9.80 or better eight times, with a career-high 9.875 three times. She's averaging 9.768 on that event. She's averaging 9.636 on vault, with a season-high 9.70 twice. Her top beam score is a 9.825, coming against UCLA, and she's averaging 9.523 on that event. She scored a 38.725 in her only official all-around appearance, and she's competed on floor three times (two exhibitions) this year for an average of 9.667 on that event. Her exhibition score of 9.75 at the Shanico meet was a season-high for her. Had it been official, she would have had a 39.00 all-around score.

EXCELLENT ELAINE: 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 six scores of 9.80 or better, including a career-high 9.875 twice (vs. UCLA and at Washington). Most recently, she scored a 9.75 at regionals. She's averaging 9.690 on that event. Yoder has scored a 9.70 or better in all nine meets she's competed on floor. She's averaging 9.744 on that event since making the lineup nine weeks ago, with highs of 9.80 against UCLA and in the Shanico. She just missed another 9.80 mark when she scored a 9.775 at regionals. Yoder has also vaulted in 10 meets (11 counting an exhibition) and has had a career-high 9.65 four times (three on the road, one at home). She's averaging 9.489 on that event.

A SEASON OF ADVERSITY: This year's Oregon State gymnastics team has had to deal with more hardships than any other Beaver squad since Tanya Chaplin's arrival in Corvallis four years ago. To start things off, All-American Tanya Ricioli, a sophomore all-arounder, ruptured her left Achilles' tendon halfway through the season opener at Michigan on Jan. 12. In that same meet, sophomore Elizabeth Jillson injured her knee on vault. Ricioli's season was over, and it wasn't certain when, if it all, Jillson would be back in action in 2001. Still, the Beavers battled back at Nebraska two days later, with Annie Campbell and Lindsay Nelson competing in the all-around after competing just two events apiece in Michigan and Marissa Bruch and Soni Meduna each competing two events instead of one. OSU came close to ending Nebraska's 32-meet home winning streak, falling to the Huskers by just .325 despite a counintg fall on floor. Next week in the home opener against Arizona State, with Jillson still out, the Beavers were handed another setback when Nelson - originally set to go all-around again - sprained her ankle on her beam dismount and wasn't able to compete on floor. Against Cal the following week, the Beavers had Jillson back - but only on bars - while Nelson was out entirely. Things appeared to be going OSU's way until all-arounder Jerra Lopez ruptured her right Achilles' on her floor routine to end her season. The Beavers hit the road to compete at Arizona (Feb. 2) with a completely different lineup than the start of the season. Nelson was back on bars, but the Beavers had to try to fill her other three spots as well as replace Lopez's four routines and ended up competing just five vaulters in that meet. The new performers ended up doing an excellent job, but seasoned veterans Campbell and Katrina Severin each missed on two routines apiece and OSU lost to both Arizona and Denver. After that meet, the Beavers had a team meeting and vowed to start over and put everything behind them. They went on to beat Boise State by nearly three points the following week and then scored a then-season-high 196.375 in a loss to UCLA on Feb. 16. Still, the Beavers hadn't had a meet without having to count, but they achieved that goal at Washington on Feb. 25 when they scored a 196.325 in a loss to the Huskies. After a disappointing meet at Stanford (195.050) on March 2, OSU responded with three consecutive meets with 196+ scores (at Utah, the Shanico Inn-vitational and at Pac-10s) to head into regionals on a high note. But the Beavers were dealt another blow in practice at regionals. Nelson was pulled from practice and listed as questionable for the actual competition after she fell hard on the mat after pulling in on her bar dismount. It wasn't until later the next morning when she received the OK to compete that night. Then after building a strong lead for second place halfway through the competition, OSU had three falls on floor to put their bid for a trip to nationals in question. The Beaver vaulters made sure the team would head to Georgia by hitting all six vaults solidly to allow the OSU gymnasts to reach the goal they set at the beginning of the season - before all the injuries and other hardships - to earn a trip to nationals for the second year in a row.

BEAVERS LOOKING TO GO 24-FOR-24: OSU is still looking to achieve its goal of going 24-for-24. The Beavers have had at least one fall in every meet and have had just two meets that they didn't have to count a fall. At regionals, the Beavers started the meet with a 6-for-6 performance on bars, then hit five of six beam routines before suffering three falls on floor. OSU rallied back with a perfect vault set to close out the meet. Incidentally, vault has been OSU's most consistent event, with the Beavers averaging a 48.719 and ranking 21st in the nation. The Beavers have had to count just one fall on vault all season (at Pac-10s) and have hit every vault but five this year. However, OSU has had 11 falls on bars, 17 on floor and 17 on beam. OSU's bars scores have ranged from a school record 49.475 at the Pac-10 Championships down 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 49.575 all the way to a 47.400, and the Beavers have had to count a fall on beam at six of the 12 meets this season. OSU has had just five meets without a fall on floor and has had to count at least one fall in six meets, Up until regionals, they'd gone three consecutive meets with a 6-6 effort on floor. 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 34-24 for the regular season and 66-42 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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