Beavers Headed To Nationals

April 6, 2002

CORVALLIS, Ore. - The No. 13 Oregon State gymnastics team put together a come-from-behind performance to edge No. 9 Oklahoma for second place at the NCAA West Regional Gymnastics Championships to earn a trip to the NCAA Championships later this month.

The Beavers scored a 196.800, while the Sooners placed third with a 196.625. No. 4 Utah also advanced to nationals after winning the regional competition with a 197.100. Washington (194.775), Boise State (194.550) and Southern Utah (193.350) rounded out the competition.

'I'm really excited, especially with such a young team. Seven of our 15 athletes are freshmen, and they really stepped it up,' said coach Tanya Chaplin. 'We've seen that they are getting better and better each week that we've been competing. They put it all together tonight.'

OSU trailed Oklahoma by .400 heading into the final rotation, with the Sooners competing on bars and OSU on floor. The Beavers responded with a school record 49.625 on the floor, while Oklahoma scored a 49.025 on bars.

The Beavers did not count a score lower than 9.90 on their final event. Annie Campbell scored a 9.975 to win the event, while Jerra Lopez and Tanya Ricioli added a pair of 9.925s. Lindsay Nelson and Th�r�se Videan had a pair of 9.90s, both career-highs, allowing the Beavers to throw out Heather Justus' 9.875 - also a career-high.

'They did an awesome job (on floor). I couldn't have asked for anything more,' said Chaplin. 'Having our fans behind us made a big difference. I felt like it was magic out there. They could feel that energy going all the way through them, and it really showed. This was our best performance all year.'

OSU started off the competition on vault, finishing the event with a 48.700. Ricioli led the team with a 9.80 to tie for ninth, while Campbell added a 9.775. OSU also counted a 9.725 scores from Lopez and Nelson, while Videan and Meghan Jones scored 9.675 marks.

Next up for the Beavers was bars, where they scored a 49.250 - second among the six teams. Ricioli had a career-high 9.90 to place second behind Utah's Theresa Kulikowski, while Lopez and Campbell tied for sixth with a pair of 9.85 marks. Elizabeth Jillson and Nelson scored 9.825s on their routines, and the Beavers also got a 9.80 from Heidi Goehring.

OSU then moved to beam, where Elaine Yoder and Campbell tied for fourth with 9.875 routines (marking a career-high for Yoder). Daylee Ingalls tied her career-best with a 9.85 to tie for eighth. Ricioli added a 9.825, followed by Nelson at 9.80. Lopez had a fall on the event, for OSU's only miss of the night. OSU's 49.225 tied Utah for the team-high on beam.

After that it was off to floor for the school-record performance that clinched a trip to nationals for the third season in a row. Five of OSU's gymnasts placed in the top seven of the event. Campbell was first, while Lopez and Ricioli tied for third. Nelson and Videan tied for seventh.

Other individual winners included Kulikowski with a perfect 10 on beam and Utah's Annabeth Eberle on vault (9.925). Kulikowski won the all-around with a 39.675.

A pair of Oklahoma gymnasts qualified for nationals as all-arounders. Kasie Tamayo placed second with a 39.525, with teammate Mariana Goncalves placing third with a 39.500.

Campbell was OSU's top all-arounder, placing fourth with a 39.475. Ricioli's 39.450 was a career-high and put her sixth in the final standings.

OSU now awaits the NCAA national selection announcements to determine in which session the Beavers will compete at nationals. The NCAA Championships will be held at the University of Alabama from April 18-20.

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