No. 13 Gymnasts Continue Road Swing At Michigan State

Jan. 7, 2003

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What's in store: The No. 13 Oregon State gymnastics team travels to East Lansing, Mich., where the Beavers will compete against Michigan State and Auburn at 5 p.m. PST on Friday, January 10 at Jenison Fieldhouse. OSU will start the meet on beam, followed by floor, vault and bars.

Beavers set record in season opener: Oregon State scored a 195.675 in its season opener against No. 1 UCLA at Kokakahi Gymnastics in Hawaii last week. While the Beavers lost to the Bruins, who scored a 197.600, OSU's score was the team's best ever mark for a season opener. The previous best was a 193.500 against Arizona State in 1996. Four Beavers scored a 9.90 or better on at least one event, with Tanya Ricioli leading the way with a career-high 9.925 on beam and a 9.90 on floor to end up with a career-high 39.525 all-around score. Lindsay Nelson had a career-high 9.90 on beam and had a career-high 39.300 in the all-around. Heather Justus had a career-high 9.90 on vault, and rookie Chrissy Lamun got her career off to a good start with a 9.90 on floor. Elizabeth Jillson led the bars team with a 9.875.

Series records: Oregon State is a perfect 6-0 against Michigan State, but the Beavers will be meeting Auburn for the first time this week. OSU and MSU last met at the Shanico Inn-vitational last season. The Beavers scored a 196.675, while the Spartans scored a 195.050.

An all-around success: Tanya Ricioli's 39.525 all-around score against UCLA last week was a career-high for the junior, surpassing the 39.450 she put up at the NCAA Regional Championships last year. Last week Ricioli tied for second on beam with a career-best 9.925, tied for third on floor with a 9.90, and added 9.85 marks on vault and bars. Her 39.525 was the 11th best all-around score in OSU history. Her score is also the best all-around mark by a Beaver in a season opener and is only the second time an OSU gymnast has scored a 39.500 or better in the month of January (Chari Knight scored a school record 39.75 on Jan. 29, 1993). Ricioli is the fourth Beaver to score a 39.500 or better in her career. Knight did so eight times, and Annie Campbell and Megan Murphy-Barcroft each have two such scores.

Rookies making an impact early on: Two of OSU's three freshmen competed on three events apiece in the season opener, and they're showing they'll be key players for the Beavers as rookies. Chrissy Lamun tied for third on floor with a 9.90 to go along with a 9.675 on bars. She scored a 9.30 on beam but was solid on the event after missing her mount. Angela Morales scored a 9.875 on her floor routine and anchored OSU's vault team, scoring a 9.725. She led off the beam lineup and scored a 9.35 after having a fall.

Vault team could be one of OSU's finest: If the season opener is any indication, OSU could have one of its strongest vault teams in recent years. The Beavers scored a 49.200 last week in Hawaii, counting only one score lower than 9.85. Last year, the Beavers scored a 49.000 just twice on vault, with the first one not coming until March 16. Not only was last week's score well above last year's season average, it was also the first time the Beavers competed on the new vault table, which replaces the older 'horse'. Heather Justus had a career-high 9.90 last week to place second on the event. Lindsay Nelson (9.875) and Daylee Ingalls (career-high 9.85) nailed their yurchenko half-off layout fronts, with Ingalls competing the vault for the first time in collegiate competition. Tanya Ricioli added a 9.85, and OSU also counted Angela Morales' 9.725 on her handspring pike half.

Floor team continues to be strong: After setting a school record with a 39.625 on floor at the 2002 NCAA Regionals, OSU appears to have another strong floor team this year. Four of the gymnasts who competed floor at regionals competed in Hawaii last week, with All-American Tanya Ricioli anchoring the lineup with a 9.90 mark. Three other veterans got the team off to a solid start in 2003, with Heather Justus leading off with a 9.825, followed by Th�r�se Videan's 9.85 and Lindsay Nelson's 9.75 before the two newcomers made their debut. The rookies looked like veterans, with Angela Morales scoring a 9.875 to set up Chrissy Lamun's 9.90.

Tough schedule early on: The month of January will give the Beavers a chance to see how they stack up against the nation's best. Of OSU's five meets this month, four will feature a team ranked in the Top 10 in the preseason Top 25 poll. After facing No. 1 UCLA in Hawaii last week, the Beavers get a break from ranked opponents this week but will compete at No. 10 Arizona next week. After that, it's No. 1 UCLA again, this time at Gill Coliseum for OSU's home opener on January 24. The Beavers then hit the road again for a four-way meet at No. 7 Stanford on January 31. The February schedule features No. 15 Arizona State, No. 4 Utah and No. 17 Washington. No. 16 Denver and No. 23 BYU are on the schedule for March, giving the Beavers plenty of opportunities to compete against the nation's top teams before gearing up for postseason competition in late March.

Road warriors: Oregon State won't get a chance to compete in front of its home crowd until January 24, when OSU hosts UCLA in a rematch of the season opener. The Beavers will compete on the road the first three weeks of the season. After enjoying the sun and surf of Hawaii last week, the Beavers returned to Corvallis to grab their winter coats before heading to Michigan State this week. OSU then travels to the desert for a January 17 dual meet at Arizona. OSU hasn't opened with three straight road meets since 1985, when the Beavers were at the Aloha Gym-Fest, at San Jose State, at Washington State and at Utah before hosting Oregon in the home opener that year.

Getting an early start: The January 2 meet with UCLA was OSU's earliest season opener since the 1985 season, when OSU opened at the Aloha Gym-Fest on December 28. That was also the last time OSU ventured off the mainland for a meet.

Head coach Tanya Chaplin: Tanya Chaplin is in her sixth season as head gymnastics coach at OSU. She has guided the Beavers to three consecutive trips to the NCAA Championships and was named OSU's Female Coach of the Year in 2000 and 2001. In 1999, she was named Pacific-10 Coach of the Year. Chaplin has a career record of 44-35-1 for the regular season and 80-64-1 including postseason competition. 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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