Oregon State Gymnastics Weekly Release: Week 3

Jan. 17, 2005

This week's action: Oregon State (3-1) continues to test itself against the top competition in the country when the Beavers take on No. 1-ranked Utah Friday night at 7 p.m. at Gill Coliseum for a dual meet. The Utes are coming off of a victory at No. 24 Utah State last Friday night.

OSU vs. No. 1 Utah: The Utes enter Friday's meet with OSU with a record of 2-0, having beaten the two-time defending national champions No. 2 UCLA and No. 24 Utah State so in its two duals so far this season. Utah leads the all-time series with Oregon State 29-6 but were upset 196.900-196.325 by the Beavers the last time gymnasts from 'The U.' visited Corvallis in 2003.

Utah is led by three All-Americans in four-time All-American Annabeth Eberle, two-time All-American Kristen Riffanacht, and three-time All-American Nicolle Ford. Utah is currently ranked second on the floor exercise, the balance beam, and the vault, and is tied for first on the uneven bars. Individually, Eberle and freshman sensation Ashley Postell are tied for first in the country in the all-around, while Ford is fifth. Eberle and Postell are tied for fourth on the floor, Ford is tied for first and Postell is tied for fourth on the beam, sophomore Rachel Tidd is second on the bars and vault, and Postell is tied for fourth on the vault.

Last week vs. No. 2 UCLA: Oregon State had a solid night against the Bruins, better than the low scores may have implied. Despite tight scoring the Beavers had a better outing than the previous meet at Cal State Fullerton two weeks ago, although no Beaver scored a 9.80 or higher.

Oregon State also showed improvement on the beam, after having two falls at Fullerton, all six Beavers posted hit on solid routines a season-high 9.60 by freshman Claire Pierce and a 9.625 by freshman Courtney Dennison in her first collegiate routine on the beam.

Beavers in the rankings: Oregon State came into last Friday's meet with UCLA ranked eighth in the country, but tight scoring and minor struggles on bars knocked the Beavers back in the rankings to 13th. Oregon State were ranked 12th in the preseason NACGC coaches' poll. But an impressive season-opening performance resulted in a score of 195.20 as the Beavers won the quad meet hosted by Cal State Fullerton. The mark posted by OSU bumped the team up to No. 8 in the national rankings, which at this point in the season are based on highest score.

Oregon State is ranked third overall in the floor exercise, just behind Utah, eighth on bars and ninth on the vault. Ironically, the Beavers best event may be on the beam. Individually, Heather Justus and Angela Morales are tied for fourth in the country on floor and Thérèse Videan is 12th. Morales is also ranked eighth on vault, while Justus and freshman Megan Devencenzi are tied at 20th.

Beavers to host 2006 NCAA Championships: Oregon State and Gill Coliseum have been selected as the site of the NCAA Championships in 2006. OSU has twice previously hosted the event in 1990 and 1993 with the Beavers finishing seventh both times. Individually, both times Oregon State has hosted the Championships, a Beaver has become a national champion. In 1990, Joy Selig won on the beam and floor and in 1993 Amy Durham claimed the top spot on the floor.

The road to the championships: The 2005 NCAA Championships are set for April 21-23 at Auburn, Ala. Teams must place first or second at the NCAA Regional Championships on April 9 to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Regional hosts in 2005 are Washington (West), Nebraska (South Central), Alabama (Central), Florida (Southeast), Utah (North Central) and New Hampshire (Northeast). Oregon State has made 19 national championship appearances (16 NCAA, three AIAW) in 27 seasons. The Beavers have missed Nationals the past two seasons by the narrowest of margins, falling .025 short in 2003 and .050 short in 2004. Still there are five Beavers who competed for the last Oregon State squad to reach nationals (Heidi Goehring, Daylee Ingalls, Heather Justus, Lindsay Nelson, and Thérèse Videan).

Head coach Tanya Chaplin: Head coach Tanya Chaplin enters her eighth season as head gymnastics coach at Oregon State with a career record of 65-48-1 in the regular season and 113-87-1 overall. Tanya has led the Beavers to three 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. Formerly Tanya Service, she was a six-time All-American and held six school records while competing for UCLA from 1986-89.

Back on the road: Oregon State will be back on the road next week at Stanford. The Cardinal has not competed yet this season, but was ranked third in the preseason coaches' poll.

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