Beavers Open Season with Salbasgeon Suites Friday

Jan. 4, 2010

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THE MEET ... The Oregon State gymnastics team, ranked No. 10 in the preseason coaches' poll, opens the season at home this Friday, Jan. 8 at 7 p.m.

The meet is one of many firsts ... none of the three visiting teams - No. 13 Illinois, Air Force and Alaska-Anchorage - has ever performed at Gill Coliseum. In fact, Oregon State has never competed against Air Force or Alaska-Anchorage.

In another oddity, the Beavers will open the season by hosting the 30th annual Salbasgeon Suites Invitational. The Salbasgeon, which is traditionally the Beavers' biggest home meet - in terms of number of teams - is usually the final home meet of the season. But due to scheduling conflicts, the event will open the season instead.

This Salbasgeon will be the earliest home opener since 1997, when the Beavers hosted Illinois State on Jan. 10. It is the first time in the Tanya Chaplin era that OSU has opened the season at legendary Gill Coliseum.

OSU IN OPENERS ... Oregon State has a record of 15-13 in season opening meets during Tanya Chaplin's 12 seasons. Last season the Beavers finished second in their four-team session at the Cancun Classic, falling to Stanford and beating Denver and BYU.

During the past four seasons, in which OSU has reached the NCAA Championships, Oregon State is 7-4 on opening night.

WEB STREAMS OFFERED IN 2010 ... All of Oregon State's home gymnastics meets will be webcast live via Beaver Nation Online, the audio/visual home of osubeavers.com. In 2010, former OSU gymnasts Jami Lanz, a three-time All-American, and Adonica Glatt will provide analysis and play-by-play for each of the meets. Fans unable to attend OSU's home meets are encouraged to follow the Beavers online at osubeavers.com for a fee.

WHAT'S COMING UP ... The Beavers make their first road of the year next week leaving the time zone to visit Big Ten power Ohio State. The Buckeyes were ranked No. 18 in the preseason poll.

This week's Salbasgeon Suites Invitational is just the first of three home meets in the month of January. The Beavers are back at home Friday, Jan. 22 to face Pacific Northwest rival Washington and again Friday, Jan. 29 for the fifth annual Pink Out against Stanford and Seattle Pacific.

TICKETS ... Tickets for the 2010 season are on sale for for Oregon State's five regular season home meets.

The Beavers are scheduled to face Illinois, Air Force and Alaska-Anchorage (Jan. 8), Washington (Jan. 22), Stanford and Seattle Pacific (Jan. 29), Arizona (Feb. 12) and Kentucky (Mar. 19).

Season tickets are available starting at $30. Individual meet tickets are also available by calling 1-800-GO-BEAVS, in person at the OSU Ticket Office located in room 107 of Gill Coliseum or by going online to osubeavers.com.

BEAVERS ALL ACCESS ... The Oregon State was featured last week on Beavers All Access on FSN NW. The 30-minute television program can now be seen via Beaver Nation Online, the audio/visual service of osubeavers.com.

ROSTER UPDATE ... Junior Jereme Bigelow recently elected to retire from the sport of gymnastics due to injury. Bigelow will remain a part of the team as a student assistant. Bigelow performed in the floor lineup 12 times in 2009 'hitting' 10 out of 12 routines.

TOP NOTCH GROUP OF FRESHMEN ... The departure of six seniors who combined to provide 10 routines at the NCAA Championships last year meant that several younger gymnasts would be needed to fill the void, fortunately it would appear that this year's freshman class should be prepared to fill that gap. Oregon State's freshman foursome was recently chosen as the No. 3 recruiting class of 2009 by CollegeGymFans.com. Leading the impressive class is two-time junior elite National Team member Makayla Stambaugh, who dominated Level 10 the last two years, winning back-to-back national titles in the all-around. Joining her is Kelsi Blalock, who had three straight top 10 all-around finishes at the national championships, Melanie Jones, who was an alternate tot he 2008 Australian Olympic Team, and Leilani Alferos, who has also had impressive showings at the Level 10 championships and who the OSU coaching staff believes has her best gymnastics ahead of her.

PINK OUT ... The Beavers are set to host the fifth annual Pink Out, Jan. 29 when they host Stanford and Seattle Pacific. The Pink Out has brought some of the largest crowds in recent seasons as the Beavers, along with The Corvallis Clinic, help to raise money and awareness for breast and cervical cancer.

LAST YEAR ... Oregon State enjoyed another great season under Tanya Chaplin in 2009.

The Beavers made their fourth straight trip to the NCAA Championships where they finished 11th and four gymnasts combined to bring home six All-America awards. OSU also earned its second straight runner-up finish at the Pac-10 Championships and claimed three individual titles along the way.

The bars lineup, under first year assistant coach John Carney, set the school record on the event at the Salbasgeon Suites Invitational scoring 49.575 including three gymnasts scoring 9.925 or better.

In 2009, Mandi Rodriguez put together one of the best individual seasons in Oregon State history racking up 26 individual titles, two Pac-10 titles (vault and floor), two NCAA Central Regional titles (vault and floor), three All-America awards (vault and floor, first team; all-around, second team) and the title of Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year.

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