OSU Wins 2011 Pac-10 Gymnastics Title
LOS ANGELES - For the first time since 1996, the Oregon State Beavers are Conference champions. After notching scores of 49.125 or higher on all four events, Oregon State claimed the 2011 Pac-10 Gymnastics Championships with a score of 197.200 at Pauley Pavilion Saturday.
"I'm really proud of the way this team performed tonight," said Oregon State head coach Tanya Chaplin. "They had to overcome changes to the lineup, and the way they met the challenge was incredible. I'm so proud. This is great momentum as we head into the NCAA Championship season."
Defending champion UCLA took second place, finishing at 196.750. In third place, Washington posted a 196.025. It was the best finish by the Huskies since 2001 when they also earned third place.
"Oregon State was the best team in the house tonight," said UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field. "I can handle losing a meet as long as we don't lose it. We did really well. We got beat by a better team tonight."
Oregon State staked its claim to the championship with an unmatched effort in the all-around, with three Beavers posting scores of 39.300 or higher. Leslie Mak led the way with a career-high 39.525, Makayla Stambaugh finished at 39.40 and Kelsi Blalock notched a 39.30.
On vault, UCLA's Olivia Courtney led all competitors with a 9.950. Two Oregon State gymnasts tied for second, with Blalock and Britney Ranzy both posting a 9.90. Arizona's Deanna Graham finished fourth with a score of 9.875.
There was a six-way tie for the uneven bars title, with three Oregon State gymnasts (Mak, Stambaugh, Olivia Vivian), two UCLA gymnasts (Aisha Gerber, Olivia Courtney), and Washington's Samantha Walior all notching scores of 9.90.
On the floor exercise, Stanford's Ashley Morgan and UCLA's Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs claimed the individual title, the duo both posting a score of 9.90. Stambaugh (Oregon State) and Sydney Sawa (UCLA) tied for third scoring 9.875.
Oregon State's Leslie Mak took sole possession of the balance beam title after posting a meet-high 9.95. There was a three-way tie for second place, with Katie Matusik (Arizona), Vivian (Oregon State) and Aliza Vaccher (Washington) all posting scores of 9.90.
Before the meet, the Pac-10 coaches voted on seasonal honors, and the awards were announced during the post-event awards ceremony. Chaplin was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year for the second-consecutive year. She has won this award in three out of the past four years. Mak, a junior, was named Gymnast of the Year. Freshman/Newcomer of the Year went to Courtney (UCLA).
Arizona State's Mary Atkinson was named the Scholar-Athlete of theYear presented by Toyo Tires. The award is presented annually to a senior who excels in the classroom and in athletics. Toyo Tires will present $1,000 to the scholarship fund at Arizona State in Atkinson's honor.
1. Oregon State: 197.200
2. UCLA: 196.750
3. Washington: 196.025
4. Stanford: 195.975
5. Arizona: 195.475
6. California: 191.575
7. Arizona State: 190.450
1. Mak (OSU) 39.525
2. Stambaugh (OSU) 39.400
3. Blalock (OSU), Hopfner-Hibbs (UCLA) 39.300
2011 Conference Awards
Gymnast of the Year: Leslie Mak, OSU
Freshman/Newcomer of the Year: Olivia Courtney, UCLA
Scholar-Athlete of the Year presented by Toyo Tires: Mary Atkinson, ASU
Coach of the Year: Tanya Chaplin, OSU