Gymnasts Earn Trip To NCAA Championships

April 7, 2001

LOS ANGELES - The 13th-ranked Oregon State gymnastics team put together a gutsy performance on vault in the final rotation to secure a trip to the NCAA Championships for the second year in a row.

The Beavers stood in second place at the NCAA West Regional Championships by almost a point halfway through the meet but had to count two falls on floor in the second-to-last rotation to see their lead nearly slip away.

OSU rebounded to hit all six vaults to score a 48.75 - good for a 194.075 total - to finish second and earn its second consecutive trip to nationals.

UCLA won the competition with a 197.775 to join the Beavers in Athens, Ga., for the April 19-21 national championship meet. Brigham Young finished third with a 193.050, followed by California (192.175), Boise State (190.600) and CS-Fullerton (189.800).

'I was really happy with the fight on the competition floor. We had a really hard time on floor, our last three athletes missed their routines,' said coach Tanya Chaplin. 'I was proud of the way they came back on vault.'

Katrina Severin scored a 9.90 on OSU's final vault of the night, while Lara Degenhardt scored a 9.775. Annie Campbell opted to do her Yurchenko layout (valued at a 9.80) instead of attempting a more difficult vault and ended up scoring a 9.75. OSU also got a 9.70 from Soni Meduna, while Elaine Yoder and Lindsay Nelson each scored 9.625.

'We had a rough time on floor, but we pulled together for vault,' Severin said. 'We knew could do our vaults, and we knew we were still ahead and that we could still do it. That gave us the confidence to do it.'

OSU started off strong on floor with Yoder leading things off with a 9.775, but the Beavers struggled after that. Meduna took an out of bounds deduction for a 9.55, but Bruch rebounded with a 9.80. However, OSU's next three competitors all had falls forcing OSU to count a 9.30 from Degenhardt as well as a 9.20, which both Severin and Campbell scored.

'This team has dealt with so much adversity this year. We lost two all-arounders early, and this team has had to learn to fight all season long,' Chaplin said. 'No one individual stood out. This was definitely a team effort.'

The Beavers, who had a bye in the first rotation, started the meet off with a solid effort on bars. Led by Stephanie Bychowski's 9.85, OSU went six-for-six to tally a 48.650 on its first event. Lara Degenhardt and Elizabeth Jillson each scored 9.75 marks, while Annie Campbell and Lindsay Nelson posted 9.65 scores. The Beavers dropped Soni Meduna's 9.625 routine.

After Lindsay Nelson fell on her beam dismount on OSU's first routine of that rotation, the Beavers regrouped to hit all five of their remaining routines. Katrina Severin led the way with a 9.90, while Campbell had the team's next-best score at 9.85. Marissa Bruch turned in a 9.80, followed by Elaine Yoder (9.75) and Stephanie Bychowski (9.70).

Tickets for the NCAA Championships can be purchased through the OSU Ticket Office at 1-800-GO-BEAVS starting Monday morning.

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