Gymnasts Place Sixth In Afternoon Session At NCAA Championships

April 19, 2001

ATHENS, Ga. - Seniors Katrina Severin and Lara Degenhardt will have a chance to become Oregon State's first national champion on vault after finishing first and second, respectively, on that event in the preliminary session at the NCAA Gymnastics Championships at Stegeman Coliseum on Thursday.

Still, Oregon State had falls on five routines and had a low start value on another to finish with a 193.775 to place sixth in the team competition, while UCLA (197.625), Michigan (196.525) and Alabama (196.375) advanced to Friday evening's Super Six finals. Florida was fourth (195.825) and Oklahoma was fifth (193.875).

'I'm disappointed with the falls, but I'm extremely proud of this team and how hard they worked this season,' said coach Tanya Chaplin. 'They worked so hard to even make it to nationals, and a lot of people counted us out and didn't think we would. Now we have two first team All-Americans who have a shot at winning a national championship, and that's exciting.'

Severin won the vault title outright with a 9.95, making her the first OSU gymnast to win eight vault titles in one season since All-American Tina Barnes in 1987. Degenhardt's 9.90 tied for second place with UCLA's Kristin Parker.

The top four competitors (plus ties) on each event in each session are named first team All-Americans and compete in Saturday's event finals at 4 p.m. PDT, when individual national champions will be crowned. Michigan's Karina Senior and Janessa Grieco also advanced on vault with their fourth-place 9.875 marks.

'My number one goal was to make the Super Six since this is my senior year,' Severin said. 'But, I'm still really excited that I get to do gymnastics for one more day.'

'It's nice to get one last shot to compete,' said Degenhardt. 'It was really exciting when we hit our vaults, and being a first team All-American is just awesome.'

The Beavers haven't had an All-American on vault since Ann Marie Vassallo earned first team honors as a junior in 1996. The last time OSU had two first team All-American vaulters in the same season was back in 1988.

Severin just missed second team honors on the balance beam with her score of 9.825, which tied teammate Annie Campbell for 12th place - just .025 from earning All-American honors. Elizabeth Jillson also narrowly missed All-American honors, her 9.85 on bars tied for ninth place. Only the top eight (plus ties) are named All-Americans.

OSU started the afternoon off strong on beam, hitting its first five routines solidly. Lindsay Nelson led off the competition with a 9.725, while Elaine Yoder and Marissa Bruch followed with back-to-back 9.70 routines to set up Campbell and Severin. Their scores gave OSU a 48.775 with Stephanie Bychowski still waiting to compete, although Bychowski's 9.30 didn't count after she fell on her aerial cartwheel.

OSU moved to floor after a bye, and Yoder started things off with a 9.675 and Soni Meduna kept the Beavers going strong with a 9.725. But Bruch fell twice for an 8.875, and Campbell had a solid routine going until her last pass, cutting it short for a 9.35. Next up was Degenhardt, who went out of bounds on her first pass and scored a 9.675. Severin closed out the rotation with a 9.775.

OSU found itself in a similar situation at regionals two weeks ago, where the Beavers responded with an outstanding six-for-six performance on vault after three misses on floor to qualify for nationals. Yoder once again got the Beavers off on a high note with a 9.55 vault, but Meduna put her hands down for a 9.00. Nelson responded with a 9.575, and Campbell scored a 9.75 after attempting her 10.0 vault for just the fourth time this season. That gave Degenhardt and Severin the momentum to finish the rotation strong and qualify for the event finals.

Unfortunately the momentum didn't carry over to bars, as Nelson and Bychowski both fell. Jillson's 9.85 was the team's best, while Campbell added a 9.725. Degenhardt scored a 9.675, and Meduna turned in a 9.575.

Like last season, the team will watch the remaining team competitions and hope to learn from this experience and build for next year.

'The seniors are going to begin their transition to life away from gymnastics, and the underclassmen will be taking in as much as possible throughout the rest of the competition to make OSU as strong as they possibly can next year,' Chaplin said.

Meet Results (Afternoon preliminary session)

Team Scores (Top three advance to Friday's Super Six): 1. UCLA, 197.625, 2. Michigan, 196.525, 3. Alabama, 196.375, 4. Florida, 195.825, 5. Oklahoma, 193.825, 6. Oregon State, 193.775.

Individual Results (Top four advance to Saturday's event finals)

Vault: 1. Katrina Severin (OSU), 9.95, T2. Lara Degenhardt (OSU), 9.90, Kristen Parker (UCLA), 9.90, T4. Karina Senior (Mich.), Janessa Grieco (Mich.), 9.875. Other OSU Scores: 25. Annie Campbell, 9.75, 35. Lindsay Nelson, 9.575, 36. Elaine Yoder, 9.55, 42. Soni Meduna, 9.00

Bars: 1. Jamie Dantzscher (UCLA), 9.925, T2. Onnie Willis (UCLA), Doni Thompson (UCLA), Yvonne Tousek (UCLA), Mohini Bhardwaj (UCLA), Elise Ray (Mich.), Natalie Barrington (Ala.), 9.90. OSU Scores: T9. Elizabeth Jillson, 9.85, T23. Annie Campbell, 9.725, T29. Lara Degenhardt, 9.625, T35. Soni Meduna, 9.575, 39. Stephanie Bychowski, 9.25, 42. Lindsay Nelson, 9.10

Beam: 1. Elise Ray (Mich.), 9.925, T2. Kristen Maloney (UCLA), Yvonne Tousek (UCLA), 9.90, T4. Lissy Smith (Ala.), Kristen Sterner (Ala.), Onnie Willis (UCLA), 9.875. OSU Scores: T12. Annie Campbell, 9.825, T12. Katrina Severin, 9.825, T24. Lindsay Nelson, 9.725, T29. Marissa Bruch, 9.70, T29. Elaine Yoder, 9.70, 38. Stephanie Bychowski, 9.30

Floor: T1. Mohini Bhardwaj (UCLA), Jamie Dantzscher (UCLA), 9.95, 3. Elise Ray (Mich.), 9.925, T4. Onnie Willis (UCLA), Hillary Thompson (Fla.), Jill Fisher (Md.), Jeana Rice (Ala.), 9.90. OSU Scores: T29. Katrina Severin, 9.775, T34. Soni Meduna, 9.725, T39. Elaine Yoder, 9.675, T39. Lara Degenhardt, 9.675, 41. Annie Campbell, 9.35, 43. Marissa Bruch, 8.875.

All-Around: (National Champion will be determined after Thursday's evening session) T1. Onnie Willis (UCLA), Elise Ray (Mich.), 39.525, T3. Mohini Bhardwaj (UCLA), Jeana Rice (Ala.), Yvonne Tousek (UCLA), 39.475. OSU Scores: T16. Annie Campbell, 38.650

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