Severin Places Second On Vault In NCAA Championships Finals

April 21, 2001

ATHENS, Ga. - Katrina Severin placed second on vault at the NCAA Championships, while teammate Lara Degenhardt took sixth on that same event as the two Oregon State seniors closed out their careers on a high note at Stegeman Coliseum on Saturday night.

Severin, the final performer of the evening on vault, scored a 9.925 on her first vault to earn the highest score of the night for any vaulter. She needed a 9.837 on her second vault to tie Georgia's Cory Frizinger for the national title. Severin's second vault (a Yurchenko full) was worth a maximum 9.90, and she scored a 9.8125 to finish second with an average of 9.8687 on her two vaults.

'I had no idea what I needed or what the others had scored. Watching the scores just makes me more nervous,' Severin said. 'I just took a tiny hop on that second vault. My goal was to make it to finals, but I wish I would have stuck that second vault.'

Vaulters only have to perform one vault in regular competitions, but they must perform two different vaults in the NCAA finals. Only two gymnasts - including Fritzinger - were able to compete two vaults worth a 10.0. Fritzinger won by a mere .0123 points, finishing with a 9.881 average.

'Having two 10.0 vaults can make a difference in winning a national championship. That would have been the difference tonight,' said OSU coach Tanya Chaplin.

Severin's second-place finish on vault is OSU's highest ever on that event.

'The judging is out of our control, and we can't focus on that. We just focus on what we can control, and they did the best they could possibly do,' Chaplin said. 'It was two great performances from both Kat and Lara, and I'm very proud of them.'

Degenhardt averaged a 9.775 on her two vaults, scoring a 9.75 on her tuck half (worth a 9.90) and then finishing with a 9.80 on her pike half (worth a 10.0).

'I was really, really excited to get on the podium,' Degenhardt said. 'I was happy to make it to finals with the vault of my life, and finishing in the top six is the perfect way to finish my career.'

The Beavers haven't had two vaulters finish in the top 10 at nationals in the same year since 1988, when Jami Sherman was fifth and Tina Barnes placed seventh. Incidentally, Barnes also finished fourth in 1985, for OSU's top finish on vault until Severin's second place performance Saturday. The last OSU vaulter to place 10th was Anne Marie Vassallo, who took 10th in 1996.

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