Gymnasts Ranked 10th in Preseason Poll

Nov. 23, 2009

CORVALLIS - The Oregon State gymnastics team will go into the 2010 season ranked 10th in the nation according to the Preseason Coaches' Poll released recently by the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches.

The No. 10 ranking is one spot higher than the Beavers' 2009 NCAA Championship finish. OSU finished fifth in the afternoon session of the NCAA National Championships at Nebraska.

Nine letterwinning gymnasts return to the 2010 squad and are led by a pair of All-Americans, including senior Mandi Rodriguez, the reigning Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year and a 2009 first team All-American on vault and floor exercise and second team in the all-around and a 2007 first team All-American on vault, junior Jen Kesler, who earned second team All-American honors on the uneven bars in 2008 and 2009. In addition, sophomore Leslie Mak, who earned a share of the Pac-10 title on the bars in 2009 is back. That core group will be assisted by seasoned veterans including seniors Laura-Ann Chong and Whitney Watson, juniors Jereme Bigelow and Becky Colvin, and sophomores Stephanie McGregor and Olivia Vivian. The Beavers will be joined by four elite freshmen who are all expected to have an immediate impact on all four lineups.

Overall five of the Pac-10's seven gymnastics teams are ranked in the Top 25 with No. 5 UCLA topping the conference. Stanford ranks 7th, Arizona 20th and Washington rounds things out for the conference at No. 25. Arizona State also received votes in the poll.

Of the 16 different opponents the Beavers are slated to face in 2008, 10 are ranked in the Top 25 and two others received votes in the preseason poll.

Here is the rest of the Top 25:
1. Georgia
2. Utah
3. Alabama
4. Florida
6. LSU
7. Stanford
8. Arkansas
9. Oklahoma
10. Oregon State
11. Penn State
12. Michigan
13. Illinois
t14. Auburn
t14. Nebraska
16. Missouri
17. Denver
18. Ohio State
19. Boise State
20. Arizona
21. West Virginia
22. Minnesota
23. Iowa State
24. Michigan State
25. Washington

Other teams receiving votes:
Kent State, Kentucky, Arizona State, Iowa, North Carolina, Central Michigan, Southern Utah, Western Michigan, BYU, New Hampshire, San Jose State, Illinois-Chicago.

Oregon State kicks the regular season off Jan. 8 when the Beavers host the Salbasgeon Suites Invitational with No. 13 Illinois, Air Force and Alaska-Anchorage coming to legendary Gill Coliseum for a 7 p.m. showdown. On Jan. 29, Oregon State hosts its fifth annual Pink Out for breast and cervical cancer awareness against Stanford and Seattle Pacific.

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