Gymnasts Get Win at Ohio State, Pay Big Price
Jan. 16, 2010
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Oregon State gymnastics team continued its strong start to the 2010 season with another convincing win over another Big Ten team, this time at Ohio State, 196.125-193.050. The Beavers swept the individual awards and Mandi Rodriguez won the all-around competition with a score of 39.350.
Oregon State, which is ranked No. 5 in the nation, improved its season record to 4-0, while the Buckeyes fell to (0-2). But the Beavers paid a big price when sophomores Olivia Vivian and Leslie Mak were injured during timed warm-ups on bars. Mak, a 2009 Pac-10 co-champion on the bars, sprained her left elbow was unable to compete in the meet. Vivian suffered a finger injury and was held out of the bars lineup, but still performed on the beam and floor exercise.
'I'm really very proud of this team. They really fought through a lot of adversity losing two competitors at the beginning of warm-ups,' head coach Tanya Chaplin said. 'Nothing is easy in this sport and each gymnast has to fight for each score. It was great to have Olivia (Vivian) fight through her injury and come back on the floor and beam. We'll look forward to having Leslie (Mak) back, hopefully in the near future.'
Beginning the meet on the uneven bars, where the Beavers entered the meet ranked No. 1 in the nation, OSU's lineup was stung by the injuries and two gymnasts needing to be removed from the lineup. Two-time All-American Jen Kesler filled one void and freshman Leilani Alferos was called upon to fill the other. Despite the unexpected vacancies the front end of the lineup performed to expectations with Whitney Watson and Mandi Rodriguez each scoring 9.775 to begin the meet. Kesler followed with a 9.825 and Laura-Ann Chong came through with a beautiful routine and a 9.925 to tie the career-high she set last week. However, uncharacteristic falls by Makayla Stambaugh and Leilani Alferos ended the forward momentum.
Holding just a one-tenth advantage heading to the second event, the Beavers pushed through the adversity with a six-for-six vault rotation. Stephanie McGregor led off with a 9.825, followed by a season-best 9.85 by Kelsi Blalock. Matching 9.825's by Whitney Watson and Stambaugh led to Becky Colvin, who nailed her vault for a 9.875. Rodriguez finished the rotation with a 9.825.
Oregon State had expanded its lead to over a full point as they headed to the floor exercise and it was on the floor that the Beavers really took control of the meet. Colvin tallied a career-best 9.80 and Chong followed with her own career-best 9.825. Then came the high-powered performances of Stambaugh and Rodriguez, each of whom scored 9.95. Rodriguez, who last week debuted a new routine, returned to last year's routine tonight and was rewarded scoring just .25 short of her career-high.
The fourth rotation was another solid one for the Beavers on beam. Freshman Melanie Jones bounced back from a fall in her first collegiate meet to tally a 9.775 and Rodriguez followed with a 9.80. Stambaugh and Chong completed the meet's scoring with back-to-back 9.90's.
The Beavers are set to return to Corvallis for the next two weeks to host No. 19 Washington, Friday, Jan. 2. OSU then hosts the fifth annual Pink Out against No. 12 Stanford and Seattle Pacific, Friday, Jan. 29. Both events are scheduled for a 7 p.m. start with doors open at 6 p.m. Season and individual meet tickets can be purchased online, by calling 1-800-GO-BEAVS or in person at the OSU Ticket Office located in room 107 of Gill Coliseum.
Notes: Junior Jen Kesler, a two-time All-American on the bars who is returning from offseason surgery, competed in the bars lineup for the first time in 2010 ... Mak will be re-evaulated next week upon OSU's return to Corvallis.
Team Scores: No. 5 Oregon State 196.125; Ohio State 193.050.
All-Around: 1. Mandi Rodriguez (OSU) 39.350; 2. Makayla Stambaugh (OSU) 39.025; 3. Hillary Dow (OHSU) 38.700.
Vault (49.200): T1. Becky Colvin (OSU), Hillary Dow (OHSU) 9.875; 3. Kelsi Blalock (OSU) 9.850. Other OSU Scores: Mandi Rodriguez 9.825, Stephanie McGregor 9.825, Whitney Watson 9.825 (Exhibition - Leilani Alferos 9.725).
Uneven Bars (48.650): 1. Laura-Ann Chong (OSU) 9.925; 2. Jen Kesler (OSU) 9.825; T3. Mandi Rodriguez (OSU), Whitney Watson (OSU) 9.775. Other OSU Scores: Makayla Stambaugh 9.350, Leilani Alferos 9.275.
Balance Beam (49.050): T1. Laura-Ann Chong (OSU), Makayla Stambaugh (OSU) 9.900; 3. Nicole Krauter (OHSU) 9.825. Other OSU Scores: Mandi Rodriguez 9.800, Melanie Jones 9.775, Kelsi Blalock 9.675, Olivia Vivian 9.650.
Floor Exercise (49.225): T1. Mandi Rodriguez (OSU), Makayla Stambaugh (OSU) 9.950; 3. Laura-Ann Chong (OSU) 9.825. Other OSU Scores: Becky Colvin 9.800, Olivia Vivian 9.700, Stephanie McGregor 9.075 (Exhibition - Kelsi Blalock 9.675).