OSU Gymnastics goes out strong on Senior Night

Michael Kiever Sports Reporter

Leaping, bounding and flipping in front of the cheering crowd, senior Risa Perez finished her final floor routine in the Gill Coliseum with her usual crank of the chainsaw. It was a fitting end to the senior’s performing career in Corvallis, as Perez’s efforts helped OSU bring home a victory over Ball State and Seattle Pacific in their final home meet of the season.

“I made sure the (chainsaw) was in in my routine again this year,” said Perez, who added the move to her routine when she transferred to OSU last year. “That’s something that I hope Oregon State carries on with whoever the next funky freshman is who comes in.”

It was senior night for Perez and fellow senior Jamie Radermacher, who also transferred to OSU last year. The pair both had solid showings on the evening. Radermacher scored a 9.825 on the floor exercise, while Perez scored a team-high 9.925 on the balance beam and a 9.725 in her floor exercise routine, contributing to OSU’s total score of 196.800.

Even though both have only spent a relatively brief time in Corvallis together, their bond has grown into a special one.

“It was nice to have (her) by my side because we are so very much alike,” Perez said. “She was the first person I clicked with right away. She’s definitely one of my life-long friends, just like my teammates are.”

Head coach Tonya Chaplin and fellow teammates showered praise on the seniors, citing their work ethic and versatility as their main contributions to the team.

“They both bring so many different things to the table,” Chaplin said. “(Perez’s) energy and enthusiasm; there’s just a sparkle about her. (Radermacher), she has the heart of a lion.”

“I’m just really proud of the seniors. They’ve contributed an incredible amount to this team,” said junior Silvia Colussi-Pelaez. “It’s not the end for them, but I’m just really, really proud of everything they’ve accomplished this year.”

OSU got a big boost from both Silvia and her freshman sister, Mariana Colussi-Peleaz in the balance beam. The duo set career-highs back-to-back in the event, scoring 9.90 and 9.825, respectively.

“I think my parents are both really happy that we’re here together. I’m so happy, I couldn’t be more thankful to be on the same team as her,” Silvia said.

Mariana first set the career-high, and then Silvia came in and immediately followed suit. After all, you can never one up the older sibling.

“They are really close, and it’s wonderful that (the career-bests) came on the same night,” Chaplin said. “Especially with little sister getting the career-high first, big sister got it the next time.”

OSU will now hit the road to Texas, where they will compete in their final regular season meet of the season. Not unlike the end of Perez’s routine, the Beavers have positioned themselves to crank it up going into the last bit of the season.

“We’re continuing to build. We need to continue to build these last few meets we’ve had at home,” Chaplin said. “I think this helps give them that confidence going forward into post-season.” 

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