Madeline Gardiner goes for her fifth consecutive all-around win against Washington

Brian Rathbone, Sports Editor

Madeline Gardiner has won four all-arounds this season 

When the Oregon State gymnastics team travels to Seattle for a Pac-12 meet against Washington on Monday, junior Madeline Gardiner will go for her fifth consecutive all-around victory. 

Just don’t mention that to her. 

From the way she chalks up the bars and her hands, to the brand new pair of white socks that she wears for each meet, Gardiner has a laundry list of superstitions to keep her mind at ease as she  tumbles and flies through the air.

“I try not to think about (winning the all around),” Gardiner said. “I’m a very superstitious person so the more I think about it the more I’m like ‘oh shoot.’” 

Last weekend against Arizona State at Gill Coliseum, Gardiner hit a personal best on the balance beam, turning in a score of 9.925, catapulting her to her fourth all-around victory of the year. 

“It felt like a good routine to me,” Gardiner said. “I’m never super sure where it’s going to place in terms of scores because all the judges are different. But it was one to celebrate and running back to my teammates.”

The all-around winner at gymnastics meet is determined by adding up the scores from each individual event—the uneven bars, vault, balance beam and the floor routine. In each of the Beavers’ competitions, Gardiner has come out on top. 

As a freshman and sophomore, Gardiner won bronze medals at nationals. Despite her success, on occasion she was held out of certain events because she wasn’t having much success. 

“We’ve seen her really grow over the years,” said head coach Tanya Chaplin. “Her freshman year it’s kinda getting used to everything, last year she did better but struggled in different events so we had to pull her out of an event from time to time. But she has really improved on those events and is actually stronger than last year.”

Gardiner’s success in 2016 has come from being taught by the coaching staff to not worry about the all-around competition, but instead staying in the moment of each event. 

“(Chaplin) has been helping me focus on ‘what happens on one event, stays on that event,’” Gardiner said. “I tend to get super overwhelmed. And she is just like ‘stay calm’ and that really helps me be able to put all my energy into each event individually.” 

“I almost think she is like a new gymnast,” said junior Megan Jimenez. “She is a lot more of a leader in the gym and she’s progressed and matured in her gymnastics mentally and it shows in practice and in competition.”

An accomplished international gymnast, being named an alternate on the 2012 Canadian Olympic gymnastics team, Gardiner has transition well from international competition to college completion and enjoys the team camaraderie that comes with playing at Oregon State.

“One of the biggest things that I found is that college is so team oriented, your team has your back and you have you have all of theirs, and I love that aspect of it,” Gardiner said. “Whereas in (International) you are on a team, but you train individually, you see those girls once a month and there isn’t a team dynamic.” 

Whether it’s the socks, the chalk or any number of superstition, her teammates and the judges are taking notice.

“You can tell she puts her whole heart out there when she does her gymnastics and it’s her masterpiece that she puts together,” Jimenez said. “I think she is doing amazing and the things she accomplished has been amazing for the team.”

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