After struggling with season consistency, Beavers get marquee win of the season.
On an unusually sunny February afternoon in Corvallis, the Oregon State gymnastics team put together their most complete performance of the season as the Beavers defeated No. 15 California.
The crowd at Gill Coliseum witnessed OSU’s most competitive match of the season as the Beavers defeated California 196.85-195.35.
With Beaver Nation in full support and on their side, the Beavers as a team had their best performance of the season, posting six new career best scores and four others were tied.
“I’m more excited for [my team] than I am for myself,” said junior Madeline Gardiner. “Seeing all of their hard work in the gym pay off is the most rewarding experience.”
Gardiner had more than plenty to be excited about as she won her fourth All-Around event of the season, beating 2015’s Pac-12 freshman of the year, Toni-Ann Williams 39.475-37.525.
Saturday didn’t treat Williams too well as her score was omitted from two events, vault and balance beam. Williams was the NCAA regional vault champion in 2015.
“I think we can all understand how that feels as gymnasts, we all know how that feels. Of course I don’t want that to happen to anyone. No one is perfect,” freshman Mary Jacobsen said about having an off-day as a gymnast.
While Williams struggled, Oregon State junior Kaytianna McMillan performed extremely well. She achieved career bests in both the uneven bars and the balance beam, where she earned a score of 9.95 in each event.
“Any kind of performance in front of Gill is like a dream come true. The crowd real engages with us and it adds to the energy and adds to the fun we are looking for,” said McMillan.
McMillan wasn’t the only performer to collect a new high score on the uneven bars, as Jacobsen also earned a career best with a score of 9.95.
“It felt really good for it to finally all come together. What I’ve been doing in practice to actually transfer into the meet and the feeling at the end was really great when I stuck,” said Jacobsen.
As the season wears on, the Beavers feel things are coming together for them at the right time. The team is learning what their identity is and how to perform at their best meet in and meet out.
“We have finally figured out how we are as a team, and how we do the best which I think is when we are relaxed and having fun. So i think we’ve finally figured it out and now we are good to go,” said Jacobsen.
On Twitter: @Max_Braly