OSU gymnastics celebrates perfect senior night

Kaytianna McMillan performs her floor routine

Max Braly, Multimedia Contributor

Beavers score fifth best team score in school history

On Saturday, Gill Coliseum hosted its last gymnastics meet of the season as Oregon State welcomed the University of Illinois-Chicago.

For the third consecutive meet, the Beavers set a new season best team score beating the Flames 197.475-193.550. It was a storybook ending to an amazing regular season. But it gets better.

197.475 not only the best score this season, but the fifth best in OSU history.

It gets better.

Senior Kaytianna McMillan improved her career best all-around score earning 39.650 between the four events. According to roadtonationals.com, that’s 10th best all-around score in the country this season.

It gets even better.

On uneven bars, McMillan scored her first ever perfect 10.

“It’s absolutely incredible,” McMillan said. “I don’t think there are any words the feeling that you have when you see that score being flashed. That’s what we work for everyday in the gym, the perfect ten, the perfection. I think it’s just incredible on senior night, it’s already such a special night, to get that score.”

Though she performed well, it wasn’t just the McMillan show.

“The senior really showed solid performances across the board,” Head coach Tanya Chaplin said. “It great to have your last meet in Gill and come away with some great performances for them, because that leaves that lasting memory.”

The season is not even over yet and it’s already one for the record books.

“It’s really cool to know that we can leave a mark in school history,” redshirt senior Erika Aufiero said.

The season high score of 197.475 resembles a season full of dedication.

“I don’t think we really think about the score so much and was the cherry on the top of this night,” senior Madeline Gardiner said. “This night was a celebration, for sure, of all the hard work we done, of all the hours we’ve put in, of each other, and how far we’ve come.”

“We let the judges do the scoring,” Aufiero adds. “So all we can ask is that each one of us leave our heart and soul out on the floor and on the events. We continue to do that every meet and obviously the scores are showing that.”

Coach Chaplin compared this team to one that went to a Super Six. Currently the Beavers are sitting in the No. 9 position, easily within reach of the prestigious top six.

“There’s really nothing like it,” Aufiero said. “I’ve been on five different teams and there’s really not a team like it. The closest thing is my freshman year, winning Pac-12s. That was a really special moment. We are not even in postseason yet and there’s been moments that are way comparable to that and if not even more special than that. I just am so thankful to have had this opportunity to come back for a fifth year and be with (my teammates) and take that opportunity for another time to be out in Gill. It was really special to be back.”

For now, there are only two practices until the Pac-12 Championships. The team will continue to focus on the little things and will try to keep the momentum going.

The team’s expectations going into postseason?

“Winning. We’re going to win Pac-12s,” McMillan said.

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