OSU Gymnastics To Host DAM Cancer Meet Against Utah

A junior and member of the OSU Gymnastics team, Dani Dessaints, performs on the beam.

Max Braly, Multimedia Contributor

Oregon State University gymnastics will be competing at Gill Coliseum this Saturday against No. 4 Utah.

Last week, the team battled and got a win against Arizona in Tucson, and scored over 196 for the third consecutive meet.

“The team had a solid performance all the way through,” said associate head coach Michael Chaplin. “We got some really big scores on a couple of events. Dani Dessaints did a fantastic vault. Kaytianna McMillan won the all-around and had a super solid meet and great performance on beam. We were overall very pleased with the performance and got another win. It always feels good to get another win on the road and a pretty good score that’s going to help us in the rankings.”

The Beavers enter Saturday’s meet ranked No. 11 in the country, but the high ranked matchup isn’t the only storyline. The stands and performers will be decked out in pink to support cancer survivors.

“It’s definitely a special meet, I think everyone sees it as more of an impactful meet that we can be impactful on other people,” said senior Kaytianna McMillan. “We just go out there with the hope of being an inspiration to someone else in the crowd who’s fighting for something bigger than we are.”

Along with gymnastics, other cancer awareness-themed activities are a part of the itinerary on Saturday. Before the meet at 11 a.m., a silent auction and brunch will take place in Reser Stadium’s Club Level. Proceeds will be donated to the Corvallis Clinic Foundation’s Project H.E.R., which stands for Help Enlightenment Resources.

Two gymnasts, sophomore Mariana Colussi-Pelaez and freshman Jaime Law, have agreed to donate their hair alongside a women’s basketball guard following the basketball game Friday night.

“Obviously the Dam Cancer theme ‘doing it for a greater cause,’ is really inspirational and helps get your mind off of the competition type atmosphere and more so of a celebration and a reminder to be thankful for the chances that we get to do what we do,” said redshirt senior Erika Aufiero.

The Beavers have a chance to make a difference on Saturday, both in the gym and outside of it. The team hopes to continue their prowess on floor, an event the team has scored better than a 49 at each of its last three meets.

“As a whole, we are really confident in our performances,” McMillan said. “We go up there and every meet, even if it’s away, we pretend like it’s our home crowd. So we just go out there and show it off like we know how.”

The team has a few strategies they plan on implementing in order to beat the Utes. Simply, they plan on doing their jobs. Second, think only about the controllables. And third, not focusing on the distractions.

When watching the Beavers perform on Saturday, don’t expect to be blown away by a single performance, rather expect a collective effort from the team. 

“I don’t think there’s one person that is a showstopper,” says McMillan. “I think it is the whole team. I think one after another we put up the best gymnastics that we can and it works out for us.”

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