Gold Medalists help lift UCLA over the Beavers in gymnastics

Freshman Sabrina Gill returned to the floor after missing the event last week

Max Braly, Multimedia Contributor

Before the 2017 season the NCAA had never seen an Olympic gold medalist compete in gymnastics. On Saturday, two gold medalists competed at Gill Coliseum against the Beavers for the visiting UCLA, freshmen Madison Kocian and Kyla Ross.

The medalists and UCLA came into the meet ranked No. 8 in the nation and Oregon State came in at No. 17. The Beavers put forth a good effort but fell to the Bruins 196.700 to 197.325.

“We’re all on the same level at this point,” said senior Kaytianna McMillan. “We are all college D1 athletes. So it doesn’t really matter where people came from or what they did previously, it’s about the now. I don’t think we really let it affect us.”

More than just tough competition could have affected the Beavers on Saturday. A sudden lineup change to the beam may have been distracting.

“I was proud of the fight that they showed,” said head coach Tanya Chaplin. “We had some things like a mix up on beam lineup and the line up that was up was a little different than we had planned on. So the girls reacted very well at changing positions quickly.”

The team has a focus space they call ‘The Beaver Bubble’ to help them in these exact circumstances.

“It’s the energy we keep within our team,” McMillan explains. “So we don’t worry about the crowd or the other teams or anything sidenote that might be going on. We call it a bubble because we don’t let anything out or in.”

McMillan put on another show in all of her events, but shined especially bright on the floor, where she scored a new personal best of 9.925. According to her, there is still work to be done on the routine.

“I mean, it’s still not a ten so there’s that .05 that you can get back, so I’ll just go back in the gym,” said McMillan. “I’m looking to upgrade my first pass to a different new pass. Actually a double layout, so hopefully I can put that in and get a little extra show for that.”

Freshman Sabrina Gill returned to the floor after missing the event last week. She earned a new personal best of 9.800. Redshirt senior Erika Aufiero liked what she saw.

“I really enjoyed watching Sabrina on floor today,” said Aufiero. “She doesn’t come out of her shell very often and these past few meets she’s just really gotten out of her shell on floor and finally let her smile shine. It’s just so fun to see when someone can be so genuinely happy out on the floor. To feel that with her is really fun.”

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