There were some unusual circumstances for the Oregon State gymnastics meet against Arizona on Saturday at Gill Coliseum.
The Beavers responded by putting up an unusual score.
OSU not only hit the 197 mark, but cleared it by a wide margin, taking a 197.300-145.375 win over the Wildcats in the Dam Worth It meet.
No, the Wildcats' score is no typo. Arizona was unable to field a complete lineup for two of the four events due to multiple suspensions for the meet and a few injuries.
That led to very low scores on vault and floor. That could have impacted OSU's scores, especially considering Dani Dessaints sat out the meet and Sabrina Gill was limited to two events, both to alleviate wear and tear.
"I think (the 197.300) says we're capable of a lot," Mary Jacobsen said. "It also shows how much depth we have because we didn't have everyone today, we were resting some people. But it doesn't matter because this team has a lot of depth and everyone's ready to do their job. I think it shows that we have a lot of potential to keep growing, too."
Former OSU gymnast Taylor Ricci started Dam Worth It along with soccer player Nathan Braaten to raise awareness for mental health issues among student-athletes. The Beavers competed with the campaign in mind.
The Beavers were rolling through the floor exercise and looked to have a 197 easily in hand after Niya Mack scored a 9.850, Savanna Force a 9.825, then Jacobsen hit for a 9.900 to set up Isis Lowery's 9.925.
But when McKenna Singley crashed on a pass and was hit with a 9.000, it was up to Kaitlyn Yanish to make sure the Beavers got over the hump.
Yanish came through with a 9.950 and the Beavers had their best meet score of the season.
"The 197 was huge for us today," Yanish said. "I didn't even know about it until right before we were going to do awards and I didn't even know what score I had gotten on floor, I just knew everyone was excited about it. So I really try to not pay too much attention to scores but I think that's huge for us and this team has been working their butts off this season to get to that point. It's just a really good feeling for all of us that we're moving up and we have so much more potential to grow and that's just super exciting."
The Beavers started the meet with a 49.150 on vault. Singley scored a 9.850 and Jacobsen a 9.875.
The bars team came up big. The Beavers began with Shireen Khamedoost and Mariana Colussi-Pelaez both scoring 9.875s. Alyssa Minyard followed up her 9.875 against Arizona State with a career-best 9.925 and then Jacobsen capped the scoring with a 9.950.
"I think our team does better in general when we're fighting for other people because everyone on this team has big hearts for helping others, so I think that we were able to fight for this cause really helped us, too," Jacobsen said.
OSU came through with a 49.300 on beam despite the absence of anchor Dessaints.
Singley got the team going with a leadoff 9.900 and Maela Lazaro added a 9.875.
Destinee Davis took over the final spot in the rotation. She was very aware of the situation.
"I think it's natural to think about that because you are taking the anchor spot and obviously Dani, that's usually where she is, and the thought crossed my mind but I just tried to go up there and do what I know how to do and no matter what, I know my team has my back, so there's no extra pressure and there's no stress," Davis said. "We just have to go and showcase our gymnastics and fight for everything we put up there."
Davis was up to the challenge. She stuck the landing and was awarded a 9.900.
"It definitely meant a lot," she said. "I was real excited to be able to contribute in that way and to such a degree and honestly, every time I was put up today, I was fighting for other people more than I was for myself."
While opposing teams typically stay in their own bubble during meets, this one was different.
"It was actually really fun because it was sort of like the two teams became one and they were cheering for us and we were cheering for them because that was what this meet was about," Jacobsen said. "It was actually just more fun, I think."