The Oregon State gymnastics program has signed three athletes for the 2017-18 season, head coach Tanya Chaplin announced Thursday.
Joining the program are Savanna Force (Reno, Nev./Deltchev’s Gymnastics) and Kaitlyn Yanish (Chandler, Ariz./Arizona Dynamics) who signed National Letters of Intent and Alexis Gonzales (Newport Beach, Calif./Wildfire Gymnastics) who signed an intent to enroll.
“I’m very excited to welcome these three to the Oregon State gymnastics family,” Chaplin said. “It is a competitive group of young women and outstanding students, and they are eager to propel this program to new places.”
Savanna Force, the daughter of Gary and Shamen Force, is in the midst of a return from an injury that wiped out her 2015 postseason and 2016 season. Prior to her injury, Force had placed first in the all-around at the Elevate Gym Fest and at the Spirit of the Flame Challenge.
She trains at Deltchev’s Gymnastics in Reno, the same gym senior Erika Aufiero hails from, under coaches Stoyan Deltchev and Aneta Damianova.
“We first got to work with Savanna when she came to our summer camp,” Chaplin said. “We recognized her talent right away and felt she would be a great fit with our team. Savanna is a dynamic competitor that will be strong on all four events.”
Kaitlyn Yanish, the daughter of Tom and Rebecca Yanish, is a 2016 USAG Junior Olympic National Team member. Yanish placed fourth in the all-around at J.O. Level 10 National Championships last spring. She also finished first in the all-around at the USAG Region One Championships and was first in the all-around at the Arizona State Championships.
Yanish trains at Arizona Dynamics under Michelle Strang, Kim Graves and Jessica Wolf.
“Kaitlyn is an explosive gymnast that will be a big boost for us on vault and floor exercise,” Chaplin said. “She is also outstanding on beam and is solid on the bars. It’s been fun to watch her improve each year and it was great to see her qualify to the USAG Junior Olympic National Team this year.”
Alexis Gonzales, the daughter of Ruben and Christen Gonzales, placed first on the floor exercise and second on the vault at the Palm Springs Cup in 2016, but battled injuries in 2015 and 2016. In 2014, Gonzales placed fourth on vault and fifth on the floor at the Southern California Level 10 State Championships.
Gonzales trains at Wildfire Gymnastics under former OSU gymnast Whitney Watson-Dames, as well as Rick Watson, Tom Wakeling and Stephanie Calvert.
“Lexie is another gymnast that attended our summer camp and left us with a very positive impression,” Chaplin said. “She is a hard worker and a beautiful gymnast. She will add depth to our floor and vault lineup right away.”
The Beavers’ season begins next Thursday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. with the annual Orange & Black Exhibition at Gill Coliseum. Admission is free.