Kaytianna McMillan was celebrating her floor routine with her Oregon State gymnastics teammates when the meet's final score came up on the Gill Coliseum board.

The Beavers broke out in a second celebration.

McMillan had anchored the Beavers with a 9.925, which was good enough to push No. 11 OSU to a 196.550-196.525 win over No. 4 Utah in front of 3,876 fans at the DAM Cancer meet on Saturday.

"I don't even know if there is one feeling that can describe that moment," McMillan said. "It is magical. Especially being a senior and it's our last pink-out in Gill and Michael's (Chaplin) birthday, it all lined up perfectly. So just sharing that moment with your teammates is one of the most incredible feelings you can have."

Isis Lowery and Madeline Gardiner both came up with 9.875s to set up McMillan for the big finish.

"I think the whole lineup really gives you that building momentum that you need, so it was awesome to know that they went up in front of me and hit and did the best routine they could so it gave me more motivation to do it myself.

There has been talk of adding an element to McMillan's floor routine, but her execution and scores have been so solid with her current version that coach Tanya Chaplin has put the idea in a holding pattern.

McMillan scored a 9.925, a 9.950 and a 9.900 in the past three meets before Saturday.

"I think this routine is really working for me," McMillan said. "It's a routine I'm really confident with and I know I'll go up and hit it every time, so in a situation like this where the scores are tight, it's a good decision for me to go up and do that routine because everyone knows that I'm really confident with it rather than putting in a new skill right then. So one of these weeks we'll throw it in."

The score was nice, but the fact that they had just defeated a top-five team was not lost on the Beavers.

And it was against Utah, a perennial power in gymnastics.

"To turn around and see that score, that we beat Utah, top-five team, just shows that we are good enough to compete with them and that just boosted our confidence 10 times higher and just because we're the underdogs doesn't mean we can't beat the top-10 teams," Dani Dessaints said.

A big reason the Beavers were able to take the win with their final routine of the meet was their ability to consistently put out five strong scores.

That was most evident on floor, when leadoff Taylor Ricci struggled and scored a 9.575. The Beavers came back with a 9.800, a 9.825 and two 9.875s before McMillan's routine.

"I think our biggest thing was to really stay in our own bubble, stay with us and what we can control," Tanya Chaplin said. "You know that when you're competing against these teams you have to have a solid five scores and so with or without watching Utah or watching the scoreboard, you still know that if you have a mishap on one of those routines, you're going to have to have five more great scores. So no matter what happens, that's part of the game."

The Beavers began the meet with solid scores on vault and bars.

Mary Jacobsen and McMillan both scored 9.850s on vault and Dessaints added a 9.925 as the Beavers wound up with a 49.075.

OSU scored a 49.050 on bars with 9.850 performances from McMillan and Erika Aufiero.

But it was the consistency on beam that put the Beavers in position to make a final push on floor.

Silvia Colussi-Pelaez scored a 9.825 and Dessaints and McMillan both had 9.875s to help the Beavers to a 49.125 and a slim lead going into floor.

"We probably have one of the strongest beam lineups in the country and obviously we haven't been perfect and that's not what we want, we want to peak at the end of season," Dessaints said. "And so I think we're just building up each meet we go out and I couldn't ask for a stronger beam crew because it is literally unstoppable when we hit."

The Beavers now head out on back-to-back road trips at California and Stanford.


Sports Reporter

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