ST. LOUIS — It was a fitting end to Madeline Gardiner’s gymnastics career.
On the final routine of Oregon State’s last rotation at the NCAA Championships, Gardiner took to the beam.
By the time she spun off and stuck the landing, the Beavers and the group of fans on hand were up and cheering.
For good reason. On a rough night, Gardiner and the beam team sent the Beavers out on a high note. She scored a 9.9125.
“The other girls set me up real well,” Gardiner said. “We had a lineup of five beautiful routines before I went and that took a lot of pressure off of me. And before I went, Tanya came over to me and was like, ‘Do the routine you want to do. Let it all go. This is your last hurrah,’ kind of thing and I was like, ‘you’re right.’
“And so getting up on the beam was like, ‘I’m doing this for my team, for Beaver Nation and for the last four years, for my entire career.’ And so it was just a matter of just calming down and really enjoying what I did, and I think that it came out because I did get to do a beautiful routine.”
Silvia Colussi-Pelaez finished her career with a 9.900 on the event, as did Kaytianna McMillan with a 9.8625.
Dani Dessaints had a 9.8875 on the routine leading to Gardiner’s turn.
“I don’t think there’s a better way for me to have gone out,” Gardiner said. “And as a team, that beam lineup was just phenomenal. I’m so proud of the girls that got up there and fought for everything. It was what we needed and it was what we knew we could do. I’m really proud of them.”
When Colussi-Pelaez stuck the dismount, she was sure that it was one of the best beam routines she’s done.
“When I landed and stuck the dismount, I knew it was one of the best routines I’ve done, probably the best routine I’ve done all season, so that was really, really exciting,” Colussi-Pelaez said. “We do routines like that in the gym all the time and to complete one that good is really awesome.”
Colussi-Pelaez said she’s proud of the beam team.
“Everyone just killed it on the last event and that was really awesome to see,” she said.
“We definitely had some of our best routines and even though we didn’t have the best day, I’m so proud of this team and ending my career with them. I couldn’t have asked for anything else.”