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Oregon State gymnastics fans might recognize Alyssa Minyard's bars routine.

Minyard performs the same skills on the event as Kaytianna McMillan, who was the Pac-12 gymnast of the year and a second-team all-American on floor last season.

Last year as a freshman, Minyard watched McMillan in action on a daily basis. Although she was a little scared of approaching McMillan to talk gymnastics, she knew that was the level she wanted to attain.

"And then she got a 10 her last home meet out and I was like, 'OK, I'm capable of that. I can do that,' " Minyard said. "So it was cool watching her and being like, 'OK, that's my role model. That's what I want to do with this routine.' "

Minyard is making progress. She did not compete in a meet for the Beavers as a freshman last year, but worked her way into the lineup on bars and beam this season.

Her scores have been hit and miss, but Minyard hit for a 9.875 and tied for first on bars last Saturday.

Dani Dessaints approached Minyard before the event and gave her a short pep talk.

"Leading up to today I've been having some issues on bars and haven't really found my calm and figured out what to do in the pressure situation," Minyard said. "And (Saturday) just having her go up to me and just telling me, 'just breathe, you got this, just do what we do in the gym every day,' really helped and it paid off."

Minyard said she has been working hard on the routine and honing the details.

"And honestly, I give a lot of my success to (assistant coach Brian Amato) because he really helped push me to do the things I can do and he believed in me the whole time that I was capable of doing a routine like that," she said.

Against Stanford a week earlier, Minyard had a career-high of 9.800 on beam.

Getting into the lineup on the two events has been a big step forward for Minyard. As a freshman, she spent a lot of time in the gym cleaning up her routines and working on consistency.

"And I just wasn't quite where I needed to be to be in lineups or even really of any help, especially with the really strong bar lineup we had last year with all the seniors that we had," she said.

After the season, the coaches looked at the returning gymnasts and let them know that their time was coming.

They needed the athletes to be ready to make the lineups with the loss of seniors Erika Aufiero, Silivia Colussi-Pelaez, Megan Jimenez, Taylor Ricci, Madeline Gardiner and McMillan.

"At the end last year the coaches were kind of like, all right, we're losing these routines so we need people to step up," Minyard said. "And being a sophomore on one of the biggest classes we have on this team, I was kind of in that situation. So they didn't really tell me, 'Oh, you're going to be in lineups' at any point, really.

"I just had to work really, really hard during preseason and get to the consistent point that I wanted to be at and I just worked really hard and got there."

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Sports Reporter