The regular season is at the halfway point for the Oregon State gymnastics team and the Beavers are heading into their final five meets on a high note.
OSU had a bit of a rough beginning to the season, scoring a 195.225 and 195.450 in their first two meets.
After a 196.100 in a win at Washington, the No. 12 Beavers came up with a big 197.450 against UCLA and a 196.350 in a win at Arizona in the past two weeks.
The Beavers take on No. 14 California on Sunday at Gill Coliseum.
“I’m really proud of this team and where we’re at right now,” senior McKenna Singley said. “We still have work to do but that’s exactly where we want to be at this point. We are building continuously each meet and that’s what you want to do during the season.
“Hitting the halfway point it’s a great time for us to be able to sit back and really look at what we want to improve on here and keep building and just keep that continuous movement forward and building our scores and working on the little things but I’m really proud of where we’re at right now.”
The UCLA meet could prove to be a pivotal point for the Beavers. They showed that they are capable of competing head to head with the No. 3 Bruins, who are the reigning national champions.
“UCLA was a great confidence-builder for us,” Singley said. “Beginning of the season, it wasn’t bad by any means, but it definitely wasn’t exactly where we wanted to be and to have these last two meets definitely shows what we’re capable of and we still haven’t hit our peak. We still are going to keep building, but I think it shows that the team has fight and what we’re truly capable of.”
The Beavers have been able to get healthier than they were at the start of the season.
A slew of injuries hit the Beavers early on and threw them off their game a bit.
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“We definitely had quite a few setbacks before the season even started and I think that kind of freaked all of us out a little bit,” sophomore Kaitlyn Yanish said. “But when we look at it now, I think it’s better that all of the setbacks happened at the beginning of the season compared to the middle or the end of the season. So at this point, everybody’s building back on where they been had a couple months ago.”
There are still a few gymnasts fighting through injuries, but Singley was able to get back on the competition floor against Arizona after sitting out the UCLA meet.
Sabrina Gill was back in action against the Bruins after missing the prior two meets, but she was limited to the beam and scored a 9.850. Gill was able to compete on bars along with beam at Arizona and came through with a 9.900 and another 9.850, respectively.
“I’ve been taking some time off on floor and vault because I don’t know if my body can quite handle it this year because I’ve been dealing with a lot of back injuries,” Gill, a junior, said. “But I think what I am doing, the events that I am doing, I’m pretty confident in my routines. I’m happy with the way things are at right now.”
Gill said the Beavers’ confidence is improving with each meet.
“We’re getting comfortable being out there, especially with big crowds and stuff,” she said. “Me personally, I know my confidence is growing, too. I’ve had to go up after a lot of falls in the last few meets, so I think that’s helped my confidence a lot, too.”
The Beavers have hit a good stride, but they have a significant stretch remaining.
In order to stay on an upward trajectory, Yanish said the Beavers need to keep that confidence at a high level.
“I feel like we just need to keep our confidence up because we all have amazing routines in the gym, but I feel like the only time that we have some slip ups or whatever is because we aren’t going as confident as we can,” she said. “So just building up the confidence out of the gym is what we need to be doing and it’s definitely what we have been doing and that’s definitely been showing in our gymnastics the last few weeks.”