There will be quite a few familiar faces on hand for the NCAA gymnastics regional starting Thursday at Gill Coliseum.
Oregon State and fellow Pac-12 teams Washington, Stanford and Arizona will compete. The field is led by top three seeds Florida, Denver and Boise State and includes Southern Utah and Iowa.
“It’s a great variety,” OSU senior McKenna Singley said. “I think we got put in a really good regional. We have some amazing teams coming. Florida and Denver are incredible, they’ve been top 10 all season. To be able to go up against them is awesome and we’re excited.”
The meet begins Thursday with a play-in between Iowa and Arizona, then two sessions on Friday with the top two teams from each session advancing to the finals on Saturday. The top two out of the finals session will head to the NCAA Championships.
For freshman Madi Dagen, the meet will provide experience that she will be able to dip into for the rest of her career.
“It feels nice not to have to travel anywhere and just have all of our home fans there. It will bring in a lot of fans, which will be fun, too. I’m just really excited,” Dagen said.
“I know a lot of girls on Denver and Washington and Boise and all of those are great teams and I think we all have a fighting chance to make it and I think we all just have really great gymnastics coming in, so it will be a good competition.”
Although Singley and teammates Mariana Colussi-Pelaez and Mary Jacobsen all had their senior day on the Beavers’ final regular season meet, the regionals will be an extra time to compete in Gill.
“We are so excited,” Singley said. “To be able to host regionals is definitely even more special and to be in Gill Coliseum, to be with our fans, to be home, that’s such an incredible experience that we get to have and we are beyond grateful for it and it makes us even more excited for regionals.”
The Beavers are coming off a 196.600 at the Pac-12 championships, which was good enough for third.
The meet easily could have spiraled out of control for OSU after the Beavers began with two mishaps on beam and had to count a 9.150.
Instead of falling apart, the Beavers stayed steady and put together a strong performance to finish out the meet and get past California into third.
“You never want to put yourself in a hole like we did at Pac-12s,” OSU coach Tanya Chaplin said. “I think that it proved to them how hard they can fight and come back from those types of things and this type of format is going to take a lot of heart, a lot of fight and this team has that in them.”
Said Isis Lowery: “We had a little bit of a rocky start, but we really showed the fight and the perseverance in this team and we were able to come back and come through with a fall. So that just showed how much fight this team really has. Obviously, the goal at regional is come out strong and that’s what the goal is and stay strong and finish, all the way through.”
UCLA took first with a 198.400 and Utah was second with a 198.025 at the Pac-12 meet. Both very good scores, but the Beavers were not too far off on vault, bars and floor.
The Beavers came through with a 49.225 on vault, a 49.350 on bars and a 49.425 on floor after the 48.600 on beam.
“The other thing that was incredibly rewarding was seeing how they were scoring,” Chaplin said. “They were right there with those other two teams with the exception of beam. So that builds their confidence level going into this event as well.”
The Pac-12 meet was also a good example of how close the Beavers have been to breaking through for an exceptionally big performance.
They’ve had a few meets in which they overcame a setback or two to post a strong score.
“I don’t feel as if we’ve peaked yet and I think that now would be a good time to peak,” Lowery said. “So that’s definitely the goal.”