The Oregon State gymnastics team came up big on floor to finish with a 196.550 and take first in a four-team meet against Iowa, North Carolina and Seattle Pacific on Friday night.
Iowa finished with 195.425, North Carolina had a 191.750 and Seattle Pacific had 190.625.
Mary Jacobsen got the floor team going by leading off with a 9.850. Madi Dagen finished with a 9.750 and then Samantha Force came through with a big performance and was rewarded with a 9.900. McKenna Singley followed with a 9.925, Isis Lowery scored a 9.900 and Kaitlyn Yanish capped the rotation with a 9.950.
The Beavers wound up with a 49.525 on the event, which boosted their overall score significantly.
“I feel like there was a lot of good energy tonight, especially with it being senior night and all of that, but just right from the start of floor I could feel the energy really building up higher and higher,” Yanish said. “Then we got our first 9.9. I really didn’t think too much about the scores. I just really think about going out and having so much fun and doing the best that I can do and I think that’s really what happened tonight.”
It was the second straight meet Yanish has scored a 9.950 on the event and third for the season. She also has a 9.975.
“I feel like just consistency has been the most important thing,” Yanish said. “Doing what I do in the gym at the meet is really important and really building the team energy I think is also important because without my team’s support I feel like it wouldn’t really be the same. I wouldn’t feel as fired up or probably wouldn’t be as much fun if I didn’t have them in the back cheering for me, so I think all of those things really make for the performance being more consistent.”
The Beavers honored seniors Singley, Jacobsen and Mariana Colussi-Pelaez (who found out she had been accepted to medical school on Thursday) following the meet.
All three had some big moments in the meet. Jacobsen finished with a 9.875 on vault and Colussi-Pelaez a 9.825 on beam.
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“I think it went great,” Singley said. “To be able to go out there with those two, we truly are best friends, not only in the gym but outside the gym, we live together. To be able to go out there and perform like we did today was not like many feelings. It’s been an incredible journey and I’m so proud of them and what we did tonight and what we’re doing moving forward as well.”
Singley was happy that her big floor score was able to help the team.
“Honestly, when a big score pops up, the most rewarding thing is knowing that you’ve just helped your teammates and having that sincere love and just wanting to do it not just for yourself, but for them and have it pay off a little bit is an incredible feeling,” she said.
The Beavers started with a 49.000 on vault. Singley and Lena Greene had 9.775s, Yanish a 9.850 and Jacobsen came up with her 9.875, but OSU had to count a 9.725 when anchor Lacy Dagen finished with a 9.225.
Jacobsen was second up on bars and hit for a 9.825. Lowery had a 9.775 and Colussi-Pelaez struggled to a 9.600, but Halli Briscoe got the Beavers back on track with a 9.825 and Sabrina Gill anchored with a 9.875 to give the Beavers a 49.025.
Singley led off beam with a 9.825 and Colussi-Pelaez followed with another 9.825 but then a miscue erased any leeway for the remaining gymnasts. Madi Dagen came through with a 9.900 but Maela Lazaro scored a 9.700 and Gill finished with a 9.750 for a 49.000.
The Beavers are now headed into postseason with the Pac-12 meet up next on March 23 at West Valley, Utah.
Coach Tanya Chaplin said the Beavers looked better on Friday than they did in last year’s meet going into the Pac-12s.
“It’s hard to compare scores sometimes, but even our performance last year this weekend versus this year this weekend, there’s some big improvements,” she said. “I felt like it was better overall, better energy from start to finish.
“I think with this type of confidence it helps that next week of training going into it.”