OSU gymnastics: Kaytianna McMillan hired by Seattle Pacific

OSU gymnastics: Kaytianna McMillan hired by Seattle Pacific

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Kaytianna McMillan 

Former Oregon State gymnast Kaytianna McMillan has been hired to join the gymnastics staff at Seattle Pacific University as an assistant coach.

McMillan served as a volunteer assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at her alma mater in 2019, helping OSU to a sixth-place national finish at the NCAA Division I Championships.

McMillan graduated from Oregon State in 2017 with a degree in human development and family science with an option in human services and a minor in psychology.

McMillan competed for the Beavers from 2014-17 and was a finalist for the 2017 AAI Award, given annually to the top senior gymnast in the nation.

She hit 130 out of 135 routines in her career and won 40 event titles — tying for the seventh-most in OSU history. McMillan is one of nine gymnasts in OSU history to record a score of 9.90 or better on each apparatus during her career.

Her senior campaign was one of the most dominant seasons in program history, capped by a 9.90 performance on the floor exercise to tie for eighth in the session at nationals and secure second-team All-America honors. 

The Pac-12 gymnast of the year earned 2017 all-conference first-team honors in the all-around and on the floor and second team on the vault. She won 26 events titles in 2017 and produced a 10.0 uneven bars routine on March 11. That was the first perfect score recorded by an OSU gymnast in 14 years.

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The Oregon State gymnastics team took a step forward on Saturday, but there’s plenty of room for the Beavers to get better.

OSU finished with a 195.325 to win a three-team meet against Seattle Pacific (189.525) and Centenary 182.625.

The Beavers improved from last week’s score of 194.450 at the Critique Classic in Kissimmee, Florida, but continued to deal with a few rough patches.

“I feel like this was a whole new vibe,” Kaitlyn Yanish said. “Last weekend, it was a good start for us, it was a little weird here and there but I feel just being back in Gill it brings back the magic and all the spice and I feel like we feel so comfortable and at home here. It was just completely different from last weekend.”

The Beavers got strong performances from a few of their experienced gymnasts, but coach Tanya Chaplin said some of the younger athletes are still finding their way.

“We have a lot of newbies competing and they’re trying so hard that they’re creating mistakes,” Chaplin said. “So they’re trying to stick those landings and then that actually creates them to tighten up and take a step forward instead of just relax into the landing. So the heart is in the right place. They’re pushing as hard as they can and that’s good to see. Now with each week that confidence will continue to grow.

“So it’s kind of finding out who are those first couple of people in each lineup. We have a few that we’re playing with in different spots to try and figure who is it that’s going to be those go-to people at the end of season, so you’ll probably see some shuffling on a few events here and there still.”

The Beavers had a solid start on vault. Madi Dagen scored a 9.800, Lacy Dagen a 9.825 and Yanish wound up with a 9.850 to win the event. The Beavers finished with a 48.850 on the event.

Bars became a significant struggle. The Beavers had a fall and were forced to count a 9.375 by Isis Lowery and a 9.600 by Sabrina Gill, who suffered an injury during her routine and was forced out of the beam rotation.

Colette Yamaoka had a 9.725, Alyssa Minyard scored a 9.775 and Halli Briscoe came through with a 9.850 for first and the Beavers finished with a 48.325.

“We obviously started off a little slower than we would have liked but we came back and after bars we kind of reset and we were like, let’s not live in the past, let’s just focus on what we have next,” Lowery said. “I think we did a great job of flipping it and just going into beam and floor and being aggressive and just attacking our routines.”

The Beavers were able to overcome Gill’s absence on beam as Madi Dagen scored a 9.825 and Lowery hit a 9.875 before Maela Lazaro anchored with a 9.850.

“There were a few wobbles here and there but overall they fought and the majority of the beam routine was really solid,” Chaplin said

A strong finish to the meet came on floor. Kristina Peterson had a 9.750, Savanna Force came through with a 9.850 and Lowery and Yanish capped off the scoring with 9.925s.

“Isis has been really, really consistent and it just was off (on bars),” Chaplin said. “But she came back on the next two events and did a phenomenal job with a 9.875 and a 9.925.”

Lowery said the Beavers don’t get caught up in worrying about scores during a meet.

“I think we do a really good job of not letting the scores affect us,” she said. “We can’t control that. We’re not doing a routine and then sitting up on the table and judging ourselves. So we just try to focus on what we can control and that’s our gymnastics. Regardless of what the scores come up as, we can’t change that. We’ve just got to go out there and do our best not to give them anything to take.”

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