Mary Jacobsen has been one of the most consistent gymnasts for the Beavers during her freshman and sophomore seasons.
Jacobsen, now a junior, showed the capability of landing big scores during that time, hitting a 9.900 on vault in the Pac-12 Championships after scoring 9.850 in three straight meets. She has a career best of 9.950 on bars.
There were just a few fine points that Jacobsen wanted to polish before the start of this season to bump up her scores that much more.
"I've really fixed a lot of details since last year and then specifically in the last couple weeks I've been doing a lot of stick drills and dismounts on bars. I've been doing like 10 a day," Jacobsen said. "I've been trying to get more consistent with my landings so that at a meet I can just relax and kind of drop it in.
"It is (repetition in practice) but it's also just focusing on the skill you're doing and not necessarily on the landing, focusing on doing a good dismount because if it's a bad dismount it's going to be pretty hard to (Stick). Some people can do it, but it's easier to stick when you do a good one."
Jacobsen and Oregon State are home Saturday for a 2:30 p.m. meet against Arizona State.
Honing those details has made a difference so far this season.
At Utah, Jacobsen scored a 9.850 to anchor vault for the Beavers, then hit a 9.850 to lead off floor. She also had a 9.725 on bars.
Last week, Jacobsen played a major part in OSU's 196.975-195.550 win over Stanford, which was the Beavers' home opener.
After a 9.800 on vault, Jacobsen stuck her landing on bars and was rewarded with a 9.900. On floor, Jacobsen followed a 9.850 by Niya Mack and a 9.900 by Savanna Force with her own 9.900 to get the Beavers going toward an event score of 49.475.
That 9.900 was also a career high.
"I try to not worry about the scores, I don't even look at them that much. I mostly just worry about putting up the routines I'm putting up in practice," Jacobsen said. "But when the scores do work out, that's pretty fun."
Coach Tanya Chaplin said that Jacobsen is such a hard worker that in the past the coaches have had to tell her to slow down and move on to the next event.
Chaplin said Jacobsen now has a better understanding of the process and what she needs to work on to get those routines instead of sometimes spinning her wheels.
"Sometimes she would do her assignment but she would want to work so many other things that weren't in her routine that that got lost," Chaplin said. "But now she's working on the details first and then going to the other things. Also, I've seen her confidence level go up tremendously, too."
Jacobsen is a computer science major, so most of her time is spent programming when she's not in the gym.
She does take a little time to hang out with friends, watch movies or play some piano — she's been playing for 10 years) — but the rest is school and gymnastics.
Computer science was not an area that Jacobsen was considering when she came to Corvallis.
"It was the last major I thought I'd major in but I really liked math and my family just encouraged me to try a computer science class just to try things and I literally tried one class and decided to major in it and never looked back," she said.
Jacobsen works all four events but has been competing on vault, bars and floor for the Beavers.
"I'm always working on four but if that's not the role that the team needs me in then I'll just be doing the best I can in whatever role the team needs me in," she said. "Right now, the team needs me on three events so I'm just going to work on those. I still work on the other event but just in case the team needs me."
The Beavers certainly need Jacobsen to be a leader both in practice and at meets.
She tends to be quiet, but has broken out a bit this season and is not afraid to speak up when necessary.
Her work ethic has an impact on the younger gymnasts and the Beavers need consistent scores from her this season to keep moving forward.
"We need that," Chaplin said. "We have five upperclassmen that have been here each year, so the rest of the 19 are either brand new or sophomores. So being able to step into that role is crucial and it couldn't have come at a better time.
"So to know that she's nice and relaxed and no one has to worry about what she is doing shows the others (to) trust the process. Trust what you're doing. Trust your training. And she's really able to live that every day and that's made a big difference with the younger ones, too."