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It doesn't take long for Kaitlyn Yanish to show that she has a big floor routine.

Yanish does not wait until the end to finish with a big tumbling pass. Instead, she comes out and commands attention with her double layout.

She immediately moves to a corner, then sprints across the floor, hurls into several flips and springs into the spinning double layout, her body staying straight for the rotations before her feet hit the mat.

That routine resulted in high expectations before Yanish even set foot on the floor for Oregon State.

OSU associate head coach Michael Chaplin said Yanish brought one of the most anticipated floor routines for a freshman because of her success at the Junior Olympics national championships.

"Really hard tumbling," Chaplin said. "She has a big double layout, which is a really difficult pass. She has clean dance and then has a good finish as well. I think a lot of people recognize that would be a really outstanding college routine, so people were excited to see that."

Senior OSU gymnast Dani Dessaints said Yanish is probably one of the most naturally talented gymnasts she's been around and is impressed with the level of ease that the freshman seems to have in accomplishing the routine.

Dessaints knows firsthand how tough the double layout is after training for it on floor when she first arrived at OSU.

"It's really difficult. You have to have the right punch, you have to have the right quickness, everything like that," Dessaints said. "And if you don't have it right you're either over-rotating or you're landing on your face or something like that. Somehow, every single time she makes it look so easy and so effortless and so perfect. It's really cool to see.

"She is by far one of the most talented floor workers we've had coming in as a freshman."

Yanish has been a model of consistency so far this season. She began with a 9.875 at Pittsburgh and then scored a 9.850 at Utah before breaking through with a 9.950 in her first home meet as an OSU gymnast against Stanford.

She followed that with a 9.900 against Arizona State, a 9.875 at Washington and then another 9.950 last weekend to help the Beavers to a 197.300 in a win against Arizona.

"She's met all expectations," Chaplin said. "She's been our anchor on floor since the beginning and has been super-consistent, so that's been a big help for our team because we lost Kaytianna McMillan last year on floor, who did the same pass and was that same consistent big scorer for us at the end of our lineup."

Yanish is ranked 13th nationally on the event and still has room to improve.

Floor was not a strength for her until she was a junior in high school because of injuries and it didn't exactly come to her overnight after she got healthy.

Yanish's coaches saw the potential on floor and began working her on several different skills to find the right combination.

"Actually, my double layout was the worst one of all of them, but then we decided that it might be the most wow factor thing so we pushed it for two years and my senior year is when it got really, really consistent," Yanish said.

"It was super frustrating because I was the first person at the gym that they ever taught a double layout, so they really didn't know the technique. So we were trying a ton of different things and some of them would kind of work and some of them I was just crashing. So it was a process, but it was really good."

Those crashes were few and far between by the time Yanish began her junior year but they were still a little off.

"I had gone to the national training camp for JO nationals before my senior year and we really found some techniques there that would help me out and I think that's definitely when it clicked," Yanish said.

Yanish finished second on floor and second in the all-around as a senior at the national meet.

That success, coupled with the 9.900 and two 9.950s so far this season, has Yanish looking forward with confidence.

"I think that definitely tells me I can make it pretty far," she said. "I came in here with the skills I had been competing for a few years, so they're comfortable and I just think if we keep working upgrade the scores can get even higher."


Sports Reporter

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