OSU gymnastics hands UCLA its first loss of the year

OSU gymnastics hands UCLA its first loss of the year

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The No. 13 Oregon State gymnastics team knocked off previously unbeaten No. 4 UCLA 196.725-196.075. Makayla Stambaugh led the Beavers in their return to Gill Coliseum with an all-around winning score of 39.550.

“We have had a series of tough competitions,” head coach Tanya Chaplin said. “And this was certainly one of them. Week in and week out it has been really tough competition and has helped us with our focus on just being Oregon State. We can’t change what the other team is doing. We have to continue to push ourselves hard each day.

Oregon State’s record improved to 8-5 and 3-0 in the Pac-12 Conference while UCLA dropped to 7-1, 4-1.

Stambaugh’s career night bested UCLA’s No. 1-ranked all-arounder Vanessa Zamarripa 39.550-39.525 becoming the first gymnast to top Zamarripa, who has been named Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week four times in 2013, head-to-head this season.

“I just wanted to go out there and have fun,” Stambaugh said. “When I go out there and focus on having fun and enjoying what I’m doing, that’s when I’m most successful. And that’s when our team is most successful.”

“Makayla was just awesome,” Chaplin said. “It was just wonderful to see everything fall into place for her tonight.”

It wasn’t just a one gymnast show though. OSU gymnasts earned at least a share of every event title with Kelsi Blalock tying for the top spot on vault with a season-high tying 9.90. Stambaugh tied for meet-high on bars with a 9.90 and won the floor exercise with a career-high tying 9.950. Melanie Jones won the balance beam title with a 9.90. Sophomore Chelsea Tang added a career-best 39.250 and Brittany Harris pitched in with a 39.175 in the all-around competition.

For the second straight week, OSU hit all of its routines in the first three rotations and despite having a fall in the final stanza on the floor exercise the Beavers still posted a season-high 49.225 on the event.

OSU’s vault lineup was dotted with stuck landings including a career-high tying 9.875 from Stambaugh, a strong vault from Jones that scored 9.825 and Blalock’s meet-best 9.90. Tang meet-opening vault scored 9.775 and Harris nailed her landing to score 9.725.

Trailing 49.200-49.100 after the first rotation, the Beavers made headway in the second six fantastic bars routines and several more stuck dismounts. Stambaugh’s event-winning 9.90 was set up by strong routines from Harris (9.85) and Stephanie McGregor (9.875) just ahead of her in addition to a set of 9.80’s from Blalock, Tang and Erika Aufiero

At the halfway point, the Beavers had captured a lead they would not relinquish 98.325-98.225. Stambaugh’s season-best 9.825 on the beam helped to set the stage for Tang’s 9.85 and Jones’ career-high tying 9.90. The Beavers seized the momentum in the third rotation as the Bruins struggled on the floor exercise and OSU headed into the final event ahead 147.500-146.950.

Cerise Witherby performed a solid routine to open the fourth rotation and scored 9.75 before Tang established a career-best of 9.825 – more than a full tenth better than her previous best. Harris scored 9.80 in the third spot before OSU’s only fall of the night came on the opening tumbling pass of Blalock’s floor routine. Despite the hiccup, Jones performed a beautiful floor routine getting the crowd of 3,628 riled up and earned a season-best 9.90. Stambaugh closed the meet with a fantastic performance sticking her tumbling passes and earning a standing ovation when her career-tying 9.95 was revealed.

“It is good to see our face a little adversity and not be phased. We’ve seen that on our road trips and it’s good to see them keep their focus at home as well.”

The Beavers’ are back at home next Friday, Feb. 22 to host the eighth annual Pink Out when Arizona and Seattle Pacific visit Gill Coliseum at 7 p.m. Tickets are available by calling 1-800-GO-BEAVS, online at www.BeaverTickets.com or in person at the OSU Ticket Office inside Gill Coliseum.

Team Scores: No. 13 Oregon State 196.725; No. 4 UCLA 196.075.
All-Around: 1. Makayla Stambaugh (OSU) 39.550; 2. Vanessa Zamarripa (UCLA) 39.525; 3. Lichelle Wong (UCLA) 39.300. Other OSU Scores: Chelsea Tang 39.250; Brittany Harris 39.175; Kelsi Blalock 38.825.
Vault (49.100): T1. Kelsi Blalock (OSU), Vanessa Zamarripa (UCLA) 9.900; 3. Makayla Stambaugh (OSU) 9.875. Other OSU Scores: Melanie Jones 9.825; Chelsea Tang 9.775; Brittany Harris 9.725; Hailey Gaspar 9.725.
Uneven Bars (49.225): T1. Makayla Stambaugh (OSU), Lichelle Wong (UCLA), Vanessa Zamarripa (UCLA) 9.900. Other OSU Scores: Stephanie McGregor 9.875; Brittany Harris 9.850; Erika Aufiero 9.800; Kelsi Blalock 9.800; Chelsea Tang 9.800.
Balance Beam (49.175): 1. Melanie Jones (OSU) 9.900; T2. Chelsea Tang (OSU), Lichelle Wong (UCLA), Vanessa Zamarripa (UCLA), Danusia Francis (UCLA) 9.850. Other OSU Scores: Makayla Stambaugh 9.825; Katelyn Ohlrich 9.800; Brittany Harris 9.800; Kelsi Blalock 9.775.
Floor Exercise (49.225): 1. Makayla Stambaugh (OSU) 9.950; 2. Melanie Jones (OSU) 9.900; 3. Vanessa Zamarripa (UCLA) 9.875. Other OSU Scores: Chelsea Tang 9.825; Brittany Harris 9.800; Cerise Witherby 9.750; Kelsi Blalock 9.350.