On vault last season, Oregon State fielded two vaults with a 10.0 start value that are likely to be back this season. Mary Jacobsen will return her Tsuk, and Dani Dessaints should bring back her Yurchenko 1.5, provided she’s back to full strength after an injury early last season. Many returning gymnasts contributed solid Yurchenko fulls to fill out the rest of the lineup last season, including Maddie Gardiner, Megan Jimenez, Shireen Khamedoost, Taylor Ricci and McKenna Singley. However, the
incoming freshmen could very well shake up the rotation. Elites Sabrina Gill and Isis Lowery both have performed the Yurchenko 1.5 with moderate success in their home countries of Canada and Australia, respectively. J.O. standout Brianna McCant also competes a stellar Yurchenko 1.5 that scored a 9.875 at the Texas State Championship earlier this year. And Oregon local Lena Greene was training a front
Bars was a deep event for the Beavers last season, seeing eight different gymnasts in the lineup during the season. However, it will only get deeper this season, as many of the incoming freshmen consider bars to be their best event. Gardiner, Jacobsen, Khamedoost, Dessaints and Mariana and Silvia Colussi-Pelaez should all be back with their excellent routines this season. The team’s bars star last season, though, was Kaytianna McMillan, who ended the regular season ranked seventh in the country on bars. After fighting through several injuries, she posted five scores of 9.9 or higher last season and will hope to repeat that kind of performance this year. Freshmen Jaime Law, Alyssa Minyard and Hallie Briscoe will be gunning for spots as well, with Briscoe the most likely to break into the lineup. With the impeccable form of a WOGA alum, she competes both a Tkachev and a Jaeger in the same routine, significantly raising her level of difficulty. If she can upgrade her dismount, she could be a real threat on bars this year.
The Beavers may start to feel the loss of Perez on beam, where their depth will suffer somewhat. Gardiner, Jimenez, McMillan and the Colussi-Peleaz sisters will all return solid beam routines, but fewer freshmen have the strength in this event to pick up the slack left by Perez. Briscoe will be the most likely choice, with a creative handstand mount directly into her back handspring-layout stepout series and a wide variety of dance elements. Maela Lazaro, another freshman, may also be able to contribute with a strong switch leap to straddle three quarters combination and very elegant choreography.
The biggest lost to OSU will be on floor, where both Perez and Radermacher contributed. Gardiner, McMillan, Ricci and Singley will return their routines that all scored 9.8 or higher at some point last
season, and the final two lineup spots will be a battle between veterans and newcomers. Jacobsen and Jimenez both filled in a handful of times last season, but both had some issues with consistency. Gill and Lowery both bring their international experience to the table, along with some very difficult tumbling. Gill’s routine has a lot of twisting, with one pass a 1.5 twist connected through to a double twist and
Barring disaster, Gardiner will certainly return to the all around competition this year, especially after placing in the top 20 at the end of the regular 2016 season. If McMillan is able, it’s also possible she’ll return to the all around, as she competed all four events toward the end of her sophomore season. Her weakness will be vault, especially with all the new 10.0 start value vaults to compete with. Most of the other Beavers will stick to two events for the time being, though don’t be surprised to see Singley step up should someone get hurt. She competed all four events over the course of last season, just never all at once.
Tomorrow we’ll check out the dynamic Stanford Cardinal and what surprises it may bring this season! For more on potential lineups in the coming season, check out our page here, our SEC series or the previous posts in our Pac-12 series: