2017 Freshman Preview: Oregon State

Deep breath. We have a lot to get through.

Oregon State has missed nationals three of the last four seasons and has decided that the newest and best solution is to throw freshmen at the problem. Lots of them. Ten.

Returning Routines – Oregon State
Dessaints – 9.900
Gardiner – 9.855
McMillan – 9.825
Jimenez – 9.815
Jacobsen – 9.810
Ricci – 9.775
Singley – 9.775
Khamedoost – 9.750
McMillan – 9.925
Jacobsen – 9.850
Dessaints – 9.850
Gardiner – 9.835
Khamedoost – 9.835
M Colussi Pelaez – 9.825
Singley – 9.588
S Colussi Pelaez – 9.567
Gardiner – 9.905
McMillian – 9.860
S Colussi Pelaez – 9.835
Jimenez – 9.790
M Colussi Pelaez – 9.780
Ricci – 9.500
Singley – 9.175
Gardiner – 9.870
McMillan – 9.867
Ricci – 9.795
Singley – 9.750
Jimenez – 9.644
Jacobsen – 9.567

OSU does return a number of routines from last season, so the 70 billion freshmen will not exactly have a ridiculous amount of work to do. They won’t have to be all-around stars, but it’s critical that the Beavs aim higher than simply replacing last year’s routines. Last year wasn’t good enough. They’ll need to improve by several tenths, particularly on vault and floor where the 2016 team ranked a dismal 21st.

Operation Soaring Power Linebacker will be led by two of the prominent scholarship members of this class, Bri McCant and Isis Lowery.

Let’s begin with McCant and the concept of a Yurchenko 1.5 because she has one. That should be of tremendous interest to a team that did not really enjoy the change in vault SVs last year and was just holding its breath and petting a therapy dog for 9.825s. This particular edition of her 1.5 is not super high, but I’ll take it. Definitely. OSU might actually have some vaults! McCant is going to be expected to slide into those vault and floor lineups as part of the effort to change Oregon State’s recent reputation as an underpowered team.

We’re less likely to see McCant go on bars and beam. In spite of a fab full-twisting double tuck bars dismount, the legs and handstand positions can get rough, as can the dance elements on beam, typically too much to get a high score in JO.

Similarly to McCant, Australia’s Isis Lowery will be counted on to bring strength and amplitude to multiple lineups, but first things first.

Dearest NSA,
My intention with that YouTube search was to look for a recruiting video of Isis Lowery, an Australian gymnast. I simply pressed the return button earlier than I intended. I hope this clears up any confusion.

Yours always,
The Balance Beam Situation

The last I’ve seen of Lowery are these routines from the 2014 Australian champs.

Clearly, her strongest event is walking off the podium after floor.



Lowery also own the golden goose, a Yurchenko 1.5, showing a strong one in this particular competition. She also gets a thousand billion bonus points for attempting a double front beam dismount. That’s not something that will be retained for NCAA, but her beam routine overall seems pretty realistic. It’s clear that the dance elements can be an issue, but she also has excellent amplitude on them, which gives her more time.

While we may not see that double front off beam, it seems a much more practical option on floor. Me want. Me want. Me want. Clap. Clap. Clap.

If Lowery and McCant are the power hopes, the third scholarship freshman will be tasked with bringing late-lineup bars and beam that will elegance the crap out of you. I’m speaking, of course, of Canadian Sabrina Gill. As was prophesied by the oracle, prosperity shall come to the people in orange only once the rising of the third winter moon resurrects the Canadian and Australian pipelines.

Gill finally got healthy in time to make a push for 2016 and deferred a year to do so, but now she has arrived, almost entirely as an elaborate plot to give Oregon State the opportunity for four whole years of Sabrina Gill/Gill Coliseum headline puns. It’s basically Christmas. “Gill Rocks Gill.” “Gill Packs Gill to the Gills.” I’m tired already. Also, the bars. Yes yes, the bars.

That will be pared down to an NCAA routine just fine indeedly-doo. Ricna to Pak. It’s all pre-packaged and ready to go. Just go set up camp at the end of that lineup.

Beam should be another major contribution for Gill given her leaps and overall extension. She did often seem tentative on beam in elite days, but that can be worked on. This should become an NCAA routine light on built-in deductions and heavy on the scoring potential.

In her 2016 bid, Gill also performed a 1.5 on vault. It may not be an NCAA keeper—this one is short—but it’s there. Those vaults are more the job of Lowery and McCant while Gill’s primary assignment is bars and beam.

So, then….the others. The seven others. Once more into the breach. As we know, not all walk-ons are the same. Some will suddenly compete the all-around and save their team from being swallowed by the depth gorgon, while most will never see the light of day and disappear from the roster without a trace after one year. #MatteahBrowWeHardlyKnewYou

One mystery I’m eager to see what develops from is Destinee Davis. Davis was a Hopes gymnast way back in the day, finished 7th AA at JO Nationals in 2012, then vanished from the earth for three years only to return in 2015. She has the necessary mix of flexibility (which is the better part of her beam routine) and acro ability (broke 9.6 on vault and 9.5 on floor this year in JO). There’s something there. We’ll see.

Beyond that, we reach the point where I try to play the game of “[positive trait/strength], but it’s unlikely that we’ll blah blah blah……” There’s a lot of that game to play this time, so here’s the quick-hit version.

Jaime Law – efficient little beam, has scored well on bars.

Kaitlin Campbell – pleasant basics, doesn’t have the difficulty, just started Level 10 in 2015.

Halli Briscoe – WOGette, best event is bars but just a double tuck dismount, last competed February 2015.

Maela Lazaro – From Hawaii.

Alyssa Minyard – Not from Hawaii

Lena Greene – [Scene missing]

That shouldn’t necessarily be reason to write Lena Greene off. She’s actually among the more accomplished of the walk-ons, qualifying for JO Nationals this year and recording career-high 9.5ish scores on most events during the course of 2016, I just have never seen a single one of her routines and know nothing about her. So therefore………”She’ll be an exciting, enthusiastic addition to this hard-working roster who will surely add a lot to the spirit of the team as they take on the quest to rise to the top of the Pac-12. We can’t wait to see what happens next!”

That’s what you’re supposed to say when you have literally nothing to say, right?

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