Oregon State 2017

Erika Aufiero
  • Missed 2016 with torn ACL
  • Constant on VT, UB in 2015
  • 2015 RQS: VT – 9.885, UB – 9.880
  • Weekly BB and occasional UB in 2016
  • 2016 RQS: BB – 9.835
  • 2016 average: UB – 9.567
  • Competes the AA every meet and is the star
  • 2016 RQS: BB – 9.905, FX – 9.870, VT – 9.855, UB – 9.835
Megan Jimenez
  • Weekly VT, BB in 2016 with backup FX
  • 2016 RQS: VT – 9.815, BB – 9.790
  • 2016 average: FX – 9.644
  • Returned from injury to compete UB, BB most weeks and add VT, FX toward end of 2016
  • 2016 RQS: UB – 9.925, BB – 9.860
  • 2016 average: FX – 9.867, VT – 9.825
Taylor Ricci
  • Weekly VT, FX, backup BB (one for 9.500) in 2016
  • 2016 RQS: FX – 9.795, VT – 9.775
  • Scored 9.900 on VT, 9.850 on UB in first meet before season-ending injury in 2016
  • Competed UB, VT in nearly every meet in 2016
  • 2016 RQS: UB – 9.835, VT – 9.750
  • Weekly UB, frequent BB in 2016
  • 2016 RQS: UB – 9.825, BB – 9.780
  • Constant in VT, UB lineups, backup FX in 2016
  • 2016 RQS: UB – 9.850, VT – 9.810
  • 2016 average: FX – 9.567
McKenna Singley
  • Made final VT, UB, FX lineups in 2016, backup BB
  • 2016 RQS: VT – 9.775, FX – 9.750
  • 2016 average: UB – 9.588, BB – 9.175 (one routine)
Halli Briscoe
  • WOGA
  • 2014 Texas state AA 13th
  • Multnomah OR
  • 2015 Region 2 AA 5th
Destinee Davis
  • Multnomah OR
  • 2016 Region 2 AA champion
Sabrina Gill
  • Manjak’s CAN
  • 2016 Canadian Championship 7th AA
Lena Greene
  • Metro OR
  • 2016 Region 2 AA 3rd
Jaime Law
  • Multnomah OR
  • 2015 Region 2 AA 1st
Maela Lazaro
  • Rainbow HI
  • 2016 Region 2 AA 2nd
Isis Lowery
  • Australia
  • 2014 Australian VT champion
  • 2016 Colorado state AA 6th

Recent History
2016 – 14th
2015 – 12th
2014 – 13th
2013 – 16th
2012 – 12th
2011 – 8th
2010 – 8th

Over the last four seasons, Oregon State has settled into a pattern. The Beavs will spend the year hanging around sort-of-kind-of close to nationals with their chances of advancing largely dependent upon the kindness of the regionals draw. In 2016, Oregon State was OK at regionals, hitting 196 with a performance that would have advanced from at least one other regional if not two, but they got a tough draw and had little chance of getting past LSU and Georgia in Georgia.

The Beavs are not going to suddenly break out of that pattern and wow the world this season, but there are some signs (largely concerning the health of key upperclassmen) that they can improve their scoring potential and control their own destiny more in 2017 than in 2016. Making nationals may remain a borderline prospect, but I’d characterize the chance as better than possible.

Top returners – Dessaints (9.900), Gardiner (9.855), McMillan (9.825)
Returning options – Jimenez (9.815), Jacobsen (9.810), Singley (9.775), Ricci (9.775), Khamedoost (9.750)

Vault was not so much with the great for Oregon State last season, the team struggling to keep up with schools that could get 9.9s for their 10.0 starts. This year, much of the Beavs’ potential for improvement over last season rests on the (shock, gasp) actual health of Kaytianna McMillan and Dani Dessaints and their ability to compete real-life vaults. It’s always touch-and-go with McMillan’s legs, and Dessaints vaulted once last season before breaking into a million pieces, but both gymnasts have 1.5s. If they’re actually able to perform them, OSU should see its vault scores jump out of the 48.9s.

For the supporting roles, Jacobsen has a Tsuk full that doesn’t always live up to the theoretical appeal of its 10.0 start but should remain a valuable score among the six. In the land of Yurchenko fulls, Gardiner‘s was usually the best of the gang for lineup-leading 9.850s last year, and getting Erika Aufiero back to vaulting would be a boost since her normal full should be worth more than 9.800 even with the revised SVs (it was 9.875-9.900 in 2015). Isis Lowery did vault an Australian-title-winning 1.5, but that was back in 2014, so who knows? Still, it would help.

To complete the lineup, the Beavs will have a rather deep contingent of fulls from the likes of Jimenez, Khamedoost, Ricci, and Gill (also Singley, though she has an injured ankle). A difference this season will be the luxury of picking the best of the bunch rather than being forced to use any and all comers. Oregon State is not known as a vaulting team, but if everything goes to plan, this lineup should be more competitive for nationals, even without the disappeared Bri McCant (who was supposed to be a vault leader).

Top returners – McMillan (9.925), Jacobsen (9.850), Dessaints (9.850)
Returning options – Khamedoost (9.835), Gardiner (9.835), M Colussi-Pelaez (9.825), Singley (9.675), S Colussi-Pelaez (9.567)

Bars didn’t start out so hot for Oregon State last year (I remember watching an early meet with some botched dismounts and thinking the season was going to be a tragedy), but by mid-February, bars became the team’s best event. With no lost routines from last season’s lineup (and a couple critical gains), there’s every reason to expect that success to continue.

Kaytianna McMillan used last season to transform from a good bars worker into a 9.9 machine (a streak of five straight scores of 9.925 or greater in Feb-Mar), and the return of the team’s typical best on bars, Erika Aufiero, should provide McMillan with a true partner in crime. I’d also like to see Sabrina Gill get into the business-end of this lineup since she was always so “look at my line and Staldering, peasant trash” in elite. That group has the makings of a pretty competitive three and seems a worthy foundation for 49.3.

Maddie Gardiner will surely return to the lineup as well. Bars is her weakest-scoring piece, but the routine is still quite useful, and Mary Jacobsen managed her own hoard of 9.850s in that 5th position last season. With remaining options from Khamedoost, Dessaints, and Colussi-Pelaez the Younger, the Beavs should have a respectable supply of competitive scores from which to choose.

Top returners – Gardiner (9.905), McMillan (9.860), S Colussi-Pelaez (9.835)
Returning options – Jimenez (9.790), M Colussi-Pelaez (9.780), Ricci (9.500), Singley (9.175)

Ack. But also OK. While OSU’s beam never felt exactly safe or reassuring in 2016, it did end up ranked 10th in the nation and still boasts a group of respectable 9.8+ routines. Obviously, Gardiner is the star and will remain so. She can score frequent 9.9s, and when she does, it takes a great deal of scoring responsibility off the others, who can freely count their two-balance-check scores and it’s all still fine.

Kaytianna McMillan has a creative and mostly secure set, and as on bars, I’d like to see Gill get in the lineup here since her precision and extension should be the basis for a strong score. Oregon State is losing a little bit on beam without Risa Perez, who often received the second-best score behind Gardiner last season, so it will be incumbent upon Gill to come in and replace that number.

The state of affairs gets a little less certain after that. Last season, the lineup was rounded out by Jimenez and Colussi-Pelaez x2, which could very well be the case again this year. Although, with more of a tendency toward 9.7s, they could get knocked out if some upstarts show security and reliability. (Dessaints, Davis, Jacobsen, and Lowery also showed beam at the latest intrasquad.) There shouldn’t be a shortage of beam routines—the hallmark of this year’s Oregon State roster is its size—though many of the freshmen are walk-ons from whom I’m not expecting lineup contributions, so we’ll mostly have to look to the usual suspects.

Top returners – Gardiner (9.870), McMillan (9.865)
Returning options – Ricci (9.795), Singley (9.750), Jimenez (9.644), Jacobsen (9.515)

Of the four events, floor is the biggest concern. The lineup ranked 21st last year and features the most significant depletion with the losses of Perez and Radermacher—two of the four 9.8 routines OSU had in 2016—indicating that floor may remain a weakness in 2017.

The other two returning 9.8 routines, McMillan and Gardiner, will be essential to OSU’s hope of remaining competitive. McMillan has a stable of usable E passes, and Gardiner shows the cleanest work of the bunch. Beyond those two, however, we’re looking at a group that either gets predominately 9.7s or hasn’t competed floor before. That means we could see a lineup that sits around 49.0, which is not quite competitive enough.

I did like Mary Jacobsen‘s floor potential heading into her freshman year. She did not score well last season, but perhaps there will be a coming-into-her-own situation during her sophomore year. Isis Lowery also had some chops when it came to power in her elite days, so I’d look to floor as her most important contribution given the team’s sparser roster. By contrast, floor had a tendency to be Gill‘s unhappy place. She should be saved for bars and beam at all costs, but she did have the necessary elements. Maybe there’s something there? Yeah, I’m struggling already. Although, we’ll definitely see Taylor Ricci again (and perhaps Singley post-ankle?) filling out the lineup. It’s not going to be a big score, but you know Ricci can give you a 9.750 to keep things genteel.

Oregon State should have people to throw out there on floor. The worry is that they’ll all be too 9.7, putting pressure on Gardiner and McMillan to get 9.9s every time out, because when they don’t, the rotation score falls to pieces.

But really, three goods and a worry. That’s not too bad. If we like the Beavs to step things up a little on bars, more than a little on vault, and keep pace on beam, that could still work out to a net improvement on last year even if floor is a little less fun and a little lower scoring in the post-Risa era.

A big roster that provides the necessary depth reinforcements if things sag or collapse a little, along with the influx of a few 9.9s that were not always available last season from the now-potentially-healthy upperclassman trio of McMillan/Aufiero/Dessaints, gives Oregon State a fairly compelling nationals argument and the opportunity to be a bit more reliably 196 this time around.