OREGON STATE BEAVERS
2021 – 22nd
2020 – 15th
2019 – 6th
2018 – 27th
2017 – 11th
2016 – 14th
2015 – 12th
2014 – 13th
2013 – 16th
2012 – 12th
2021 IN REVIEW
Let’s not avoid the bars in the room. The 2021 season will go down as one of Oregon State’s weakest for exactly one reason: there was no bars lineup. Only five bars scores of 9.8 were recorded all season, gymnasts without 10.0 starts provided some of the most important and highest-scoring routines, and the team finished the year ranked 48th on the event. In fact, the lack of bars lineup ended up shrouding the quality on the remaining events. The Beavs were able to get mid-196s last season as what was basically a three-event team, and it would have taken only a 49.150 on bars to upset Denver at regionals and advance to the regional final. Sadly, the team peaked at 48.825 on bars.
Lacy Dagen – VT, BB
Savanna Force – FX
Lexie Gonzales – BB
Lena Greene – VT
Niya Mack – UB, FX
Jane Poniewaz – VT, UB, BB
THE NEW ONES
Oregon State brings in a gigantic new class of 9 athletes, which is essential in the effort to reinvent many of these lineups. I expect to see a solid number of these first years get real competition time in 2022.
Of course, let’s start with Jade Carey. What’s interesting about Carey is less how she might fit into lineups (spoiler alert: yes) and more the eternal conundrum of how to manage skill selection for high-difficulty elites when they come to college. Does it make sense to try a vault like the Cheng, or will the wow-factor of a historically difficult vault in college not be able to overcome execution deductions? Would a downgrade to any number of easier 10.0-start vaults (she has like 5) end up gaining anything, or are the deductions about the same anyway so you might as well go for difficulty? Carey is at her best when she’s doing insane elements on vault and floor, so that asset must be retained, and her ability to land under control on floor when performing difficulty makes it particularly appealing for college scoring. What I’m saying is, Carey is going to have her most successful NCAA career if “and she’s the first person to do that in the history of college gymnastics” is said a lot.
Conversely on beam, downgrading will be the name of the game and college gymnastics should allow Carey to pare down her routine to avoid those stumbling block built-in deductions from elite (always shocking to NBC, apparently) and somewhat equalize her scoring potential on beam with the other events. As for bars, it’s sort of a misconception that Carey used to be terrible on bars. Even as a L10 she had NCAA-lineup ability there (her Pak and FTDT have always been great), but she lacked the necessary composition until recently. As we stand now, Carey is on track to Alex McMurtry where we’re like, “Hi, you’re good at power” and she’s like “Here’s a 10 on bars.”
OK, also there are other first years in this class I promise.
British elite Phoebe Jakubczyk most recently featured on GB’s team at this year’s European Championship and could show up on several events. Most importantly (no surprise), she looks to provide an absolute must in the reformed bars lineup with plenty of options for difficulty. Also keep an eye on Natalie Briones, the sister of US elite Brandon Briones, as a multi-eventer who definitely would have been in the bars lineup last season if that had been one of the choices. Her best event is probably floor, where I’d also anticipate seeing her some, but the need is far greater on bars. On the bars topic, walk-on Carley Beeman is pretty much a bars specialist and could also find her way into that six.
Shifting the focus from bars, another new one who looks to make lineups is Karlie Chavez (if your name isn’t Karlie or Kaitlyn, GET OUT OF THIS TEAM), who has excellent results on vault and floor, with a Yurchenko 1.5 on vault and a quality DLO on floor. She’s very heir-to-Kaitlyn-Yanish. As for the others, Kaitlin Garcia hasn’t really managed the scores in L10 aside from vault, but she showed a few events at OSU’s preview meet and could be called upon as needed. Perhaps one of the most interesting question marks of the whole season is Lauren Letzsch. Letzsch was a junior elite about a thousand years ago and has basically been injury MIA ever since, meaning there are no possible expectations. Still, she finished 13th AA at junior nationals in 2016, sandwiched right between Olivia Dunne and Jordan Bowers, and if she’s healthy and competing, then vault, beam, and floor would all be realistic events for her.
That’s kind of a no-brainer as it shouldn’t be too challenging for this team to improve on last year’s total scores given that there are now some people on this roster who don’t want to assassinate the bars at every opportunity (or at least…less). With Jade Carey coming in to improve the scoring potential on every event, we should see gains all over the place with the possibility of 197 popping up again. Oregon State hasn’t gone 197 since the 2019 season, and hitting that mark in 2022 would be a solid indication of the progress for this year’s team.
2021 Event Ranking: 10
|Lineup locks: Jade Carey, Madi Dagen, Kaitlyn Yanish, Sydney Gonzales, Karlie Chavez|
|Lineup options: Kristina Peterson, Kayla Bird, Natalie Briones, Ariana Young, Lauren Letzsch, Kaitlin Garcia|
Oregon State will be encouraged by how things are shaping up on vault. For a team that has never really been known for power vaulting, this year’s squad should have a competitive repertoire of 10.0 starts even beyond Carey. Carey will certainly be counted on for astronomical scores as the top vaulter. I’d imagine the DTY or the Lopez are the most likely college vaults for her, though I’d like to see the Amanar or Cheng get a moment or two because if someone is going to do those vaults in college…Carey. As far as the others, Madi Dagen’s very stick-able Y1.5 will be a huge asset once again for 9.9s, and first year Karlie Chavez brings another new Y1.5 that can be a top-3 vault for this lineup on her good days.
As always, put Kaitlyn Yanish into the lineup in pen as her Yfull has the massive distance and reliability to score well each week. Kristina Peterson and Sydney Gonzales both bring 10.0 starts back to the roster with their round-off 1/1-on entries, and while the landings can sometimes be hit-and-miss, they both get pretty solid amplitude as far as 1/1-on vaults go, and the boost in start value should continue making those vaults lineup-worthy. That’s probably the best-case six for OSU, but there should also be several other Yfull options, like Kayla Bird who led off last season, who can go for competitive scores.
2021 Event Ranking: 48
|Lineup locks: Jade Carey, Phoebe Jakubczyk, Kayla Bird, Natalie Briones|
|Lineup options: Colette Yamaoka, Madi Dagen, Carley Beeman, Kaitlyn Hoiland, Jenna Domingo, Kaitlin Garcia, Kaitlyn Yanish, Ariana Young, Kristina Peterson|
Obviously, it’s reinvention time on bars. Not much should return from last year’s lineup, though I do imagine that Kayla Bird (who got four of OSU’s five 9.8s on bars in 2021) will be called upon again. So perhaps not a fully new six. Also keep in mind that Oregon State should be getting fifth-year Colette Yamaoka back on bars after missing last season. She has been good for a weekly 9.750 throughout her career, which is not a huge score, but they would have killed for it last year. Madi Dagen also presents an interesting case because she had by far Oregon State’s best execution on bars last year but was working without a 10.0 start. And still got some of the team’s best scores. If she’s able to get a reliable 10.0 SV this year, I’d want her in the lineup.
Otherwise, we’re looking at first-year o’clock. Jade Carey showed up at Oregon State’s November preview straight from the tour and did a full competitive bars routine that would probably have gone 9.850 in a meet, so she’s on track there. Jakubczyk will be needed as another top scorer, Briones has the swing to be a good college bars worker, and Beeman should get a chance as well. There are a few other people from last year’s lineup like Hoiland and Domingo whom I think have the talent to be in a bars lineup, but their routines from last season probably aren’t making it back this time around.
I still see some 9.7ness in this group, so it may be the team’s low score at many meets again in 2022, but in comparison to last year, this lineup will be quite a bit less terrifying and should at least keep the Beavs in the competition.
2021 Event Ranking: 18
|Lineup locks: Jade Carey, Madi Dagen, Jenna Domingo, Kristina Peterson, Sydney Gonzales|
|Lineup options: Phoebe Jakubczyk, Ariana Young, Lauren Letzsch, Kayla Bird|
Beam is the event on which to expect the least shake up compared to last season. A strong core emerged in 2021 that kept the team over 49 in each of its last eight meets, so there’s not a ton of need to mess with it. Madi Dagen proved a sturdy anchor for nothing less than 9.800 all year and notched the team’s top overall score, Domingo and Gonzales were peppering in 9.9s here and there, and Peterson has developed into a go-to leadoff beamer.
Carey will make her mark here, just as she will on the other events, though it could be that she’s the lone newcomer to make the beam lineup. Perhaps Jakubczyk gets in there depending on the dance element situation. Ariana Young got shoved into the lineup last year out of necessity but started to find her beam legs toward March and April for a bunch of 9.8s, so she’s one who could very well continue to progress this year and reconfirm her spot.
It’s not a ton of definite, competitive beamers though, so Oregon State may be looking for that “first year who hasn’t really had the scores before but figures out beam in college” type to beef up this slate of options.
2021 Event Ranking: 14
|Lineup locks: Jade Carey, Kaitlyn Yanish, Madi Dagen|
|Lineup options: Karlie Chavez, Phoebe Jakubczyk, Natalie Briones, Kayla Bird, Kristina Peterson, Sydney Gonzales|
Oregon State will definitely raise the power quotient on floor in 2022. For Carey, she should be able to compete a double double for controlled landings and good college scores pretty comfortably, but I’d kind of like to see her bring a DLO 1/1 to college gymnastics. How about both? Kaitlyn Yanish and her DLO are a definite must in the back half of the lineup, even if she has to cede her anchor position to The Carey (should we start talking about using Carey earlier in lineups to force the judges to go high early?), and Madi Dagen was using her punch front 2/1 for competitive scores most of the time last season. And it’s just such a satisfying pass.
A number of the first years also bring initial pass difficulty with Chavez’s DLO, Briones’s piked full-in, and Jakubczyk’s double Arabian or full-in, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see any of them push their way into the lineup. If they find the right dance element options that can get by for Chavez, she’s going to be a huge floor scorer.
That’s not to ignore lineup mainstays Kayla Bird and Kristina Peterson, who both got high floor scores last year and should see time again this year, but this is going to be a fairly tough final lineup to make in 2022 if everyone is competing and doing what they can.