Maela Lazaro's introduction to college gymnastics competition could not have gone better.
Lazaro, a sophomore on the Oregon State gymnastics team, stayed on the sidelines and soaked in everything possible as a freshman.
It wasn't until the third meet at home against Stanford that Lazaro cracked the beam lineup and got her chance.
Lazaro completed her skills without any issues and stuck the landing.
The score? A 9.900.
"My college debut, that really boosted my confidence and that's why ever since I've been competing continually in the lineup I just know that I'm capable of doing a 9.900 routine or even better," Lazaro said. "I carry that confidence in the gym, too. So I practice it and then in meet I'll execute it, so it just transfers over."
That confidence has stuck with Lazaro week to week this season.
Lazaro brought it with her to OSU, having always been able to stay strong mentally on beam.
"I think the biggest thing is her confidence has continued to grow and that's awesome to see. It's something that her club coach always said to me, that she's the one athlete she can always count on, especially on beam," coach Tanya Chaplin said.
"Now she's competing and she's showing us that week-in and week-out and we're seeing it in practice as well. She's a beautiful athlete on that event. So the biggest thing is watching that confidence and just the belief in herself.
"She has such a positive energy all the time. She's the one athlete that I have that will be smiling in the air before she lands her dismount. Just that incredible joy that she brings that everything she does. She can brighten anyone's day."
Lazaro scored a 9.800 against Arizona State, hit for another 9.900 at Washington, then a 9.875 against Arizona and a 9.850 at UCLA last week.
That consistency has been key for Lazaro and the Beavers, especially in recent meets as Dani Dessaints has been staying on the sideline to rest.
"I think Maela is one of the most confident girls on the beam. She has a ton of consistency in her routines, whether it's in practice or at the meets," freshman Kaitlyn Yanish said.
"Obviously, everyone has a little wobble here and there, but whatever I see Mae doing in the gym is what I see her doing on the competition floor. I always do beam with her, so just having her in my group and seeing her confidence and how calm she is throughout the assignments and skills and stuff like that, it just really helps me and pushes me to be just as confident as she is."
Yanish said Lazaro fits her routine, which includes an aerial dismount.
"She has a lot of really flowy skills in her routines," Yanish said. "I don't have an aerial in my routine, but she has one for her dismount and her leaps and her jumps just look beautiful because she has such long legs and I feel like it's really fitting for her gymnastics and the type of gymnast she is."
Although Lazaro is training on other events, she has shown that beam is a strength.
She said it's been the event she is the most comfortable with at this point in her career.
"I just know I can do beam and it's pretty consistent most of the time. It wasn't as consistent last year but this year because my confidence has boosted so high I'm able to be super consistent here," she said.
"I feel I'm good at it because I'm very patient with myself and I'm just pretty calm. I feel like on beam that's what you need, like a calm confidence. I'm just pretty good at staying focused and taking things one at a time. That's really needed on beam."
Lazaro is one of a small group of OSU gymnasts to compete primarily on one event this season.
She knows her performance needs to stay at a high level no matter how many events she's competing.
"I feel that I really have an important role on this team and even though it's just one event, what I do matters," she said. "And even though it's just one job, it's important for me to do that job well and set up for the next person."