There will be plenty of familiar faces on the Oregon State gymnastics team this season.
The Beavers have 15 letterwinners back and return 22 of 24 routines from the 2018 team.
Dani Dessaints and Shireen Khamedoost were the two seniors on last year’s team, so the Beavers are loaded with lineup experience.
“It’s really awesome that we have a lot of people coming back and we have a lot of returners that bring a lot of experience to the team,” senior McKenna Singley said. “Those that know what it’s like to compete in a college setting and have been under the pressure.
“It helps, too, because it’s more of us that are able to build up those that aren’t as experienced and carry them with us and bring them with us, which is incredible.”
The depth has already become critical for the Beavers as they start the season on Saturday in a four-team meet at Illinois. The team sustained a few injuries and will be without Alyssa Minyard for the season. Minyard was a consistent competitor on beam for the Beavers last year as a freshman and hit 9.825 three times.
Destinee Davis should return at some point but will be eased back into competition and there are others who are banged up as the season approaches.
“We had quite a few preseason injuries, so we’re starting to battle through that,” coach Tanya Chaplin said. “I would say our leanest event is uneven bars. We’ve lost routines on that event. It’s been good to see the younger ones come up and really fight to take those places over. And so it’s been to see this team do that and I’ve really been proud to see the young ones to really step up there.”
The lineup could include Kaitlyn Yanish, freshman Madi Dagen and Savanna Force, who competed on floor last season as a freshman.
“There’s really a lot of girls who have gone from one or two events to three, four, which has been really awesome to watch,” Singley said. “We’ve had some injuries in the preseason, which led to even more people stepping up to events that they weren’t really thinking that they’d end up doing, which it’s really brought out what they’re able to do, to expand on what they did last year and going on more events has been really great.”
Singley, Mariana Colussi-Pelaez and Mary Jacobsen are OSU’s three seniors. Singley is back after hitting several high notes last year.
Singley had career-best scores on vault (9.875), beam (9.900) and floor (9.925). She also was consistent on bars with two 9.850s and two 9.875s.
Jacobsen had a high of 9.875 on vault, hitting it twice. She also scored 9.850 twice and 9.825 four times. She had a career-high 9.950 on bars against Arizona and scored 9.900 twice. Jacobsen had two 9.900s on floor, also a career high, along with two 9.875s.
Colussi-Pelaez competed on bars in 2018 with her season-best 9.900 coming in the second meet. She added two 9.875s and three 9.850s.
Yanish is coming off a strong freshman season and has established herself among the Beavers’ top gymnasts on floor. She was a regular season All-American and was second-team all-Pac-12 on the event.
Yanish hit the 9.950 mark on floor three times last year, along with one 9.925, three 9.900s and three 9.875s.
She also competed on vault and beam and put together a strong finish on vault by hitting 9.850 three out of the final four meets with a 9.825 thrown in for good measure.
Junior Sabrina Gill competed all-around for a few weeks last season but stayed mostly with vault, beam and floor.
Gill had a high of 9.850 on vault. She had two 9.875s on beam, along with two 9.850s. On floor, she came through with one 9.900 and a 9.850 as well as three 9.825s. Her top score on bars was a 9.850.
OSU fans will get a look at Lacy Dagen, a transfer from Florida, who arrived at OSU prior to the 2018 season with high expectations but was coming off a knee injury and wound up redshirting.
“Lacy Dagen didn’t compete last year and she’s doing a really good job on three events, so we hope to see her competing,” Chaplin said. “Having that year, I think it’s really brought back her confidence and so it’s fun to see what she’s doing now.”
Sophomore Isis Lowery was also a key member of the floor team. Lowery scored three 9.925s, two 9.900s and two 9.875s.
Davis competed on vault and beam for OSU. On beam, Davis hit 9.900 twice and added two 9.875s and one 9.850. She had a high of 9.875 on vault and was consistent on the event, scoring 9.850 in five meets.
Sophomore Maela Lazaro also specialized on beam and scored two 9.900s, two 9.875s and four 9.850s.
Halli Briscoe, also a sophomore, did not break into the bars lineup until the second half of the season, but was steady for the Beavers once she got there. Briscoe did not score lower that 9.800 and had a high of 9.875 and two 9.850s.
Junior Lena Greene came through with a 9.900 on vault at Washington in her first counting meet and added a 9.850 and a 9.825 in later meets.
Also back for the Beavers are Niya Mack, Lexie Gonzales, and Colette Yamaoka.
Joining the team are freshmen Leah Bivrell, Madi Dagen, Alex McClung and Kristina Peterson. Chaplin said Dagen and Peterson will contribute this season.
“I think we are a more experienced team this year than last year, which that’s really good. It just makes us more confident going into season, knowing that we could almost have two lineups on some events because we have so many people ready to go. So it gives the coaches a lot of options and it’s hard for them to pick lineups,” Jacobsen said.
“Everyone is so amazing so like even spots that I’ve been in for a long time, I have to work really hard to try to keep my spot and keep getting better because people will come and take it. We have a really great team.”