The Oregon State gymnasts created some vision boards earlier in the week as they prepared for Sunday’s home meet against No. 13 California.
The Beavers were looking for more consistency and the stronger scores that usually come with it.
The athletes broke into groups and chose a theme to present as a way to show what they wanted to get out of the meet.
“Some people chose a magazine cover, some people did a movie showing, our group did an Instagram post,” senior Lacy Dagen said. “And it was just like what tangible things did we want to get out of this meet? We actually laid it out, like scores from each event, our team score and we actually did make it happen.
“This is just what we needed to step it up for the second half of the season.”
The Beavers did not win the meet, but they did meet their goals on Sunday afternoon in a 197.425-196.200 loss to the Golden Bears.
The Beavers’ score was their best of the season. That was due in large part to an improved outcome on bars.
The event that has been the Beavers’ Achilles’ heel all season. The 48.700 was not a great score but was the best of the season so far for the Beavers after falls and assorted miscues derailed them on the event in the other meets.
“Our biggest challenge has been uneven bars with losing so many of our uneven bars athletes,” coach Tanya Chaplin said. “And this group has been working really, really hard to increase their difficulty and increase their consistency, so I was glad to see that their consistency was much better. So that helped us tremendously just from that event.”
The Beavers were back in action after an extra week off when Arizona was forced to cancel due to COVID-19 protocols.
Kristina Peterson led off vault with a solid effort for a 9.750, Kayla Bird followed with a 9.725 after taking a step on the landing.
Kaitlyn Yanish got good height on her flip and had a steady landing for a 9.875. Sydney Gonzales scored a 9.800.
Lacy Dagen won vault two weeks ago in her first meet of the season and had another strong score of 9.900 after sticking the landing. The Beavers needed that effort when anchor Madi Dagen fell trying to stick her no-look landing.
“Competing for Oregon State gymnastics is one of the greatest things in the whole wide world, so I’m having a lot of fun being back out there,” Lacy Dagen said. “It was really good to see, kind of, the first couple of meets from the sidelines to kind of see what we had to work on and now stepping into the lineup is a really good feeling and I’m excited for the rest of the season to see how it goes and I’m really proud of the girls today.”
That led to bars. Madi Dagen stuck her landing and scored a 9.675 on a routine that has a start value of lower than 10.00.
Kaitlyn Hoiland missed an element but stuck the landing for a 9.775.
Ariana Young came through with her best performance of the season, taking just a small hop at the end for a 9.725. Niya Mack also had a slight step on the landing and had a 9.625.
Bird nailed her routine and landing for a 9.850 and Peterson anchored with a 9.675.
“The girls have been putting in so much work in the gym on bars. Physically, yes, but I think more importantly mentally and emotionally we just really put a lot of effort into that event. I think finally it started to come together and the girls are really starting to figure out their mojo in their routines and everything. I’m so proud of them,” Lacy Dagen said.
“Starting off so strong on that event right away, right off the bat today, that just really kind of helped us continue into the rest of the events and into that 196.”
Peterson got the Beavers started on beam in a big way with a 9.925. She had just two counting beam routines in her OSU career before this season.
She said beam has been one of her favorite events since she competed as a youth.
“So I knew that when I got the opportunity to lead off, because I used to lead off all the time in club, and when I got that opportunity again I knew it was time to really show what I can do and I just kept trusting myself and felt every move and I trusted my techniques and I keep breathing, I breath through everything,” Peterson said. “And that really showed today. I want to continue doing that for this team and if I’m leadoff every time, I hope I can lead them to the best they can be.”
Bird had a bobble but was able to stay on and scored a 9.700. Young stayed smooth on her run and hit the landing for a 9.750. Jenna Domingo added a 9.775.
Gonzales was steady and did not waver throughout her routine for a 9.775 before Madi Dagen anchored with a 9.925 to match Peterson and give the Beavers a 49.150.
The Beavers finished with a 49.300 on floor to wind up the meet. Mack led off with a 9.850, completing a couple solid tumbling runs and finished off with her “Hunger Games” salute.
Bird kept it going with a smooth routine for a 9.900. Peterson had a little trouble on the end of one of her runs but was strong enough for a 9.875.
Savanna Force stepped out on her first pass and had to settle for a 9.725. Madi Dagen got big height on her final pass but the momentum drove her past the boundary and that deduction meant a 9.725.
Yanish anchored with another stellar effort for a 9.950.