OSU gymnastics: Scary fall on beam doesn't stop Blalock

OSU gymnastics: Scary fall on beam doesn't stop Blalock

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Oregon State gymnast Kelsi Blalock is sporting a nasty bruise on the right side of her face.

That’s the price of her sport.

Blalock fell during warmups for the balance beam at Utah on Saturday night. She missed a landing with her foot, and bounced face first off the beam.

A decorative rhinestone by her eye added to the damage as it scraped along her cheekbone.

“I was more frustrated than anything else,” Blalock said. “I wanted to compete on the beam. It’s one of my best events and I wanted to help the team out. And it hurt.”

Blalock was scratched from the event and Cerise Witherby took her place. Blalock did come back later in the meet for the floor exercise and vault.

“I was fine,” Blalock said. “I did fine on vault and floor. I was able to brush it off.”

She did more than fine. Blalock matched her career-best 9.95 on the floor and took second on the vault with a season-best 9.90.

“Kelsi did a really good job in the next two events,” coach Tanya Chaplin said. “Unfortunately, that’s part of our sport. They fall from really high areas. Sometimes the ground or equipment can break their fall, so they have some scary falls at times. She did a remarkable job of staying focused and did a great job to score on her last two events.”

Marquez needs surgery

Freshman Sarah Marquez is scheduled to have surgery on her right knee today, Chaplin said. She was injured Jan. 11 during the first home meet of the season.

Marquez was in the middle of a tumbling pass during the floor exercise when her knee gave out.

She competed on the vault and floor the first two meets of the season. She had 9.80 and 9.75 scores on the vault and fell on the first floor routine for a 9.05.

“It takes a notch out of depth on those events, but we’ll be able to recover from this,” Chaplin said.

Improved rankings

The Beavers moved up the rankings after a season-best 195.950 score at Utah on Saturday. They are No. 16 with an average score of 194.975.

“There was a definite fight this team showed,” Chaplin said. “We had a hiccup starting off and they didn’t let it continue the whole meet.”

The Beavers trail Pac-12 rivals No. 4 UCLA (196.788), No. 8 Utah (196.125), No. 10 Stanford (195.725) and No. 13 Arizona (195.492).

OSU’s vault team is tied for No. 10 (49.092), the floor exercise is tied for No. 11 (48.950), the balance beam is No. 25 (48.542) and the uneven bars is No. 36 (48.392).

“The numbers are down because we are counting falls,” Chaplin said. “We need to fix that first. Beam was much better. That (49.125 at Utah) was what we expect from our beam team. It was a big step.”

OSU’s only individual ranked in the top 25 is Makayla Stambaugh, tied for No. 19 on the floor (9.900).

Cliff Kirkpatrick covers Oregon State sports for the Gazette-Times. He can be reached at cliff.kirkpatrick@lee.net.

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