Gymnastics aims to improve road score
Oregon State seeks a higher Regional Qualifying Score on the road
Published: Friday, March 1, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 1, 2013 04:03
If the No. 9 Oregon State gymnastics team participates in a road meet after tonight, it will be at the NCAA Championships.
After opening their season with five of six meets on the road, the Beavers finally were able to host two straight home meets over a six-day span.
OSU will compete tonight in the Bay Area for a three-team meet against No. 12 Stanford and California.
With the Regional Qualifying Score (gymnastics’ version of the Bowl Championship Series) in full swing, this meet has added importance.
“This meet is just as important as any competition,” said senior Makayla Stambaugh. “We’re just going to attack it just like we have in the past. We know we have a job to do, and we’re going to have fun when we do it.”
RQS determines national seeding for the six NCAA Regionals — one of which will take place at Gill Coliseum on April 6. RQS takes each team’s best six scores over the course of the season, three of which have to be road meets.
As of now, the Beavers have four road meets and two home meets in their RQS. The goal for the team to continue to climb in the rankings is surpassing the lowest of the six team scores — which is currently a 195.950 from a Jan. 19 meet in Salt Lake City.
“Obviously, this could help us better our situation,” said head coach Tanya Chaplin. “We’re in a good position, but this is our last road competition to really boost that RQS up with the road scores.”
The lowest score in OSU’s previous three meets was a 196.300, and the Beavers also set their season-high on Friday with a 196.925.
The margin may appear insignificant, but five-tenths of a point is a major difference.
Recent performances indicate another improvement will be easily attainable.
“Our goal is to get a good away score,” said junior Brittany Harris. “That way we can drop our [lowest] score.”
NCAA gymnastics rules state if the team hosting a regional finish within the top 36 (the amount of teams participating in NCAA Regionals), that team will compete on its floor.
At ninth in the nation, the Beavers performing in Gill Coliseum for regionals is a lock, barring something unforeseen.
Since the Feb. 3 meet at Cal, one of OSU’s opponents tonight, the gymnasts have improved on the previous week’s score each time out.
The team always stresses “peaking at the right time.” The Beavers haven’t peaked yet, but the opportunity to do so in postseason competition is lining up at the right time.
They still can’t look too far down the road, though. After tonight’s meet, the Beavers have one final home meet, followed by the Pac-12 Championships and then regionals.
“Our motto this year is: ‘Every Dam Day,’” Stambaugh said. “We’re not looking far ahead. We’re staying in the present, focusing on what we need to do today to benefit us.”
Warner Strausbaugh, managing editor