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Oregon St. Gymnastics Fall Short of Super 6

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The Oregon St. gymnastics team was only able to turn in a fifth place performance in their preliminary of the NCAA National Championships today in Cleveland, OH. The top three in each of two six team preliminary rounds advance.

Oregon St. scored 196.100 total points, finishing behind Alabama (197.050), Nebraska (196.850), and future Pac-10 foe Utah (196.200), who advanced, and also Florida (196.125). The Beavers placed ahead of Kent State, who finished sixth with 195.000.

Oklahoma won the other session, as the Sooners posted a score of 196.775. Michigan was second with a 196.700, and UCLA was third (196.500) to grab the last qualifying spot, and the only one for the Pac-10. Arkansas and Georgia finished tied with 195.450 and Illinois was sixth with a 195.100.

Oregon St. was ahead of Utah most of the match, and holding on to third place, until the last rotation. But the Utes scored a 49.275 on the vault while Florida was scoring 49.300 on the bars, and both overtook the Beavers, who finished with a 48.650 on the balance beam.

"We had too many wobbles and we looked tight," Oregon St. coach Tanya Chaplin said. "We just had some unfortunate errors and steps here and there."

Oregon St. will have some individuals still in competition for event championships though, as Makayla Stambaugh, Olivia Vivian and Jen Kessler all qualified for Sunday's vault finals, and Leslie Mak qualified on the balance beam. Stambaugh also qualified in the floor exercise.

"I'm proud of this team," Chaplin said. "We made some huge strides this year and came close to getting into the Super Six. We just have to go back and make some adjustments and come back even stronger next year."

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com