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Beaver Gymnastics Showcase Future of Program at Orange & Black Exhibition

Freshman Kaitlin Yanish takes center stage in her Oregon State debut

NCAA Gymnastics: Women's Gymnastics Championships Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Team Black defeated Team Orange 10-7 at the Oregon State Gymnastics annual Orange & Black Exhibition. Team Black was anchored by seniors Dani Dessaints and Shireen Khamedoost, but the event gave the Oregon State program the opportunity to show off the youth that will carry the team through the next few seasons.

Among those younger athletes was sophomore Sabrina Gill, who won every one of her rounds for the evening for Team Black. Gill was one of three gymnasts performing the all-around, joined by Destinee Davis, who went 2-2 for Team Orange, and Mary Jacobsen, who went 1-3 on the night, switching between teams as the event necessitated. These three look to be the core that Oregon State will build around as they attempt to return to the championship.

Four Freshmen made their Gill Colosseum debuts this evening, including Kaitlin Yanish, who closed off the night with a showcase of her spectacular floor routine. Yanish also competed in the Vault and Balance Beam. Another freshman, Savanna Force, competed in three events; vault, balance beam and floor exercise. While she didn’t score a point this evening, it’s clear the Beavers have confidence in her going forward. Among the other freshmen, Colette Yamaoka made her debut on the uneven bars, and Lexie Gonzalez made her debut on the balance beam.

The Beavers regular season will start January 13th with a visit to the University of Pittsburgh. They’ll then travel to face historic powerhouse Utah, currently with a preseason ranking of fifth, on January 19th. The first home meet of the season will be January 27th against Stanford, currently ranked 18th. The Beavers are ranked 12th in the nation.

Event Breakdown

A note on scoring: Because this was an exhibition, not an actual meet, the scoring system was simplified. One gymnast from each team would complete a routine. The panel of guest judges would then choose a winner between the two, and award that team a point.


Vault started off the evening, with sophomore Maela Lazaro scoring the first point of the evening for Team Orange. The rest of this rotation was dominated by Team Black, with seniors Shireen Khamedoost and Dani Dessaints picking up points. They were joined by sophomore Sabrina Gill, starting off a very impressive evening.

The Vault round featured the debut of two very exciting freshmen for the Beavers. Despite not scoring points this rotation, Savanna Force and Kaitlin Yanish both made their rounds competitive.

Maela Lazaro (Team Orange) over Savanna Force (Team Black)

Sabrina Gill (Team Black­) over Destinee Davis (Team Orange)

Shireen Khamedoost (Team Black) over Mary Jacobsen (Team Orange)

Dani Dessaints (Team Black) over Kaitlin Yanish (Team Orange)

Uneven Bars

Sabrina Gill continued her strong night with a close fought victory over fellow all-around competitor Mary Jacobsen. Both put on stunning performances, with Gill pulling just ahead with the judges, adding a point for Team Black. Team Black headed into this round with a 2-point lead, but the uneven bars proved to be much more competetive than the vault. Freshman Colette Yamaoka gained Team Orange’s first point on the bars in her Gill Colosseum debut. Junior Mariana Colussi-Pelaez also scored for Team Orange on this rotation. Alyssa Minyard added a second point for Team Black, for a 2-2 split on the bars, and a 5-3 score overall.

Colette Yamaoka (Team Orange) over Isis Lowery (Team Black)

Alyssa Minyard (Team Black) over Destinee Davis (Team Orange)

Mariana Colussi-Pelaez (Team Orange) over Shireen Khamedoost (Team Black)

Sabrina Gill (Team Black) over Mary Jacobsen (Team Orange)

Balance Beam

After failing to score on her previous rotations, sophomore Destinee Davis rebounded strongly with an exciting performance on the balance beam. Fellow all-arounder and Team Orange member Mary Jacobsen also scored her first point of the night. Maela Lazaro added a third point for Team Orange, her second of the night.

For Team Black, Sabrina Gill continued her dominant night, with a third victory in her round. Sophomores Alyssa Minyard and McKenna Singley also won their rounds for Team Black, notching the Balance Beam at 3-3, for an 8-6 score overall after three events. Freshman Lexie Gonzalez made her debut in her round against Singley, holding her own but failing to score a point.

Mary Jacobsen (Team Orange) over Lena Greene (Team Black)

Destinee Davis (Team Orange) over Savanna Force (Team Black)

Sabrina Gill (Team Black) over Kaitlin Yanish (Team Orange)

Maela Lazaro (Team Orange) over Dani Dessaints (Team Black)

Alyssa Minyard (Team Black) over Jaime Law (Team Orange)

McKenna Singley (Team Black) over Lexie Gonzalez (Team Orange)

Floor Exercise

Destinee Davis got the round started off in style with a bold, energetic routine that set the tone for a run of impressive performances. Destinee scored Team Orange’s only point of the rotation, Sabrina Gill finished her perfect night, earning her final point for Team Black. Sophomore Isis Lowery scored the final point of the night for Team Black, putting them up 2-1 for the rotation, and 10-7 overall.

The night was not yet over though, as freshman Kaitlin Yanish took the floor to put on a final performance, competing for Team Orange and Team Black. Building the Dam previously mentioned Yanish’s floor routine in our team preview and Yanish did not disappoint, putting on a nearly flawless display.

Destinee Davis (Team Orange) over Mary Jacobsen (Team Black)

Sabrina Gill (Team Black) over Maela Lazaro (Team Orange)

Isis Lowery (Team Black) over Savanna Force (Team Orange)

Kaitlin Yanish (Team Everybody)