May 24, 2013
STANFORD, Calif. - The Stanford women's gymnastics team improves its depth as it welcomes three more gymnasts to the team for the 2013-14 season, as announced Friday by head coach Kristen Smyth.
Joining the program will be twin sisters Danielle and Nicolette McNair, and Haley Spector. They complete a talented 2013-14 freshman class that also features Rachel Daum, Carinne Gale and Sophia Lee who signed national letters of intent in November 2012.
"I am extremely excited to add Danielle, Nicolette and Haley to a very strong 2013 incoming class," Smyth said. "These three scholar-athletes have had their sights set on being part of the Stanford program for a long time and we are thrilled to officially welcome them to the Stanford women's gymnastics family.
"All three are phenomenal gymnasts and great competitors. I know they will make a huge impact on our program."
Danielle and Nicolette, natives of Costa Mesa, Calif., trained at Gym Max Gymnastics under coaches Jenny and Howie Liang.
Danielle is a four-time Junior Olympics National Championships competitor, finishing second on uneven bars in 2011, seventh on vault in 2012 and ninth on vault in 2013.
With an expected graduation from Tesoro High School in June, Danielle was a four-year honor roll student, California Scholastic Federation Seal Bearer and received the Tesoro Torch of Excellence award for English. Danielle also volunteered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
"Danielle is a tremendous all-around performer and will make an immediate impact on all four events," Smyth said. "She is hard working, passionate about the sport and a team player. I love her determination and willingness to fight for the things she wants."
Nicolette competed in two Junior Olympics National Championships, finishing third in the all-around in 2012 and 2013. She also competed in the 2010 Covergirl Classic and 2009 Visa Championships.
Nicolette will graduate from Tesoro High School in June as a four-year honor roll student, California Scholastic Federation Seal Bearer and recipient of the Tesoro Torch of Excellence award for anatomy. She also volunteered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
"Nicolette is an extraordinary athlete on all four events," Smyth said. "She has incredible ranges of motion combined with explosive power. On bars she is a standout performer, recognized for her big swing and unique skill selection. On beam she can do any skill in the book and is a confident, fiery competitor. On floor I'm certain she will be a crowd favorite with her explosive tumbling, dynamic leaps and vibrant personality."
Spector, of Reno, Nev., joins the Cardinal after training at Deltchev Gymnastics under the coaching of Stoyan Deltchev and Ani Damianova.
Spector is a two-time Junior Olympics National Championships competitor and took fourth on floor in 2011 and 2012. She placed first on beam and third in the all-around at the 2013 Nevada state meet, and finished second on beam at the 2013 Regional meet.
"Haley is strong on floor exercise and will provide crucial depth for us on vault," Smyth said. "She's an energetic floor performer and will add the big tumbling skills we need to compete against the top schools. She is also getting better all the time and has the potential to really improve in college."
Graduating from Bishop Manogue High School in June with a 4.0 cumulative GPA, Spector is a National Merit finalist, member of the National Honor Society and vice president of her high school's National Honor Society. She is the Class of 2013 salutatorian, a Harvard Prize Book winner and completed over 100 hours of volunteer work during high school.
The talented Stanford recruiting class will join a Stanford team that returns 11 letterwinners - including nine that were underclassmen in 2013.
The Cardinal had a successful 2013 season, making its 10th NCAA Championships appearance in 13 seasons and participating in its 30th consecutive Regional competition.