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Season in Review
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 06/04/2013

June 4, 2013

STANFORD, Calif. - The Stanford women's gymnastics team had big expectations this season after coming off one of its best performances in program history at the 2012 NCAA Championships, finishing fourth and just 0.35 points behind first place.

Those expectations continued to grow with strong individual and team performances throughout the 2013 season.

When the Cardinal arrived at the NCAA Norman Regional - the competition head coach Kristen Smyth describes as "the toughest meet of the year" - the team was focused on one main objective: to get back to the NCAA Championships.

Led by individual regional titles from Ivana Hong on vault and beam, Ashley Morgan on floor and tying a season-best team performance on vault in the final rotation, Stanford accomplished its goal and qualified for its sixth NCAA Championships in the past seven seasons.

"Considering the adversity we faced this season, it was a big accomplishment that this team made it to nationals again this year," Smyth said.

Stanford finished sixth in the NCAA Semifinals and senior Nicole Dayton earned her first All-America honor. She was named to the first team after tying for third on vault with a 9.900. Freshman Taylor Rice also earned the first All-America honor of her collegiate career as she was named to the second team on floor.

Though the Cardinal did not meet its ultimate goal of qualifying to the NCAA Super Six, the future looks bright for a team that returns 13 gymnasts, including 10 underclassmen.

Smyth believes her team will benefit from the younger gymnasts gaining valuable experience competing in high-pressure situations.

"We struggled with consistency as young teams often do, but what I appreciated most about this group is they never stopped learning, growing and trying to improve, " Smyth said. "I'm confident the foundation we laid for next season is strong and that we will be back challenging for top honors."

Along with a strong young core, Stanford expects the return of key players that were sidelined by injury. Olympian Becky Wing will be back and lead the team on bars and beam. Freshman Melissa Chuang and sophomore Pauline Hanset, known for their power and explosiveness on vault and floor, will also be major contributors next season.

Improved health and experience will be crucial for the Cardinal, which graduates two elite competitors in Ashley Morgan and Nicole Dayton.

Morgan claimed her third consecutive Pac-12 floor title and first NCAA regional floor title. She was a staple in the all-around, competing in 47 of 48 possible events this season.

"Ashley was just a pillar of consistency and a leader by example," Smyth said when reflecting on Morgan's impact over the past four years. "Her ability to compete in the all-around every single weekend was incredible and her day in, day out effort in the gym was inspiring. She'll be missed."

Dayton had an outstanding season on vault, capped by a 14th-place finish at the NCAA Individual Event Finals. She claimed four individual victories on the season - doubling her win total from 2012. Dayton scored a 9.900 or higher seven times and recorded two of Stanford's top-three scores in the event this season.

"They put a lot into teaching the youngsters what college gymnastics is all about and I think it's going to pay off in the future," Smyth said of her senior co-captains. "They have so much to be proud of and leave behind big shoes to fill."

Smyth said roles for next year are still undetermined but looks forward to the strong leadership the rising senior class of Amanda Spinner, Shona Morgan and Lucy Meyer will provide.

Strong leadership will be important as the team welcomes six freshmen. Smyth is excited about the incoming class and believes they have the potential to make an immediate impact in their first season.

Smyth said she is happy with her team's work ethic in postseason training and the goals discussed with returning gymnasts during individual meetings, and believes her team will continue to improve as it heads into the summer break.

"I'm really encouraged about next year and welcoming six talented freshmen," Smyth said. "In addition, the returners are extremely motivated to not only get back to nationals, but to challenge for another Super Six."

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The following is a rundown on honors accumulated by the team and individuals from the 2013 season:

Team
10 NCAA Championship appearances in 13 years
Two All-Americans
75 All-America honors since 2002
30th consecutive NCAA regional appearance
Two NCAA Norman Regional champions in three events
Two Pac-12 individual champions
Fourth-place finish at Pac-12 Championships
13th fourth-place or higher finish at Pac-12 Championships since 2001
Four All-Pac-12 selections
Scored a 197.275 against Arizona State (Feb. 15) - its second-highest score since 2008
Seven Pac-12 All-Academic selections

Individual Awards and Accomplishments

Gymnast of the Year:
Amanda Spinner
MVP:
Ashley Morgan
Academic Award:
Shona Morgan
Most Improved:
Alex Archer
Most Inspirational:
Maggie Teets

Alex Archer
2013 Stanford Most Improved award
Earned a career best of 9.875 on bars at the NCAA Semifinals
Set a career high of 9.775 on vault at the NCAA Norman Regional

Melissa Chuang
Recorded season-bests of 9.850 on vault and 9.825 on floor.
Scored a 9.800 on vault at the NCAA Semifinals

Nicole Dayton
Team co-captain
First team All-America on vault
Finished tied for 14th on vault at the NCAA Individual Event Finals
All-Pac-12 second team on vault
Claimed four vault victories on the season - double her amount from 2012 (two)
Had seven 9.900 scores or higher on vault
Claimed two of the top three scores for Stanford on vault
Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention

Pauline Hanset
Recorded career-bests of 9.925 on vault, 9.900 on floor and 9.800 on beam in a tri-meet against Oregon State and California
Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention

Ivana Hong
NCAA Norman Regional champion on beam and vault
All-Pac-12 first team on beam
Claimed four victories on beam, two on vault and one on bars
Finished second in the all-around at the Pac-12 Championships with a career-best 39.575

Ashley Morgan
Team co-captain
NCAA Norman Regional floor champion
Pac-12 floor champion (third consecutive)
All-Pac-12 first team in the all-around
2013 Stanford MVP award
Claimed victories in the all-around (five), floor (four), vault (one) and bars (one)
Competed in 47 of 48 possible events
Earned a career-best 39.550 in the all-around against Arizona State (Feb. 15)
Either tied or set new career-bests in every event
Claimed four of the top six scores for Stanford on floor
Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention

Shona Morgan
Pac-12 All-Academic first team
2013 Stanford Academic award
Tied her career-best of 9.925 on floor twice
Hit 94 percent of her routines
Scored a 9.800 or higher in 26 of 35 events

Taylor Rice
Second team All-America on floor
Tied her career-best of 9.875 on floor and earned a career-high 9.850 on beam at the NCAA Semifinals
Scored a career-best 9.900 on vault twice, including at the NCAA Norman Regional
Recorded four scores of 9.875 on floor

Samantha Shapiro
Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention
Earned her career best on bars (9.950) against California (Jan. 26)
Tied her career-best on floor (9.875) at the NCAA Norman Regional

Amanda Spinner
Team co-captain
Pac-12 champion on beam
Named the inaugural Pac-12 Specialist of the Year
All-Pac-12 first team on beam
2013 Stanford Gymnast of the Year award
Hit 100 percent of her routines and scored a 9.800 or higher in 11 of 12 meets on beam
Earned a career-best 9.950 on beam at Utah (Feb. 23)
Claimed four of the top six scores for Stanford on beam

Maggie Teets
2013 Stanford Most Inspirational award

Kristina Vaculik
Scored a career-best, 9.900 on vault against California and Oregon State (March 1)
Earned a career-high 9.900 on beam at Utah (Feb. 23)
Earned a 9.925 on bars twice (at Arizona Quad meet, Jan. 12; vs. Arizona State, Feb. 15) and claimed two victories
Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention

Rebecca Wing
Tied her career-best on bars (9.900) against Oregon State and California (March 1)


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