March 19, 2010
STANFORD, Calif. -
The No. 8 Stanford women’s gymnastics team completes its regular season with a dual meet at UC Davis on Sunday. The meet will serve as Stanford’s final tuneup in advance of the Pac-10 Championships on March 27 in Tucson, Ariz., and the NCAA meets that follow. The NCAA Championships are April 22-24 in Gainesville, Fla., and Stanford hopes to be part of the team competition for the eighth time in 10 years. For now, Stanford (13-2) will look to extend a winning streak that stands at 10 and work toward securing a No. 1 seed in one of the six NCAA regionals.
There will be live stats from The Pavilion in Davis on gostanford.com. Look for the “Live Stats” link on the Schedule of Events on the main page, or on the women’s gymnastics schedule page.
Stanford fired off six scores of 9.9 and above to earn a season-high team score of 196.800 and beat Bay Area rivals San Jose State (195.075) and California (190.775) on March 5 in San Jose. Senior Carly Janiga followed a 9.95 on the balance beam with a 9.925 on floor to win each event on the way to earning a 39.550 to capture the all-around. But Stanford’s biggest highlight may have been its team performance on the beam, typically the team’s lowest-scoring event this season. Instead, Stanford counted five scores of 9.8 or higher, including three in the 9.9’s: Janiga’s 9.95, Shelley Alexander’s 9.925 and Allyse Ishino’s 9.9. The Cardinal scored 49.425 for its second-highest beam total of the season. Stanford has not competed since then because of Dead Week and finals, which ended Friday.
All-American Carly Janiga
The six-time All-American and 2009 NCAA uneven bars runner-up is having a typically strong season, competing in every event in every meet this season -- the only Stanford competitor to do so. She has the team’s highest score in every event except the vault, scoring 9.95s on the bars, beam and floor. Her average score of 9.881 on the uneven bars is the highest of any Stanford gymnast in any event.
Homecoming for West
Stanford senior Tenaya West, a product of Davis Senior High School, returns to her hometown for the meet. West, whose mother works at UC Davis, has specialized in the floor exercise, with a season-best score of 9.875 and a career best of 9.90 after being limited last season because of a torn plantar fascia tendon in her foot, West did not compete as a freshman and coach Kristen Smyth is trying to secure a fifth season of eligibility for West.
Sunday’s Opponent: UC Davis
The Aggies earned the second-highest score in program history Sunday with 194.600 in a home triangular victory over Texas Woman’s (192.825) and California (190.650). Freshman Katie Yamamura, a Palo Alto native and Gunn High School graduate, set career-high scores on vault (9.850), floor (9.850) and all-around (39.100), the latter of which moved her into No. 3 in Aggie history. She was selected as the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation’s Gymnast of the Week for the third time this season. This is the Aggies’ regular-season finale before the MPSF Championships on March 27. UCD has the highest Regional Qualifying Score in the conference, at 193.305, which ranks them No. 41 in the country.
Stanford in the National Rankings
Stanford opened the season ranked No. 7 in the GymInfo coaches’ poll. However, subsequent rankings are empirical, based on average team scores until Feb. 22, and then on Regional Qualifying Scores. The following are the current rankings: 1, Alabama 197.155; 2, Oklahoma 196.935; 3, UCLA 196.900; 4, Georgia 196.690; 5, Florida 196.685; 6, Arkansas 196.510; 7, Oregon State 196.460; 8, Stanford 196.450; 9, Utah 196.275; 10, Michigan 196.215.
What the Rankings Mean
Unlike other collegiate athletics rankings, gymnastics is not based on wins and losses or votes, but by season scoring average. Starting Feb. 22, teams and gymnasts are ranked by a Regional Qualifying Score, which is based on each team’s top six regular-season scores. At least three scores must come from away meets. The highest score is then dropped and the remaining five scores are averaged. The 36 teams with the highest RQS earn NCAA regional berths. Stanford is shooting for an RQS among the top six, which would enable the Cardinal to earn a No. 1 seed.
Individual Scores in Rankings
Here is how Cardinal individuals rank among the nation’s top 20, with their season Regional Qualifying Scores:
All-around: 9th, Carly Janiga, 39.410
Vault: 20th, Shelley Alexander, 9.885
Bars: 20th, Carly Janiga, 9.85
Floor: 12th, Nicole Pechanec, 9.90; 17th, Carly Janiga, 9.895
Stanford’s Most Recent Lineup (March 5)
Vault: Blair Ryland, Danielle Ikoma, Carly Janiga, Ashley Morgan, Shelley Alexander, Nicole Dayton.
Bars: Shelley Alexander, Nicole Pechanec, Alyssa Brown, Ashley Morgan, Carly Janiga, Allyse Ishino.
Beam: Alyssa Brown, Allyse Ishino, Danielle Ikoma, Carly Janiga, Shelley Alexander, Ashley Morgan.
Floor: Tenaya West, Allyse Ishino, Blair Ryland, Nicole Pechanec, Carly Janiga, Shelley Alexander.
Stanford vs. Ranked Opponents
Stanford is 4-2 against teams ranked among the current national top 25 in the GymInfo coaches’ poll. Stanford is 2-1 against those now in the top five (2-0 vs. No. 3 UCLA, 0-1 vs. No. 4 Georgia). Stanford has competed twice against teams ranked No. 1 at the time, at Georgia and against visiting UCLA, losing the former by only 0.10 of a point and winning the latter.
Next Meet: Pac-10 Championships
Stanford next competes at the Pacific-10 Championships on March 27 in Tucson, Ariz., beginning at 4 p.m. Stanford was third last season, but has swapped conference championships with UCLA for the past seven years. If the pattern holds true, this would be Stanford’s year. The Cardinal has won five Pac-10 titles in the past 12 years. Five of the conference’s seven teams are ranked among GymInfo.com’s Top 25, including three in the Top 10. Those ranked are: No. 3 UCLA, No. 7 Oregon State, No. 8 Stanford, No. 20 Arizona, and No. 22 Washington.