MEMBER SIGN IN
Don't have an account? Click Here
Gymnasts Head to Utah for NCAA Championships
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 06/21/1999

April 21, 1999

Briefly: The Stanford women's gymnastics team (10-3, 4-2 Pac-10) competes in the NCAA Championships for the first time since 1996. The Cardinal advanced to the Final 12 thanks to a first place finish at Region Four in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Sat., Apr. 10th. At the regional, Stanford scored a 194.675, which was 0.075 points higher than host LSU, which finished second with a 194.600.

Championship Information: The 1999 NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships will take place at the Jon M. Huntsman Center on the campus of the University of Utah. The competition will take place for three days from Thr. Apr. 22nd-Sat. Apr. 24th. Team preliminaries and Individual All-Around finals will take place in an afternoon and evening session on Day One (Apr. 22). Stanford has been randomly drawn into the afternoon session (1:00 pm MDT) and will compete against Pac-10 rivals Arizona State and UCLA along with Alabama, Louisiana State and West Virginia. The top three teams from each session will advance to the "Super Six" Team Finals that will take place on Day Two (Apr. 23), starting at 7:00 pm MDT. On Day Three (Apr. 24), Individual Event Finals will occur with the top four individuals from each session competing.

The Last Time at the Championships: Stanford finished ninth, its highest NCAA finish ever, at the 1996 Championships with a score of 194.025. Current Stanford gymnast Amy Murakami paced the Cardinal that year as she finished eighth in the all-around competition (39.250) and tenth on the the floor (9.875) as a freshman. Along with Murakami, seniors Katie Fitzpatrick and Tracey Kohl also competed at the 1996 Championships. Fitzpatrick's highest score was a 9.750 in the beam, where she finished in a tie for 23rd. Meanwhile, Kohl's best finish was in the all-around (38.800), where she came in 25th.

A Look Back at the Regionals: Stanford finished first at the NCAA Regionals for the first time ever two weekends ago. With a score of 194.675, the Cardinal will advance to the NCAA Championships for only the third time in school history. For the evening, Stanford was led by sophomore Jenny Wilson, who finished tied for third in the all-around with a score of 38.975. A native of Portland, Oregon, Wilson also finished fifth in the vault (9.775) and sixth in the balance beam (9.775). Ironically, Stanford's only first place finish of the night came by a freshman, Katy Herbert. A rookie from Chandler Heights, Arizona, Herbert tied for first in the balance beam with a score of 9.875. On the beam, Herbert finished with the same score as Auburn's Sarah Wentworth and just above teammate Jen Exaltacion, who placed third (9.850). Murakami also helped out the team as she finished third in the parallel bars (9.825) and fourth in the floor exercise (9.900).

Welcome Back Larissa: Possibly the most exciting part of the NCAA regional meet was the return of junior Larissa Fontaine. The 1998 NCAA Champion in the Vault, Fontaine returned to action after breaking her hand in the meet at California (Jan. 22). Though it was her first competition in over two and a half months, Fontaine still managed to finish third in the vault (9.800).

A Trio of High Scores: In each of the last three regular season meets, Stanford had been on a roll with a string of high scores. The Cardinal had scored 197.275, 195.150 and 197.200 in each of those three meets respectively. Among those scores was a team school record (197.275) set against Massachusetts on Mar. 12th. Those high scores helped jump Stanford from a ranking of 19th (Mar. 9) to its current ranking of eighth. One of the keys to the team's success has been its performances on the uneven bars, where Stanford has scored a 49.325 or higher in all three meets. That feat is really impressive considering that the school record for the bars coming into this season was a 49.325. Included among those scores is a 49.725 against Cal (Mar. 26), which established a new school record. Another successful event for the Cardinal has been the floor exercise, where it has recored a 49.000 or higher in all three meets. With a mark of 49.625 against Massachusetts (Mar. 12), the Cardinal broke the previous school record of 49.475. However, the team went a step further last month against Cal (Mar. 26) as it recorded a 49.775 to set a new school record. Even Stanford's success on the vault in recent weeks should be noted. Going into the last three meets of the year, the Cardinal's season-high in the vault was a 48.675. Stanford, however, has scored higher than that in each of the last three meets. The Cardinal registered a season-high of 49.00 against Massachusetts (Mar. 12), then recorded marks of 48.725 (Mar. 20) and 48.825 (Mar. 26) in the last two regular season meets.

Jumping Jenny: Sophomore Jenny Wilson has continued to shine in all four events. In seven out of her last eight regular season meets, other than the competition at Arizona (Feb. 26), she has scored nothing lower than 9.750 on the vault and bars. Wilson, however, has had her share of great performances in other events. In the meet against California (Mar. 26), she had the best outing of her career as she set career-highs in both the all-around (39.500), which resulted in a first place finish, and the floor (9.950). At the Pac-10 Championships (Mar. 20), Wilson scored a 9.850 on the vault and a 9.775 on the bars. Last month versus Massachusetts, Wilson won the vault (9.850), for the fourth time this year, and finshed fourth on the bars (9.900). A native of Portland, Oregon, Wilson scored her previous career-high in the all-around (39.225), which was good for a second place finish against Arizona State (Feb. 19). Against Washington (Feb. 12), Wilson finshed in the top three in the vault, floor and bars, including a first place finish in the vault (9.825). Against Oregon State (Jan. 29), Wilson finished first in the all-around (38.875) after winning the vault (9.800).

Excellent Exaltacion: Another Stanford gymnast to look out for is Jennifer Exaltacion. On the balance beam, Exaltacion has placed first in six of the 12 meets, including two months ago when she set a school-record of 9.975 against Arizona State (Feb. 19). Additionally, Exaltacion recorded a career-high in the all-around (39.525) against Massachusetts (Mar. 12) and has competed in the all-around in nine of the 12 meets. Since the meet at Cal (Jan. 22), she has scored 9.725 or higher in 26 of her 33 events. Over the course of those last nine meets, Exaltacion's best outing came in the season finale against Cal (Mar. 26) when she recorded career-highs in the vault (9.850) and uneven bars (9.950).

Senior Leadership: As with any successful team, the role of the senior gymnast is very important. One senior who has led the team to success this season is Amy Murakami. Versus Massachusetts last month (Mar. 12), Murakami had the meet of a lifetime as she scored two perfect-10s (bars & floor), set three school records (bars, floor, all-around) and had four career-highs (bars, beam, floor, all-around). In fact, the perfect-10s were the first in school history. Murakami followed up that meet with two more impressive performances. At the Pac-10 Championships (Mar. 20), Murakami finished second in both the bars (9.950) and floor (9.950) on the way to a fourth place finish in the all-around (39.450). Against California (Mar. 26), Murakami scored two more perfect-10s (bars & floor) and recorded a career-high in the vault (9.850), which tied her for first place. A native of Wayland, Mass., Murakami has won 13 individual titles and has scored 9.700 or higher in 30 of her 39 events this year. Two months ago, Murakami was a three-time winner as she won the bars (9.900), floor (9.925) and all-around (39.275) against Arizona State (Feb. 19). In the Chili's Invitational (Feb. 5), she finished first in the bars (9.950) and clinched the team title with a 9.875 on the floor. Against Oregon State (Jan. 29), Murakami had no score lower than 9.750 in all three of her events. Her most impressive feat of that competition, however, was that she tied her previous school record in the uneven bars (9.975).

Head Coach Mark Cook: At the helm of the Cardinal program is second-year head coach Mark Cook. In just one season on The Farm, Cook has transformed Stanford into one of the best gymnastics programs in the country. Last season, he led the Cardinal to the Pac-10 Title and an individual NCAA Title, both first-time accomplishments for the program. Previously one of the top assistant coaches in the nation, Cook came to Stanford from rival UCLA where he helped build the Bruins into a national championship team. During his three-year stint in Westwood, the Bruins improved each year. After finishing fourth at nationals his first year (1995), UCLA placed second in 1996, and in 1997 he helped direct the Bruins to their first-ever NCAA tilte. The 1996 West Region Assistant Coach-of-the-Year, Cook also helped lead the team to three consecutive West Region titles and two Pac-10 Conference championships. While at UCLA, Cook's duties included scouting, recruiting, strength development, training athletes and promoting gymnastics.

Stanford in the National Rankings
                        Nat'l. 
                 RQS    Ranking  Region I  Pac-10 
Vault           48.6812 19th     3rd        4th
Uneven Bars     49.4250  5th     1st        1st
Balance Beam    48.7562 18th     2nd        3rd
Floor Exercise  49.2125  8th     1st        2nd
TEAM           195.8687  8th     1st        1st

Individuals in the Top 25: Nat'l. RQS Ranking Region I Pac-10 Murakami (Bars) 9.9687 4th 1st 1st Exaltacion (Bars) 9.8937 23rd 4th 3rd Exaltacion (Beam) 9.8937 11th 2nd 2nd Murakami (Floor) 9.9375 7th 1st 2nd Harding (Floor) 9.9125 11th 2nd 3rd

Stanford Season Highs

TEAM HIGHS
Vault
49.000
Massachusetts (Mar. 12)

Uneven Bars
49.725*
California (Mar. 26)

Balance Beam
49.025
Massachusetts (Mar. 12)

Floor Exercise
49.775*
California (Mar. 26)

Total Score
197.275*
Massachusetts (Mar. 12)

INDIVIDUAL HIGHS

Vault
9.925
Larissa Fontaine
(at California - Jan. 15)

Uneven Bars
10.000*
Amy Murakami
(Massachusetts - Mar. 12)
(California - Mar. 26)

Balance Beam
9.975*
Jen Exaltacion
(Arizona State - Feb. 19)

Floor Exercise
10.000*
Tracey Kohl
Amy Murakami
(Massachusetts - Mar. 12)
Sarah Harding
Amy Murakami
(California - Mar. 26)

All-Around
39.675*
Amy Murakami
(Massachusetts - Feb. 12)

* - Denotes a school record

Stanford at the NCAA Championships

Year/Regionals/Finals
1998 3rd DNQ
1997 5th DNQ
1996 3rd 9th
1995 3rd DNQ
1994 7th DNQ
1993 3rd DNQ
1992 4th 10th*

DNQ - Did Not Qualify
* - 1992 marked Stanford's first appearance
at the NCAA Championships Final 12.

Individual Titles Acheived This Year

Jen Exaltacion
at UC Davis (Jan. 10).............      ............Beam (9.750)
at California (Jan. 22).................    ........Bars (9.800)
....................................................Beam (9.875)
Oregon State (Jan. 29)      ........................Beam (9.850)
Arizona State (Feb. 19)...........      ............Vault (9.825)
................................................    Beam (9.975)
at Arizona (Feb. 26)    ............................Vault (9.775)
Massachusetts (Mar. 12)........ ............        Beam (9.925)
California (Mar. 26)    ........................... Beam (9.925)
    ................................................Vault (9.850)
Larissa Fontaine
at UC Davis (Jan. 10)       ........................Vault (9.700)
    ................................................Bars (9.775)
at California (Jan. 22)     ........................Vault (9.925)
    ................................................Floor (9.750)

Sarah Harding Oregon State (Jan. 29) ........................Floor (9.925) at Arizona (Feb. 26) ............................Floor (9.875) California (Mar. 26) .......................... Floor (10.000) Katy Herbert at UC Davis (Jan. 10) ........................A-A (37.925) ...................................Beam (9.750) at California (Jan. 22) ........................A-A (38.500) at Arizona (Feb. 26).......... ................. Beam (9.875) at NCAA Regionals (Apr. 10)........... Beam (9.875)

Tracey Kohl at UC Davis (Jan. 10)........... ............. ..Floor (9.775) at California (Jan. 22) ....................... ..Floor (9.750) Massachusetts (Mar. 12) ................... Floor (10.000)

Amy Murakami Oregon State (Jan. 29) ..........................Bars (9.975) .................................................Beam (9.850) UCLA & Penn State (Feb. 5) ............... Bars (9.950) at Washington (Feb. 12) ....................... Bars (9.850) Arizona State (Feb. 19) ...................... A-A (39.275) ................................................ Bars (9.900) ........................ ...........................Floor (9.925) Massachusetts (Mar. 12)........... ......... Bars (10.000) ....................................................Floor (10.000) ............................................... ....A-A (39.675) California (Mar. 26) .......................... .Vault (9.850) ................................................Bars (10.000) ....................................................Floor (10.000)

Jenny Wilson at Utah (Jan. 15) ................................Vault (9.825) Oregon State (Jan. 29) ........................A-A (38.875) ................................................Vault (9.800) at Washington (Feb. 12) .....................Vault (9.825) Massachusetts (Mar. 12).......... ...........Vault (9.850) California (Mar. 26) ........................... A-A (39.500)


#gostanford



advertisement

Cardinal AXEcess

Cardinal AXEcess
FRESH FROM THE FARM
#GoStanford Student-Athlete of the Week
#gostanfod