May 31, 2007
Stanford, CA - The No. 5 Stanford women's gymnastics team (SWG) just completed their second best season in school history and announced the addition of three outstanding student-athletes to their future roster. Danielle Ikoma, a multi-time Junior Olympic National Champion and National Team member, committed to Stanford in the early signing period last November and will be joined by a group that has Head Coach Kristen Smyth very excited. Given the fact that the Card return their entire 2007 roster, including six All Americans, this group promises to add significant fuel to SWG's national championship fire in 2008.
Shelley Alexander is a strong Level 10 gymnast from San Antonio, TX and trains at USA Aerials Gymnastics under Heather Schnelzer. "Shelley Alexander is a diamond in the rough and is going to explode in college. Shelley has great potential, and is hungry to learn and improve. She is an excellent all around performer but her signature events are vault and floor, where she is explosive and exciting to watch. She competes one of the most difficult vaults in the country and will be a strong contributor on that event for us this year. We feel so fortunate to have a student-athlete with her character and work ethic joining our program," said Coach Smyth Shelley graduates this week from Seguin High School (Seguin, TX) as valedictorian.
Alyssa Brown is one of the top talents coming out of Canada. She is an elite gymnast training at Gymnastics Mississauga under Alex Bard. In 2005 she competed at the Pan Am Games and in 2006 at the Pacific Alliance meet and the Commonwealth Games. Alyssa was also a 2006 World Championship Team member, and is a strong contender for the Canadian Olympic Team in 2008. "Alyssa brings a wealth of international experience and is a rising star in Canada. Alyssa is an extremely powerful and gifted floor performer. She is equally impressive and tough on balance beam and swings bars aggressively. I believe Alyssa is someone that will challenge for top all-around honors in college," opined her future head coach. Alyssa plans to defer her Stanford matriculation until 2008.
Gretchen O'Henley is a top local talent from Berkeley, CA. She is a Level 10 gymnast and trains at Head Over Heels Gymnastics under Oleg Kosyak. Smyth is very enthusiastic about O'Henley's potential. "Gretchen is a powerful gymnast and strong on vault where I think she will make an immediate impact. I look forward to Gretchen learning in college, and contributing to SWG as she improves. Gretchen was a Northern California standout, and I am excited that she chose to attend Stanford and I am looking forward to watching her grow in our program."
"I can't say enough about these three young women and how thrilled we are to have them join our SWG family. All three have leadership abilities and the talent and desire to improve in college. They will help Stanford compete against the very best teams in the country and will join SWG in their quest for a National Championship."