Jan. 29, 2010
CORVALLIS, Ore. -
Fresh off a victory over then-No. 1 UCLA on Sunday, No. 5 Stanford takes on another Pacific-10 Conference power when the Cardinal travels to Corvallis, Ore., to face No. 6 Oregon State (5-0), as well as Seattle Pacific (0-3), the No. 3-ranked team in Division II. Stanford (2-1) and Oregon State have both reached the NCAA Championships the past three years and, along with UCLA, are the perennial frontrunners in the conference.
Follow the Meet
Live stats and a live webcast are available. The free live stats can be found at gostanford.com. The live stats can be found on women’s gymnastics schedule page, by clicking on the event, and then the “live stats” link. The premium webcast can be found at osubeavers.com. Look for the “watch” link.
This Week: Oregon State
The Beavers are coming off a 195.700-192.800 victory at home over Washington. Freshman Makayla Stambaugh scored 39.500, the fifth-highest all-around score for a freshman in Oregon State history. Stambaugh, a Californian, and senior Mandi Rodriguez, last year’s Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year, combine to give the Beavers a formidable and versatile duo. Rodriguez, the runner-up to Stanford’s Carly Janiga in the 2009 Pac-10 all-around, earned first-team All-America honors in the balance beam and floor exercise last year.
The Oregon State Series
The teams faced each other three times in 2009, with Stanford winning their first two meetings -- at the season-opening Cancun Classic and in a tri-meet at Maples Pavilion on Feb. 15. Oregon State countered by finishing second at the Pac-10 Championships at Stanford, with the Cardinal third and UCLA first. In 10 meetings over the past four years, Stanford has won six meetings.
This Week: Seattle Pacific
Seattle Pacific is an NCAA Division II member that competes alongside some Division I and II foes for the USA Gymnastics (USAG) Collegiate championship. The Falcons entire regular-season schedule is comprised of NCAA Division I opposition. The team is 0-3 after taking on UC Davis twice and Sacramento State. The Falcons are in the midst of eight consecutive meets on the road.
Stanford used a flurry of high-scoring efforts to upset No. 1 UCLA, 196.425-195.825, before a standing-room only crowd of 1,503 at Burnham Pavilion on Sunday. Carly Janiga won two events, established one career high and tied another, to lift the Cardinal in a duel between schools that have won the past 13 Pacific-10 Conference team titles. Stanford finished off the meet with four consecutive scores of 9.9 or better. In all, Stanford had eight 9.9 performances – compared with one over its first two meets – to tally team season highs on bars (49.325), floor (49.575) and overall points.
No. 1 vs. No. 2 on the Floor
Stanford and Oregon State and ranked 1-2 in the nation in floor exercise. Stanford is averaging 49.142 for three meets, with Oregon State second at 49.133. Stanford’s averaged jumped because of its performance against UCLA when it recorded its season best team score in any event, a 49.575. The total exceeded its event-best scores of the past two years. The lineup that pulled it off: Carly Janiga (9.95), Nicole Pechanec (9.95), Ashley Morgan (9.925), Shelley Alexander (9.90), Tenaya West (9.85), and Blair Ryland (9.75).
Stanford in the National Rankings
Stanford opened the season ranked No. 7 in the GymInfo coaches’ poll. However, all subsequent rankings during the season are empirical, based on average team scores. Therefore, Stanford’s scores in its first two meets became the team’s new determining factor in the rankings.
The following are the leaders in the current rankings:
1, Alabama 196.458; 2, Oklahoma 196.400; 3, Utah 195.992; 4, Florida 195.967; 5, Stanford 195.833; 6, Oregon State 195.817; 7, UCLA 195.744; 8, Georgia 195.717. 9, Nebraska 195.642; 10, Arkansas 195.608; 11, Missouri 195.583; 12, Kentucky 195.187; 13, LSU 195.125; 14, Iowa State 194.883; 15, Auburn 194.808.
Stanford and the Pac-10
The Pac-10 is the only conference in the country to have three school ranked among the top seven, with No. 5 Stanford, No. 6 Oregon State and No. 7 UCLA. In all, five conference teams are ranked among the GymInfo Top 25, including No. 20 Arizona and No. 24 Washington.
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. 15, teams and gymnasts will be 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.
Team Scores in Rankings
In every event, Stanford is among the national top 20 in average score. Here is how the Cardinal ranks, and its season averages:
Overall: 5th, 195.833
Vault: 3rd, 49.150
Bars: 5th, 49.033
Beam: 17th, 48.508
Floor: 1st, 49.142
Individual Scores in Rankings
Here is how Cardinal individuals rank among the nation’s top 25, with their season averages:
All-around: 2nd, Carly Janiga, 39.392
Vault: 13th, Shelley Alexander 9.867; Ashley Morgan, 9.850
Bars: 6th, Carly Janiga, 9.875
Floor: 8th, Carly Janiga, 9.892; 17th, Ashley Morgan, 9.867
All-America Carly Janiga
Senior captain Carly Janiga entered the season with six All-America honors, including four first-team selections. Janiga was the 2009 NCAA uneven bars runner-up with a score of 9.9125, giving Stanford its highest NCAA individual finish since 2001. She also earned second-team All-America honors in the all-around. In fact, Janiga won both the Pac-10 and NCAA South Central Regional all-around titles last season and is expected to be a contender for the 2010 NCAA crown. Janiga also is a three-time Scholastic All-American and is among nine gymnasts at Stanford since 2000 to double as an All-American athletically and academically.
Head Coach Kristen Smyth
Since Kristen Smyth, the reigning Pac-10 and Regional Coach of the Year, arrived as head coach in 2002, the Stanford women’s gymnastics team has had unprecedented success. Numbers tell much of the story:
• Of Stanford’s 81 All-America honors, 60 have come in Smyth’s tenure.
• There have been 56 Scholastic All-American honors in that span.
• Of Stanford seven NCAA top-10 finishes, Smyth has coached the team to six of them.