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Ishino, Alexander Lead Stanford Road Sweep
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 01/16/2009

Score Sheet in PDF Format Jan. 16, 2009

SEATTLE - Sophomore Shelley Alexander continued her emergence as one of Stanford's most promising young gymnasts by scoring a personal best on the vault during a quad-meet sweep Friday.

Alexander and teammate Allyse Ishino (uneven bars) each scored 9.9's to tie for the team's top scoring honors and help Stanford compile 196.45 points. Washington (194.25) was next, followed by Sacramento State (193.55) and Seattle Pacific (188.425), at University of Washington's Bank of America Arena.

Stanford, ranked No. 7 in the nation, improved to 6-0 and improved upon its 195.6 score from the season-opening Cancun Classic on Jan. 2. In each meet, Alexander was a revelation, a description she is quickly outgrowing. She competed solely in the vault last season with a best of 9.85, but shone in her first collegiate all-around in Cancun and then improved upon her all-time best vault in Seattle, finishing second only to Ashley Houghting's 9.95 for Washington.

"Shelley is a shining star," Stanford coach Kristen Smyth said. "She really has the ability to light up an arena wherever she goes. She has so much joy and confidence."

Ishino led a strong bars performance that produced a first-rotation team score of 49.325, giving Stanford a lead it would not relinquish. The score, which also included freshman Nicole Pechanec's collegiate high of 9.875, was the best of the meet for any team in any event. Stanford finished with the high team scores in every event.

In the second rotation, Stanford scored 9.75 or above on all six balance beam performances, led by Carly Janiga and Nicole Ourada, who tied for first with 9.875's. It was the season debut for Ourada, a five-time All-American, who rested a sore shoulder in Cancun.

"We started off really well on the bars and beam," Smyth said. "We were really aggressive. I liked the way we attacked."

Stanford approached each event with a particular goal. For example, hit more handstands on the bars, get bigger leaps on the beam and control the landings on floor exercise tumbling passes.

Stanford was largely successful in reaching those goals, a noteworthy accomplishment this early in the season and on the road. Even so, Smyth left the arena feeling her team could do much better.

"The best part about tonight is that there is so much room for improvement," Smyth said. "There is a huge upside."

For example, all-around All-Americans Janiga and Ourada competed only in two events apiece and Kelly Fee did not compete on the beam, her specialty.

Already, Stanford (6-0) has put together two strong scores, which can only help when it comes time to determine the five it can use for its regional qualifying score. The RQS is determined by three away meets and three of the coach's choice. Of the six scores, the highest is dropped. Stanford should be a lock for one of the 36 NCAA regional qualifying berths, but is hoping to have an RQS in the top six to receive a No. 1 regional seed.

"The good news is we have some great scores in January," Smyth said. "Typically, you try to get better every weekend, and we've already started off really well. We're hoping we'll continue to improve. I'm excited about the potential of this team, because there is so much more that we can do. We just have to keep growing."

The following are the team scores, winners, and individual Stanford results:

1, Stanford 196.45; 2, Washington 194.25; 3, Sacramento State 193.55; 4, Seattle Pacific 188.425.
All-around: 1, Marina Borisova (Sac. St.) 39.175.

1, Stanford 49.025; 2, Washington 48.825; 3, Sacramento State 48.2; 4, Seattle Pacific 47.575.
Individual: 1, Ashley Houghting (UW) 9.95. Also, Shelley Alexander 9.9, Nicole Ourada 9.85, Alyssa Brown 9.8, Blair Ryland 9.8, Danielle Ikoma 9.7, Gretchen O'Henley 9.7.

Uneven Bars
1, Stanford 49.325; 2, Washington 48.65; 3, Sacramento State 48.525; 4, Seattle Pacific 46.275.
Individual: 1, Allyse Ishino (Stanford) 9.9. Also, Carly Janiga 9.875, Nicole Pechanec 9.875, Nicole Ourada 9.85, Kelly Fee 9.825, Alyssa Brown 9.775.

Balance Beam
1, Stanford 49.225; 2, Sacramento State 48.575; 3, Washington 48.3; 4, Seattle Pacific 46.95.
Individual: 1 (tie), Carly Janiga (Stanford), Nicole Ourada (Stanford), each 9.875. Also, Heather Purnell 9.85, Shelley Alexander 9.825, Allyse Ishino 9.8, Danielle Ikoma 9.75.

Floor Exercise
1, Stanford 48.875; 2, Washington 48.475; 3, Sacramento State 48.25; 4, Seattle Pacific 47.625.
Individual: 1, Ashley Houting (UW) 9.875. Also, Nicole Pechanec 9.825, Shelley Alexander 9.8, Kelly Fee 9.8, Blair Ryland 9.75, Danielle Ikoma 9.7, Tenaya West 9.1.

Records: Stanford 6-0, Washington 3-1, Sacramento State 3-2, Seattle Pacific 1-3.



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