March 24, 2010
STANFORD, Calif. -
The No. 6 Stanford women's gymnastics team seeks to regain the Pacific-10 Conference title it has won three times since 2004 and five times since 1998. The Cardinal is expected to be involved in a close battle with No. 3 UCLA and No. 7 Oregon State for the championships. The three have finished as the conference's top three teams each of the past four years. Overall, five Pac-10 teams -- including No. 21 Washington and No. 23 Arizona -- are ranked among the nation's Top 25.
Follow the Meet
There will be live stats from McKale Pavilion in Tucson, Ariz., on gostanford.com, and pac-10.org. Look for the "Live Stats" link on the Schedule of Events on the gostanford.com main page, or on the women's gymnastics schedule page. The meet will be televised on tape delay by Fox Sports Net, and aired on a date to be determined after March 29.
At this point of the season, with the dual meets concluded and with the team heading into the conference championships, no Stanford squad has had a better record than the 14-2 mark of this year's team. The .875 winning percentage edges last year's .867 (13-2) and the .833 (10-2) mark of 2007. Stanford has beaten its past 11 opponents over a span of six meets and has a 4-2 record this season against teams in the current Top 25.
Stanford senior Carly Janiga won three events in last year's Pac-10 Championships at Stanford: the all-around (39.575), balance beam for the second consecutive season (9.95 in 2009 and 2008) and tied for first on the uneven bars (9.90). The six-time All-American and 2009 NCAA uneven bars runner-up has competing in every event in every meet and has the team's highest score in every event -- all 9.95s. Her 9.880 on bars is Stanford's highest average in any event.
Stanford's Top Individual Contenders
• Shelley Alexander: The junior tri-captain has rolled off five scores of 9.90 or higher in the vault, an event in which she missed first-team All-America honors by one place at the 2009 NCAA meet.
• Allyse Ishino: The 2009 NCAA South Central Regional bars champion is in the midst of her best season after being hampered by health and injury issues her first two years, before beginning to round back into shape in 2009.
• Carly Janiga: Defending conference champion in all-around, beam and bars is a threat to win any event, with season-bests of 9.95 in each.
• Ashley Morgan: The freshman has an average score of 9.869 in the floor exercise, the team's highest in that event.
• Nicole Pechanec: The sophomore and former Czech international competitor has emerged with elegant routine in the floor, scoring 9.90 or higher four times during a stretch of six meets.
Stanford's Carly Janiga is among four Pac-10 gymnasts ranked among the nation's leaders in the all-around. Defending champion Janiga is No. 8, UCLA's Vanessa Zamarripa is No. 3 and fellow Bruin Anna Li is No. 10, and Oregon State's Mandi Rodriguez is No. 13. Stanford has won the all-around the past two years and four times in the past six.
Stanford vs. UCLA
Stanford and UCLA have alternated Pac-10 Championships each year since 2004. The Cardinal has won in every even year in that span. Combined, Stanford and UCLA have won every Pac-10 title since 1997. This year, Stanford beat the Bruins on both ends of a home-and-home series: 196.425-195.825 at Stanford on Jan. 24, and 195.975-195.625 in Westwood on Feb. 14. Stanford's Carly Janiga highlighted the first meet, before a standing-room only crowd of 1,500 at Burnham Pavilion against the then-No. 1 Bruins, with 9.95s on the bars and floor. The Cardinal closed the meet with four consecutive scores of 9.9 on the floor. Since 2007, Stanford is 7-5 against UCLA.
Stanford vs. Oregon State
Stanford was edged by Oregon State in their only meeting this year, 196.225-195.775 in Corvallis on Jan. 29. The Cardinal has gone on to beat 11 consecutive opponents since then and moved ahead of the Beavers in the national rankings, No. 6 to No. 7. Stanford has a 6-5 series edge since 2007.
Stanford vs. the Rest of the Pac-10
Stanford is 7-1 against conference opponents this year, and 5-0 against teams other than UCLA and Oregon State. On Jan. 17, Stanford beat visiting Arizona, 196.025-194.675; on Feb. 7, Stanford beat visiting Washington, 196.650-194.075; on Feb. 19, Stanford best host Arizona State, 196.675-195.900; on Feb. 28, Stanford beat visiting Cal, 196.525-188.825; and on March 5, Stanford beat Cal in San Jose, 196.800-190.775.
Since the 2006 season, Stanford is 37-0 against Pac-10 teams other than UCLA and Oregon State. The last time the Cardinal lost to a different conference team was March 26, 2005, when Arizona was second and Stanford fourth in the Pac-10 Championships in Berkeley.
Next for Stanford: NCAA Regionals
Stanford will be among 36 teams nationwide to advance to the NCAA regionals April 10. Teams advance through their Regional Qualifying Score. The six regional sites are: Lexington, Ky.; Salt Lake City, Utah; University Park, Pa.; Columbia, Mo.; Morgantown, W.Va.; and Los Angeles (Pauley Pavilion). Six teams will compete at each site. The top two advance to the NCAA Championthips, to be held April 22-24 in Gainesville, Fla. Stanford has reached the NCAA Championships seven times in the past nine years.
National Team Rankings
Here is the national Top 20 rankings from GymInfo, based on RQS scores:
1, Alabama 197.195; 2, Oklahoma 197.100; 3, UCLA 196.900; 4, Florida 196.850; 5, Georgia 196.690; 6, Stanford 196.575; 7, Oregon State 196.545; 8, Arkansas 196.510; 9, Michigan 196.425; 10, LSU 196.415.
11, Utah 196.405; 12, Nebraska 196.265; 13, Illinois 196.255; 14, Missouri 196.005; 15, Auburn 195.975; 16, Iowa State 195.890; 17, Penn State 195.750; 18, Kentucky 195.600; 19, Boise State 195.505; 20, Denver 195.395; 21, Washington 195.380; 22, Southern Utah 195.345; 23, Arizona 195.320; 24, Central Michigan 195.110; 25, Michigan State 194.950.
Regional Qualifying Scores
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, according to Regional Qualifying Scores:
All-around: 8th, Carly Janiga, 39.465
Bars: 7th, Carly Janiga, 9.90; 13th, Allyse Ishino, 9.890
Beam: 13th, Carly Janiga, 9.880
Floor: 16th, Nicole Pechanec, 9.90 20th, Carly Janiga, 9.895 24th, Ashley Morgan, 9.885