Oct. 23, 2010
ROTTERDAM, Netherland - Stanford freshman Kristina Vaculik took a step toward the 2012 Olympics by helping her Canadian team to 13th place at the World Gymnastics Championships, which conclude Sunday.
Both Vaculik and Stanford teammate Nicole Pechanec competed at the worlds during the women's team qualifying round on Oct. 17, with Pechanec's Czech Republic team finishing 30th.
The top 24 teams advanced to the 2011 World Championships next October in Tokyo where the top eight will qualify for the 2012 London Olympic Games. The final four berths will be awarded at a tournament in early 2012.
Vaculik was plagued by a wrist injury and flu-like symptoms and finished 30th in all-around qualifying competition, scoring 54.065 points and finished two spots from reaching the finals.
Vaculik's scores were 13.666 in the vault, 12.900 in the bars, 14.066 on the beam, and 13.433 on the floor.
Eight teams qualified for the finals, leaving Canada (212.477 points) five away as a team. Besides Vaculik's ailments, a teammate hyperextended her knee during podium training.
"I think our team did amazing considering the things we had to deal with," said Vaculik, the 2010 Canadian all-around champion, to gymcan.org.
Pechanec, a Stanford junior competing under the name of Nicole Pechancova, was the second finisher for the Czech team, which finished 30th, scoring 181.428 points.
Pechanec placed 102nd overall of 218 competitors. Her event scores were 13.166 on the vault, 8.800 on the bars, 12.866 on the beam, and 13.000 on the floor. Her beam and floor scores led her team.
Stanford opens its season Jan. 9 at the Pac-10 Preview in Los Angeles, and takes on defending NCAA champion UCLA in the Cardinal's home opener Jan. 23 at Burnham Pavilion.