Jan. 7, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. - Coming off a fourth-place national finish and three NCAA Super Six appearances in four years, the Stanford women's gymnastics team opens the 2011 season on Sunday at the inaugural Pac-10 Showcase at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion at 2 p.m. The event features all seven conference programs, six of which are ranked in the national preseason Top 25. Stanford and UCLA have combined to win the past 14 conference titles and, along with Oregon State, are regarded as the top teams. Stanford returns eight gymnasts from a team that went 19-3 in 2010, the best dual-meet record in school history.
Follow the Action
The meet will be televised and shown on a tape-delayed basis by Fox Sports Net. Comcast Sports Net Bay Area will air the meet on Saturday, Jan. 15, from 3:30-5 p.m. Links to live stats and audio can be found at gostanford.com.
The 2011 Cardinal
Stanford has reached the NCAA Championships eight of the past 10 years and has six NCAA Super Six appearances since 2002. With this in mind, Stanford expects to contend for conference and national championships. The Cardinal returns eight letterwinners, including two-time 2010 NCAA regional champion Shelley Alexander and all-conference performers Alyssa Brown, Allyse Ishino, Ashley Morgan, and Nicole Pechanec. The Cardinal loses first-team All-Americans Carly Janiga and Blair Ryland to graduation. They extended Stanford's streak of All-Americans to 15 consecutive seasons. Janiga three top-three NCAA finishes last year, including an uneven bars title, has added to a legacy in which Stanford individuals have finished among the top-three 11 times in the past decade, and 13 times overall.
The Cardinal welcomes a five-member freshman class that includes reigning Canadian all-around champion Kristina Vaculik and 2008 Australian Olympian Shona Morgan. Vaculik, along with teammate Nicole Pechanec of the Czech Republic, competed in October's world championships in Rotterdam. Vaculik won four national titles in 2010, including the beam, bars, and vault, as well as the all-around, and has an eye toward competing in the 2012 London Olympics.
Stanford's Rotation Schedule
Stanford's rotation order on Sunday will be: vault, bye, uneven bars, balance beam, bye, floor exercise, bye.
This is Stanford's expected lineup for Sunday's Pac-10 Showcase:
Vault: Danielle Ikoma, Nicole Dayton, Shelley Alexander, Alyssa Brown, Ashley Morgan, Allyse Ishino.
Bars: Shelley Alexander, Danielle Ikoma, Nicole Pechanec, Kristina Vaculik, Allyse Ishino, Alyssa Brown.
Beam: Alyssa Brown, Danielle Ikoma, Allyse Ishino, Kristina Vaculik, Ashley Morgan, Shelley Alexander.
Floor: Danielle Ikoma, Allyse Ishino, Nicole Pechanec, Shelley Alexander, Ashley Morgan, Kristina Vaculik.
No. 1 UCLA: The defending NCAA champions lost reigning Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year and NCAA vault champion Vanessa Zamarripa to a season-ending injury in practice recently, but returns four other All-Americans, including NCAA floor champ Brittani McCullough. UCLA brings in 2008 Olympic team silver medalist Samantha Peszek.
No. 8 Oregon State: The Beavers have reached the NCAA Championships the past five years and are led by 2010 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Makayla Stambaugh.
No. 19 Arizona: The Wildcats finished one place from an NCAA Championships berth, and return first-team All-Pac-10 performers Deanna Graham, Molly Quirk and Aubree Cristello.
No. 21 Washington: Kristen Linton and Samantha Walior tied for an NCAA regional title on floor last season.
No. 25 Arizona State: First-team vault All-American Mary Atkinson and 2009 first-team All-Pac-10 all-arounder Beaté Jones lead the Sun Devils.
Unranked California: The Golden Bears are in the final season of the sports, which will be cut after the season because of costs.
Stanford opens its season Jan. 9 at the Pac-10 Showcase in Los Angeles, and opens its home season Jan. 23 against UCLA at Burnham Pavilion. Stanford faces two top-five teams, five top-10 teams, and nine ranked teams altogether. Stanford competes against No. 1 UCLA four times and is at No. 5 Utah in a Jan. 28 dual meet. Another highlight is a Feb. 13 tri-meet against No. 9 Michigan and No. 10 Nebraska in Ann Arbor, Mich.