Feb. 3, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. -
The Stanford women’s gymnastics team has been unstoppable over the first three meets of the season and hopes to continue its progress when the Cardinal takes on San Jose State on Saturday at Burnham Pavilion at 4 p.m. Stanford is ranked No. 2 in the country after winning the Pac-10 Showcase, beating defending NCAA champion UCLA in a dual meet, and beating current No. 3 Utah in the final rotation before 13,835 on the road last week. San Jose State arrives with one of the most dynamic performers in the West, junior Thomasina Wallace, already a two-time Western Athletic Conference Gymnast of the Week this season.
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With no room for failure and the meet in the balance, Danielle Ikoma nailed her balance beam routine to give No. 2 Stanford a pressure-packed 196.825-196.500 victory over then-No. 4 Utah at the Huntsman Center on Jan. 28. With the teams deadlocked going into the final rotation - the beam for Stanford and the floor exercise for Utah -- Stanford suffered a blow when its third gymnast fell. Because five of the six scores count, the Cardinal could not afford another miss. Instead, Ashley Morgan followed with a 9.90, and Shelley Alexander scored a 9.80. That left the meet up to Ikoma. A fall would doom Stanford, a clean routine would win it. Ikoma stayed focused and aggressive and tied her career-best with a 9.875 to ensure the victory.
Saturday’s Opponent: San Jose State
The Spartans come into Saturday’s meet with a 6-1 record after scoring a season-best 194.700 to win a tri-meet against Utah State and Wisconsin-Eau Claire on Jan. 21, and 193.425 to win a dual with Sacramento State last week. Thomasina Wallace won three events and the all-around. She recorded the top score of the night as she won the floor with a career-best 9.925, the first time since the 2004 season that a Spartan gymnast scored a 9.925 or higher. Wallace missed the postseason because of injury last year, but advanced to the NCAA Championships in 2009 on bars, becoming one of only three Spartans to ever advance that far.
The San Jose State Series
In 2009, San Jose State stunned Stanford with a victory in a tri-meet in Davis, handing Stanford its first loss of the season after a 12-0 start. It was San Jose State’s first victory in the series since 2005. However, the Cardinal reversed that result by beating San Jose State twice in 2010 -- first in a quad meet at Burnham Pavilion (SJSU was fourth) and later in a tri-meet at Spartan Gym (SJSU was second). Tenth-year coach Wayne Wright was an assistant coach at Stanford from 1997-2001 under Lisa Izzi and Mark Cook. Wright helped coach the Cardinal to its first Pac-10 titles, in 1998 and 2001, and to its first regional championship, in 1999.
Best Start Ever
After three meets, Stanford has an average team score of 196.550, higher at this stage than any year in team history. Over the past 15 years -- an era encompassing the best teams in school history -- here are Stanford’s best three-meet averages, followed by their achievements that season:
1. 2011: 196.550 (8-0 start and No. 2 ranking)
2. 2004: 196.333 (Pac-10 chanps, NCAA third place)
3. 2009: 196.275 (NCAA eighth place)
4. 2007: 196.233 (Regional champ, NCAA fifth place)
5. 2010: 195.833 (NCAA fourth place)
6. 2003: 195.625 (NCAA eighth place)
7. 2001: 195.342 (Pac-10 champs, NCAA eighth place)
8. 2008: 195.258 (Pac-10 champs; NCAA third place)
Vault: Ikoma, Dayton, Ishino, A. Morgan, Alexander, Brown
Bars: Alexander, Ikoma, Pechanec, Vaculik, Ishino, Brown
Beam: Brown, Ishino, Vaculik, A. Morgan, Alexander, Ikoma
Floor: Ikoma, Dayton, Ishino, Pechanec, Alexander, A. Morgan
Ishino Earns Pac-10 Weekly Honor
Stanford’s Allyse Ishino was named Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week for her performance in the Cardinal’s dual-meet victory at Utah Jan. 28. Ishino, a fifth-year senior out of Santa Ana, Calif., won the uneven bars and balance beam with 9.90 scores on the way to capturing the all-around victory with a collegiate career high of 39.475.
The Cardinal has four team captains -- fifth-year senior Allyse Ishino, fourth-year seniors Shelley Alexander and Danielle Ikoma, and junior Alyssa Brown. The three seniors all competed in the all-around against Utah on Jan. 28 and each scored at least 39.125. Ishino’s 39.475 was a career best.
The Burnham Advantage
Stanford is 43-1-1 at Burnham Pavilion since Jan. 16, 1998. The only blemishes were a season-opening loss to eventual national champion Georgia in 2008 and a tie with UCLA in 2003. This is Stanford’s final meet at Burnham this season. After beating defending national champion UCLA on Jan. 23 at Burnham, Stanford extended its winning streak to 10 at the venue, which was originally built in 1921, and renovated in 1989.
Stanford in the National Rankings
Stanford opened the season ranked No. 6 in the GymInfo coaches’ poll, but has moved up to No. 2. All rankings are based on average team scores. The following is the current Top 10:
1, Florida 196.906; 2, Stanford 196.550; 3, Utah 196.075; 4, Georgia 196.060; 5, Oklahoma 195.860; 6, Alabama 195.850; 7, Oregon State 195.595; 8, UCLA 195.430; 9, Michigan 195.344; 10, Nebraska 195.188.
All-Around: 6th, Allyse Ishino, 39.475
10th, Shelley Alexander, 39.292
Vault: 16th, Shelley Alexander, 9.858
16th, Alyssa Brown, 9.858
Bars: 5th, Allyse Ishino, 9.892
7th, Alyssa Brown, 9.875
Beam: 2nd, Ashley Morgan, 9.867
10th, Shelley Alexander, 9.842
14th, Danielle Ikoma, 9.833
17th, Alyssa Brown, 9.825
Floor: 1st, Ashley Morgan, 9.925
13th, Allyse Ishino, 9.858