June 1, 2010
KAMLOOPS, B.C., Canada - Stanford recruit Kristina Vaculik proved herself to be Canada's top gymnast as she captured the all-around title and three other events at the Canadian national championships last weekend.
Vaculik, who will arrive at Stanford in the fall before taking the 2012 collegiate season off to train for the London Olympics, has shined in domestic and international competition since returning from a career-threatening elbow injury nearly a year ago.
The Whitby, Ont., native scored 55.950 by placing among the top three in all four events during the all-around session for her second Canadian senior all-around title.
On Saturday, Vaculik followed by adding gold on the balance beam (14.200), uneven bars (14.050), and vault (14.000), giving her four of five possible championships.
"It's my last nationals before I head to university and I just want to enjoy the experience as much as possible," Vaculik said on gymcan.com. "This competition is also a step towards the 2010 world championships in the fall and I wanted to go out there and feel the confidence I've been regaining throughout the year."
After surgery on her right elbow in December, 2008, to correct a condition known as osteochondritis dissecans in which the blood supply to the area at the end of the bone is cut off, Vaculik wasn't able to resume full training until July, 2009.
She returned to competition with a big performance in December at Elite Canada where she was runner-up in the all-around and first on uneven bars and floor.
In February, she won the all around title at the Nadia Comaneci International in Oklahoma City, Okla., and dominated the Gymnix International Cup in Montreal, winning the all around and three of four event finals.
Vaculik won the uneven bars and floor exercise and was second on vault and the balance beam at the World Cup in Cottbus, Germany, in March, one of the most competitive stops on the World Cup circuit.
Vaculik is part of a four-person recruiting class coming this fall that also includes Lauren Caldemeyer (Indianapolis), Lucy Meyer (St. Paul, Minn.), and Amanda Spinner (Danville, Calif.).