April 3, 2006
Stanford, Ca - This has been a very special season for the nationally-ranked Stanford women's gymnastics team.
Stanford has chalked up an 18-3 record, recently won the Pac-10 title for the third time in the last five years, defeated UCLA in a dual meet for the first time in school history, has tallied a 5-1 mark in the Pac-10 and is ranked eighth in the nation. Several Cardinal athletes are ranked high in their events nationally which has made for a memorable season for the 13-woman team.
Aimee Precourt, a sophomore from Pasadena, Texas, has been a valuable member of the team for the past two years, and has been impressed with the work ethic of the Cardinal in 2006.
"This team is special for a number of reasons, but one sticks out in my mind," said Precourt. "All 13 of us are very different, with various strengths and weaknesses, both in personalities and gymnastically. This adds to our depth and dynamics as a team. However, despite those differences, we still have amazing team chemistry. We are united in our goals, focused on where we are headed; where we want to be on the last day of the year. Since day one of this year, not one person has been told to work harder. We are all passionate about this team and put every ounce of ourselves into working hard and making ourselves better. No one has to worry about holding someone else accountable because we all care that much. Some say the fact that we are young is a disadvantage...I say it doesn't matter. Our hearts are in this, the work has been done, and we have as much urgency as a team of seniors."
At the start of the 2006 season, team members focused on their numerous team goals.
"We made progression goals outlining where we wanted to be a the end of each of our training cycles as far as hits, landings, etc per meet," said Precourt. "We also made goals for rankings and of course, the all encompassing goal of being the 2006 NCAA Champions."
Nine of the 13 members on this year's team are either freshman or sophomores. With the team's success thus far in 2006, Precourt (a sophomore) sees a very bright future for Stanford now and in the years ahead.
"In my eyes, the future of this team looks bright," said Precourt, who has competed on Beam and Floor Exercise this year. "It is going to be extremely hard to lose the seniors (to graduation). I was honored to have been with them for two years and will miss their dedication and leadership. But the recruits we have coming in the next few years will be great adds to the team. Our talent and numbers will increase and as long as we keep the passion, fire, and enjoyment alive, I see great things ahead."
Stanford will host the NCAA West Regional on Saturday, April 8, at Maples Pavilion. The meet will start at 6:00 p.m. and will feature #5 Alabama, #8 Stanford, #16 Oregon State, San Jose State, Sacramento State and Boise State. The top two teams and the top two all-around competitors (who are not on advancing team) will receive an automatic berth to the NCAA Championship at Oregon State (April 20-22).
Tickets are now on sale for the NCAA West Regional at Stanford University. Reserved tickets are $10, and general admission tickets are $8 (adult) and $6 (student/child/senior). Groups of 20 or more can purchase general admission tickets for $3 each (pre-sale only). The first 150 college students with a student ID card will be admitted FREE. For addition information, call 800-STANFORD or go to www.gostanford.com.
"It is so hard to describe what it is like to compete at home," said Precourt. "My favorite memory from my freshman year is the first meet in Burnham with all of our friends and classmates there to watch (something I never experienced in high school). Having that type of support for a championship meet will be incredible and I can't even imagine what it's going to feel like. All I know is I want to take every moment in because it is going to be the experience of a lifetime."