April 24, 2008
Day 1 Blog
NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships
April 24, 2008
Stanford women's gymnastics is currently warming up in preparation for the 2008 Women's Gymnastics Championships in Athens, Ga. They are on the campus of the University of Georgia and are now only one of two Pac-10 teams (UCLA) left with Oregon State's elimination in the earlier session. The SEC teams were the theme of the afternoon session with Florida, Alabama and LSU qualifying for the "Super Six". For LSU it was their first "Super Six", Alabama qualified for the 14th, and Florida qualified for their seventh. The Cardinal are looking for their fourth trip to the "Super Six".
After a third rotation bye the Cardinal will move to bars and have Fee, Ourada, Janiga, Tricase, Yim and Pintchouk.
After an elaborate introduction of all six of the competing teams it looks like we are almost ready for to begin. The Stegeman Coliseum has a capacity just shy of 10,000, but isn't quite full, even though the event is sold out. The crowd is overwhelmingly pro-Georgia as they are competing at their home arena. Stanford was very loose during their introductions and looked very comfortable in their surroundings as they opened the 2006 season in this very building.
With most teams milling around waiting for the event to begin, Stanford women's gymnastics gave the crowd a dance performance of "Twist and Shout" as it was played on the arena speakers. The performance even extended to assistant coach Mike Lorenzen. It is very evident that the Cardinal is very loose as we are minutes away from the start of competition.
The first rotation is just completed and the Cardinal finished the floor with an unofficial score of 49.175. The Cardinal was paced by sophomore Carly Janiga, who scored a 9.875 in her routine and senior Tabitha Yim, who finished with a 9.850. All the Stanford competitors received a 9.800 or better. Stanford is now moving to vault for the second rotation and the arena has gotten a lot quieter with Georgia on a bye. UCLA has taken the extremely early lead after finishing with a 49.475 in their bars rotation.
The Cardinal finished their second rotation on vault and every competitor still has gotten a 9.800 or above. Stanford was paced by three 9.850's in the vault competition by senior Liz Tricase, Yim and junior Nicole Ourada. The Cardinal now has an unofficial team score of 98.375 through their first two rotations after scoring a 49.200 on vault. The Cardinal will now have a bye in the third rotation and will head to bars when they resume competition in the fourth rotation.
Each team has now completed two rotations and the Cardinal sit in second place with a team score of 98.375. Georgia is in first after scoring a 49.400 on their floor rotation and own a 98.750 team score. Utah is right behind Stanford in third place with a team score of 98.350 and UCLA finds itself in fourth place with a team score of 98.275. Michigan and Denver round out the top six as we have reached the halfway point in the competition. The Cardinal is waiting by the uneven bars as they finish out the individual competitors in the third rotation. Kelly Fee will be leading the Cardinal off in the fourth rotation.
The Cardinal came through in a big way in the uneven bar routine with a team score of 49.325. After they struggled in the event at Regional's in Baton Rouge, Stanford stepped up and produced their second highest score on bars all season long. It came right when the team needed it as well as this has become a pretty intense four-team race for three "Super Six" spots. Tricase and Yim scored 9.900's in their routines and Ourada was right behind with a 9.875. Fee set the tone in the rotation with a 9.850 when she led off in the event. The Cardinal now sit with a team score of 147.700 through three of their four events.
Stanford has moved to beam, but UCLA finished their floor routine and have at team score of 147.475. This places them over two-tenths behind the Cardinal. Georgia currently has a team score of 148.125 and has a four-tenths lead over Stanford for the overall lead. Utah is the other strong contender in the field and has only completed two events. They are currently on the floor exercise.
The Cardinal has now completed all four of their events and finished with a team score of 196.900. That places them ahead of UCLA, who finished with a team score of 196.725. Michigan and Utah currently have team scores of 147.425 and 147.550 respectively with one more rotation each. Stanford hit 23 of 24 routines on the evening and has put them in prime position as they observe this final rotation. Yim and Ourada both paced the Cardinal with 9.900 and 9.875 respectively on beam. Senior Lauren Elmore also stepped up big and led the Cardinal off with a 9.800.
Utah put together a 49.400 on vault to edge past Stanford to claim second place in the competition with a 196.950 team score. Michigan was only able to score a 48.650 to finish fourth in the meet. This means that Stanford has finished in third place and has qualified for the fourth "Super Six" in the program's history. This is also the first back-to-back "Super Six" in the program's history.
Stay tuned to www.gostanford.com for lots more coverage on Stanford qualifying for their fourth "Super Six".