April 6, 2002
DENVER, Colo. - No. 10 Stanford women's gymnastics captured its first NCAA Regional Championship since 1999 on Saturday evening in Denver, Colo., notching a 196.125 overall team score to finish in a first-place tie with No. 3 Georgia at the North Central Regional Championships. Both squads receive automatic berths to the 2002 NCAA Championship in Tuscaloosa, Ala., scheduled for April 18-20.
Stanford and Georgia each recorded a 196.125 to lead the field of six schools, which competed in front of 3,479 fans at the Magness Arena on the campus of the University of Denver. The host No. 14 Pioneers took third at 196.000, followed by No. 23 Missouri in fourth at 195.000, Air Force in fifth place with a 193.775 and Utah State taking sixth at 193.400.
The Cardinal, which will be returning to the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive season, finished with the highest team score on bars (49.325), and tied for first on vault with a 49.075.
Sophomore Lindsay Wing (Cypress, Texas) finished in a first place tie with Missouri's Alisha Robinson in the All-Around with a season-best 39.500, the second NCAA Regional All-Around Championship of her career. Wing and sophomore Lise Leveille (Burnaby, British Columbia) were co-champions on balance beam, pacing the field with a 9.900. Sophomore Caroline Fluhrer (Seattle, Wash,), participating in her first meet since Feb. 10 due to injury, took first place honors on bars with a 9.925.
Stanford began the evening on floor following the first of two byes, netting a 49.300 to finish second overall on the event. Leveille posted the top Cardinal score with a team season-high 9.925 to tie for third overall, while Fluhrer and Wing tied for eighth place at 9.875. Seniors Katy Herbert (Chandler Heights, Ariz.) and Becky Meldrum (Mertztown, Pa.) earned scores of 9.825 and 9.800, respectively, and freshman Mandy Delgado (Cupertino, Calif.) checked in at 9.775.
In the third rotation, the Cardinal recorded a 49.075 on vault to tie with Georgia for first place honors. Four gymnasts tallied scores of 9.825 to place sixth- Herbert, Wing, Kendall Beck (San Antonio, Texas) and Shelly Goldberg (Mequon, Wisc.), while Delgado pulled a 9.775 and Alissa Cooper (Silver Spring, Md.) netted a 9.750.
After its second bye, Stanford moved to bars and started to distance itself from the rest of the field. Fluhrer turned in an impressive performance in her first competition in almost two months, garnering a 9.925 to lead all competitors. Wing posted a runner-up finish in the event with a 9.900, while Herbert and Abby Gair (Manitou Springs, Colo.) came in seventh at 9.850. Seniors Meldrum and Kristin Jensen (Easton, Pa.) were awarded bar scores of 9.800.
The Cardinal struggled somewhat as a team on balance beam, which has been one of the stronger events for the team this season, yet still managed to finish third and capture co-first place honors in the meet. Leveille and Wing joined Georgia gymnasts Cory Fritzinger and Sierra Sapunar in a four-way first place tie on the event, earning a 9.900. However, the next highest Cardinal score was a 9.675, achieved by Beck. Meldrum earned a 9.625, followed by Herbert at 9.325 and Delgado at 9.025.
Herbert was the only other Cardinal gymnast to compete in all four events, collecting a 38.825 All-Around score. The senior has now competed in the All-Around on six different occasions in 2002.
When it was all said and done, the Cardinal had secured a berth in the 2002 NCAA Championships and will attempt to improve on last season's eighth-place overall finish in Athens, Ga.