April 19, 2002
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Competing in its first NCAA Super Six in school history, the 2002 Stanford women's gymnastics squad finished in sixth place at the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships on Friday night in Tuscaloosa, Ala., recording a 196.025 overall team score before 7,034 fans at Coleman Coliseum.
Stanford ended the regular season at 13-5 overall, captured first place honors at the NCAA North Central Regional Championships on Apr. 6 and took third in Thursday night's NCAA Championship Preliminary Round to advance to its first-ever Super Six in program history.
Host school Alabama was crowned 2002 national champions with a team score of 197.575, followed by Georgia at 197.250 and two-time defending champion UCLA in third at 197.150. Utah took fourth with a 196.950, Nebraska was fifth at 196.425 and Stanford in sixth at 196.025.
"I was very pleased with the team's performance tonight," said first-year head coach Kristen Smyth. "We had girls step up tonight (Marla Ranieri, Kelsey Stillinger) who hadn't competed in weeks and still were able to contribute with solid performances. Our seniors (Becky Meldrum, Katy Herbert and Kristin Jensen) have been pillars of strength for our team all season and will be greatly missed. Tonight we started out a little flat, but eventually got it together and I'm excited about the way we competed this evening."
Three Cardinal gymnasts will compete in Saturday's individual event finals at 7 p.m. CDT: sophomore Kendall Beck (San Antonio, Texas) on vault, and sophomores Lindsay Wing (Cypress, Texas) and Lise L?veill? (Burnaby, British Columbia) on balance beam. All three were awarded All-America First Team honors for placing in the top-four of their respective events in Thursday's preliminary session. L?veill? also gained Second Team All-America honors on the floor exercise.
The Cardinal improved on each routine score throughout the meet, notching a 48.925 on bars (6th overall), 49.000 on beam (5th overall), 49.025 on floor (6th overall) and 49.075 on vault (5th overall).
After receiving a bye in the first rotation, the Cardinal moved to its first event of the evening- bars. Stanford earned a 48.925 on the apparatus to begin the evening session, an improvement from the 48.650 the squad notched on Thursday night. Sophomore Caroline Fluhrer (Seattle, Wash.) led the Red and White with a 9.850 on the event, followed by Lindsay Wing (Cypress, Texas) at 9.825 and senior Becky Meldrum (Mertztown, Pa.) with a 9.800. Rounding out the group were Kristin Jensen (Easton, Pa.) at 9.775, Abby Gair (Manitou Springs, Colo.) at 9.675 and Lise L?veill? (Burnaby, British Columbia) recording a 8.975.
In the third rotation, the Cardinal chalked a 49.000 on balance beam to inch closer to the pack. L?veill? anchored the club with a 9.925 on the event, representing Stanford's best score of the evening. Wing notched a 9.825 and Meldrum came through with a 9.800. Sophomore Kendall Beck (San Antonio, Texas) chipped in with a 9.750, while senior Katy Herbert (Chandler Heights, Ariz.) posted a 9.700. Freshman Mandy Delgado (Cupertino, Calif.) tallied a 9.625.
Following its second bye, the Cardinal continued to improve on its previous score as it registered a 49.025 on floor in the fifth rotation. L?veill? again led the pack with a 9.850, followed by three gymnasts at 9.800- Delgado, Meldrum and Wing. Herbert added a 9.775, and freshman Marla Ranieri (Kinnelon, N.J.) posted a 9.750 in her eighth competition of the season and first on floor exercise.
The Cardinal concluded the night with a 49.075 on vault, resulting in a 196.025 overall team score. Beck was the top Stanford gymnast in the event, checking in with a 9.875. Herbert was second with a 9.825, while Delgado and Shelly Goldberg (Mequon, Wisc.) both earned marks of 9.800. Junior Kelsey Stillinger (Los Gatos, Calif.) recorded a 9.775 in just her fourth meet of the year, and Wing hit a 9.200 to round out the field.
NOTES: In Saturday night's individual event finals, Kendall Beck is scheduled to compete ninth out of 11 competitors on vault. Lindsay Wing is slated to perform eighth out of 13 gymnasts on beam, with teammate Lise L?veill? checking in at No. 11.