Feb. 28, 2008
Stanford, Calif. -
No. 7 Stanford at No. 17 Arizona State
February 29, 2008 6:00 PM
Arizona State University
No. 7 Stanford women's gymnastics heads back to the road to face off against No. 17 Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz. The meet will begin at 6:00 p.m. and will be the final Pac-10 road match for the Cardinal in 2008. After the match at Arizona State, the Cardinal will host their "Senior Day" match next Friday, Mar. 7 at 7:00 p.m. Be sure to come out and support the six Cardinal seniors who will be making their final home appearance.
Season high against California:
The Cardinal put up a season-high score of 197.375 in their win against California last weekend to give them their sixth victory of the season. Stanford hit on all cylinders in the meet and was ahead by plenty the whole meet. The result was senior Liz Tricase earning Pac-10 Event Specialist of the Week honors for the week of Feb. 18-25. She is the fourth Stanford gymnast to earn an award on the season.
Second in Oregon:
The Cardinal completed their road trip last weekend in Corvallis, Ore. The team finished second, defeating Seattle Pacific and losing to Oregon State by three-tenths. The meet left Stanford with a 5-4 record on the season and with two more multi-team meets coming up after this weekend. The Cardinal recorded a team score of 196.375, their second highest of the season, but ran into a very hot Oregon State squad. Senior Liz Tricase highlighted the meet with a 9.925 score on vault, the highest Cardinal score in any event of the 2008 season.
In the Rankings:
After four weeks of NCAA competition, the Cardinal rank among the nation's best in all of the events. The Cardinal rank eighth nationally on vault, with a team score of 49.145 after the six meets. Stanford also rank seventh nationally on beam, with a team score of 48.910. The team ranks seventh on bars and 11th on floor.
The season is almost two months old and all three Cardinal freshmen have already made an impact. Shelley Alexander continued to make a strong contribution when she scored a 9.775 on vault in the Chicago Style meet. Alexander also scored a 9.750 on vault against UCLA. Danielle Ikoma made an appearance in the Chicago Style meet and scored a 9.800 on vault. Ikoma also appeared against UCLA on vault and scored a 9.800. Gretchen O'Henley didn't appear against UCLA but has competed in all other meets. O'Henley earned a 9.700 on bars in the Chicago Style meet. She also scored a 9.825 on vault against Georgia and gave the team a big lift when she came back with a 9.700 in the same event against Arizona. Alexander also scored a 9.825 on vault against Georgia and a 9.800 against Arizona. Ikoma sat out against Georgia, but scored a 9.825 on vault against Arizona.
Yim and Ishino Sweep Pac-10 Gymnastics Awards:
Stanford women's gymnasts Tabitha Yim and Allyse Ishino were named Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week and Pac-10 Event Specialist of the Week, respectively, for February 5-11, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced today. Yim performed in the all-around competition last Friday at the IGI Chicago Style Meet and placed in the top three on each of the four individual apparatuses. Yim showcased a trio of 9.900s on vault (2nd), bars (T-1st), and floor (T-1st). Each event score was a season-best, including the 9.875 she hit on beam (3rd). Yim led the Cardinal to a second-place finish with her all-around sum of 39.575. The impressive mark is eighth-best in the nation this year and next to best in the Pac-10.
Janiga Named Pac-10 Event Specialist of the Week:
Sophomore Carly Janiga picked up where she left off last season by scoring a 9.900 on beam and a 9.825 on bars. Last year's Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, Janiga picked up honors from the Conference when she was named the inaugural Pac-10 Event Specialist of the Week (Jan. 7-Jan.13). The Cardinal also had a very strong performance from junior Nicole Ourada, who was the only Cardinal gymnast to perform in the all-around. Ourada scored a 9.850 on beam, 9.750 on bars, 9.800 on floor and 9.900 on vault, which was good for a 39.300 score in the all-around.
The Cardinal has had a three-man junior class this year that has exemplified hard work and dedication. Kelly Fee, Nicole Ourada and Heather Purnell have all put forth fine seasons in 2008 and look towards bigger and better things as the season gets deeper. Their hard work has not been overlooked by Head Coach Kristen Smyth: "Our junior class has been outstanding from day one. Even as freshmen, the three juniors were mature beyond their years. They have natural leadership ability, an uncompromising work ethic and a bond that is unshakeable. They have real passion for gymnastics, and for this program. Nikki, sets the example everyday by her work ethic and consistency. She has all of the gifts a gymnast could want...exceptional ranges of motion, explosive power, and artistry. She is one of the best All Around gymnasts in the country and has proven herself to be a dependable and steady performer. Kelly Fee is the energy that drives our team. She is a natural motivator, has a dynamic personality and is always able to light a fire for her team. While she is an exceptional athlete and fiery competitor, it is her enthusiasm and positive attitude that separate her from the rest of the pack. Heather is a strong leader and tough competitor. She exudes confidence and is calm under pressure. Heather is also an inspiration to her team---incredibly determined and has worked very hard to come back this year after an injury last season. She is at her finest since arriving at Stanford, and that is a tribute to how hard she has worked."
Head Coach Kristen Smyth:
Kristen Smyth returns for her seventh year as Stanford women's gymnastics Head Coach, following a historic 2007 season. The season included the first undefeated Pac-10 season in school history, and the second highest finish at the NCAA Championships in school history. The team featured six All-Americans, all of whom have returned for the 2008 season. During her time at Stanford, Smyth has quickly turned the Cardinal program into one of the nation's elite. Smyth came to The Farm in June of 2001 and in her first season led Stanford to its first-ever NCAA Super Six appearance. In 2002, she led the Cardinal to another strong season and produced five All-Americans. She followed that performance with another NCAA Championship appearance in 2003, marking the third straight year that the Cardinal advanced to the NCAA Championships. In 2004, she guided Stanford gymnastics to its fourth straight NCAA Championships, and capped the most successful