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No. 10 Women's Gymnastics Hosts No. 20 Washington
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 01/26/2000

Jan. 26, 2000

This week's matchup: No. 10 Stanford (3-1, 1-1 Pac-10) hosts No. 20 Washington (1-1 Pac-10) on Friday, Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Burnham Pavilion. Stanford is ranked in the top 20 in every event as a team, and has two athletes ranked individually in the top 20, Kelsey Stillinger on the beam and Larissa Fontaine on the vault. Washington defeated Cal in the Huskies season opener, but dropped to 1-1 in the Pac-10 when they lost to Oregon State last weekend. Washington is ranked in the top 25 in every event but the bars, and boasts individuals ranked in the top 25 in the all-around, the floor and the vault.

Last Week In Review: Stanford hosted then-No. 23 Arizona on Friday, Jan. 21 in the Cardinal's season home opener. Coming into the match 2-1 after defeating Ohio State and Maryland in the season opener at Arizona State, but falling to the Sun Devils in the quadrangular meet, the Cardinals were looking for their first conference win. The squad defeated the Wildcats 1934.275-191.275. Cardinal athletes took every event title except the all-around. Senior Larissa Fontaine turned in the top performance on the vault with a score of 9.925 and the floor exercise with a score of 9.85. Freshmen Abby Gair and Kelsey Stillinger each captured their first even titles, Gair on the bars (9.9) and Stillinger on the beam (9.875). Gair was also the top finisher in the all-around for the Cardinal, placing second with a score of 38.8.

Stanford in the Rankings: Stanford is currently ranked 10th by GymInfo after two meets with a score average of 193.775. Last week, the Cardinal was ranked 19th based on the team's only score of 193.275 at Arizona State. The Cardinal began the 2000 season ranked 11th in the GymInfo preseason coaches poll. In the 1999 season, the squad was ranked as high as eighth during the year.

Gyminfo Rankings as of 1/25
Rank/team         Avg. Score
1  Utah           196.125
2  Alabama        195.8
3  Michigan       195.6167
4  Georgia        195.575
5  UCLA           195.15
6  LSU            194.4833
7  Nebraska       194.4083
8  Penn State     194.0625
9  Iowa State     193.8125
10 Stanford       193.775
11 Arizona State  193.6
12 Denver         193.5917
13 New Hampshire  193.4417
14 CS Fullerton   193.3
15 Minnesota      192.975
16 Ball State     192.95
17 Kentucky       192.8375
18 Maryland       192.8083
19 Florida        192.575
20 Washington     192.3625
21 Towson         192.5083
22 Auburn         192.425
22 BYU            192.425
24 N. Carolina St 192.4
25 Oklahoma       192.3625

Cardinal to watch: The 1998 NCAA Champion in the vault, senior Larissa Fontaine turned in Stanford's best performance in the vault against Arizona with a score of 9.925. Her score against the Wildcats currently leads the Pac-10 Conference. After missing most of 1999 due to a broken finger, the three-time All-American returned at the end of the season to take third place in the vault at the NCAA Regionals and third in the vault at the NCAA Championships. Freshman Abby Gair currently holds the season high for Stanford on the bars with a score of 9.9, which she recorded against the Wildcats. Junior Jen Exaltacion, Stanford's top performer on the balance beam, turned in a third-place performance (9.875) at the first meet against Arizona State. In the second meet against Arizona, freshman Kelsey Stillinger matched that score and took the first individual title in her collegiate career. Senior Sarah Harding is an outstanding performer on the floor. She recorded a 9.9 at the Arizona State meet, which was good for second place. In the all-around competition, junior Jen Exaltacion recorded a 38.875 at Arizona State. Sophomore Katy Herbert will also help the team this season. A strong competitor in the all-around, Herbert placed third at Arizona State with a score of 38.55. Kristin Jensen will add depth to the floor exercise after placing fifth against Arizona with a career-high 9.7, and sophomore Becky Meldrum will help the squad on the beam.
2000 Stanford Season Highs
Team Highs
Overall
194.275
vs. Arizona 1/21
Vault
48.375
vs. Arizona 1/21
Bars
49.2
vs. Arizona 1/21
Beam
48.650
at ASU quadrangular 1/14
Floor
48.625
at ASU quadrangular 1/14
Individual Highs
Vault
9.925
Larissa Fontaine
(vs. Arizona - 1/21)
Bars
9.9
Abby Gair
(vs. Arizona - 1/21)
Beam
9.875
Kelsey Stillinger
(vs. Arizona - 1/21)
Floor
9.9
Sarah Harding
(at ASU quadrangular - 1/14)
All Around
38.875
Jen Exaltacion
(at ASU quadrangular - 1/14)

Scouting the Huskies: Washington comes to Stanford with a 1-1 record overall and in the Pac-10. The Huskies began their 2000 season with a home win over California before suffering a loss at Oregon State. The team scored 193.375 in their win over Cal, and 191.65 in their loss to Oregon State. The Huskies are currently ranked 20th. A six time All-American, senior Tiffany Simpson returns to the lineup after missing most of 1999 due to a stress fracture in her right leg. She currently leads the squad on the vault with a score of 9.825. As a junior in 1998, Simpson placed fourth on the floor and fifth in the vault at the NCAA Championships. Junior Lanna Apisukh is having an outstanding season, capturing the all-around titles in both meets this season. Her season high of 39.125 is third best in the Pac-10. Last season, Apisukh and teammate Lauren Riesenman placed 13th at the NCAA Championships. In her collegiate debut, freshman Jill Collins tied for first place on the bars with teammate Apisukh with a score of 9.775. Junior Mandi Klug leads the squad on the beam after capturing the event title against California with a score of 9.825, and senior Lauren Riesenman took the title on the floor against Cal with a score of 9.875.
Washington Team Highs
Overall
193.375  vs. California
Vault
48.5     vs. Oregon State
Bars
48.275   vs. California
Beam
48.175   vs. California
Floor
48.6     vs. California

Looking Back--The 1999 Season: The Stanford women's gymnastics program has seen unprecedented success in the last few years. In 1999, the squad finished fourth in the Pac-10 Conference and went on to win the NCAA Region IV for the first time in school history. The win put the team into the NCAA Championships for the third time, where they finished tied for 10th place. The team members turned in a fantastic year last season, recording new school records in four events, including six perfect tens. At NCAA Regionals, Katy Herbert tied as the NCAA Region IV Champion in the balance beam, Jenny Wilson finished third in the All Around, and Jennifer Exaltacion placed third in the balance beam. In 1999, the Cardinal produced four All-Americans, Larissa Fontaine, Sarah Harding, Amy Murakami and Kristin Jensen.

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