March 20, 2004
TUCSON, Ariz. - The No. 6 Stanford University women's gymnastics team captured its second Pac-10 Championship in four years, edging No. 1 UCLA 197.900-197.875. The victory marks the Cardinal's third Pac-10 team championship, winning the league title in 1998 and in 2001. With the win, the Cardinal improve to 15-3 on the year.
Three Stanford gymnasts were crowned Pac-10 individual event champions, highlighted by senior All-American Lindsay Wing's fourth consecutive conference beam title. Wing became the only four-time beam champion in Pac-10 history, earning a 9.950, tying five other performers on the night, including fellow senior All-American Caroline Fluhrer.
Sophomore All-American Natalie Foley took home top honors in the all-around with a score of 39.800. The Englewood, CO native is the first-ever Stanford women's gymnast to win the Pac-10 individual all-around title. Foley tied for first place on the vault with her first collegiate perfect 10, and tied for first on bars with a 9.950. In all, a Stanford gymnast tied for first in three of the four events.
"We had a fantastic meet tonight, but the beauty of it is that there is more room for improvement," said Stanford Head Coach Kristen Smyth. "Coming off of finals week, for the team to be able to perform the way they did tonight was amazing."
Smyth was later named the 2004 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, becoming just the second Stanford women's gymnastics coach to ever earn that distinction. Former Stanford Head Coach Mark Cook earned Coach of the Year honors in 2001.
After receiving a bye in the first rotation, the Cardinal started the second rotation on bars, and began the meet with a strong performance, earning a team score of 49.475, good for the second highest score of the evening in that event. Leading the way for the Cardinal was Natalie Foley who earned a 9.950, tying the best score of the evening. Fluhrer and Lise L?veill? were right behind her, each registering a 9.925 to tie for the third best score in that event.
In the third rotation, the Cardinal moved to the balance beam, an event that they have excelled in. Stanford, the No. 3 beam team in the country, showed why the Pac-10 beam champion has been a Cardinal gymnast the past three seasons by posting a team score of 49.650, the second highest score in program history and the highest score of the evening in that event. Leading the way for the Cardinal were three-time Pac-10 beam champion Lindsay Wing and Fluhrer each earning a 9.950, while Foley and L?veill? both recorded scores of 9.925. Fluhrer's 9.950 established a new career high. Rounding out the Cardinal's excellent performance on the beam was senior All-American Kendall Beck with a 9.900 and freshman Stacy Sprando with a 9.825.
"Kendall started us off and she was solid as usual," said Smyth. "Caroline had a beautiful routine tonight. We hit 6-for-6 on our beam routines which was pretty spectacular."
The Cardinal had a bye in the fourth rotation before moving to the floor exercise in the fifth rotation where the Cardinal tallied a team score of 49.375 to tie Washington for the second highest team score of the evening. Senior Shelly Goldberg started the Cardinal off strong with a 9.850, her second highest score of the season. Foley led the Cardinal with a 9.925, while Flurher and L?veill? each earned scores of 9.875.
Stanford had a bye in the sixth rotation and then finished the evening on vault in the seventh rotation. Needing a strong showing on the vault, Foley nailed a 10, while Fluhrer earned a 9.925 to take fifth place. The Cardinal also received strong performances from Goldberg and L?veill? who each tallied a 9.900.
The Cardinal captured two of the top three spots in the all-around with Foley taking first and Fluhrer finishing third with a 39.675.
Stanford will turn its attention to NCAA Regional competition which will take place on April 3rd.