Nov. 11, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. - The Stanford women's gymnastics team has signed Melissa Chuang of Cupertino, Calif., and Taylor Rice of Henderson, Nev., to letters of intent, coach Kristen Smyth announced.
Chuang, a senior at Monta Vista High School, is a three-time Junior Olympic qualifier out of Santa Clara's Airborne Gymnastics, the second-ranked gymnastics club in the country. Chuang, who is strongest on vault, balance beam, and floor exercise, placed 15th all-around and 10th on the beam at the Level 10 nationals this year. She is coached at Airborne by Liz Crandall and Justin Howell.
"She has a tremendous amount of power on vault, and tumbles well on floor, but it is on beam where she really shines," Smyth said. "She has many difficult skills in her beam routine and is one of the most consistent and mentally tough beam performers I've seen in a long time."
Rice, a senior at Green Valley High, is a four-time Junior Olympic national qualifier, who trains at Gymcats under coaches Cassie Rice and Jill Preston. Rice is a two-time Nevada and Region 1 all-around Level 10 champion and has two top-10 national all-around finishes - seventh in 2009 and sixth in 2010.
"Taylor has many outstanding qualities and is going to be a great collegiate gymnast," Smyth said. "She is a charismatic performer and dynamic competitor."
Chuang and Rice will join a Stanford program that has reached the NCAA regionals for 28 consecutive years and has reached the NCAA Super Six finals three of the past five seasons.
Stanford opens its season on Jan. 15 with the NorCal Quad Meet at Burnham Pavilion.