Jan. 12, 2006
Stanford, Ca - The Stanford women's gymnastics team, ranked ninth in the pre-season, opens the 2006 home season on Sunday afternoon (2 p.m.) against San Jose State, UC Davis and Sacramento State. The four-way meet will be held at Maples Pavilion.
This will be the first of four meets at Stanford University this year. On February 17, Stanford will host 17th ranked Arizona, and 18th ranked Washington on Feburary 24. Then on April 8, Stanford University will host the NCAA West Regional.
Below is a brief scouting report on the four teams that will be competing on Sunday.
The Cardinal opened the 2006 season on Jan. 6 with an impressive effort at the Cancun Classic in Mexico ... Stanford tallied a team score of 194.950, just behind the winning effort of top-ranked and defending NCAA champion Georgia ... Stanford's team score is currently the third-best total in the nation behind Florida (195.900) and Georgia (195.700) ... Victories by Glyn Sweets in the Vault (9.925), Liz Tricase on Bars (9.875) and Natalie Foley on Beam (9.775) helped the Cardinal in the five team meet ... Denver, ranked 21st in the country, finished third with 193.850 points followed by tenth-ranked Oklahoma with 193.325, and No. 17 Arizona with 192.925 ... Three Cardinal athletes competed in the All-Around ... Senior Natalie Foley, an eight-time All-American, finished third (39.025) while freshmen Nicole Ourada placed fifth (39.025) and Kelly Fee placed sixth (38.725).
Sacramento State recently opened its 2006 season with a sixth place finish at a meet in Kailua, Hawaii ... Third-ranked UCLA won the meet with 193.775 points while Sacramento State collected 188.075 points ... The Hornets have won five conference championships over the last six seasons ... This year, the Hornets will be led by a strong group of seven seniors as well as some talented underclassmen ... The seven seniors are Sharee Burgess, Trista Condren, Julie Hutzenbiler, Carrie Kinghorn, Kimiye Narasaki, Brooke Morari and Jessica Love ... The team will also receive a boost with the return of Tiffany Bass and Courtney Hibler who both missed all of the 2005 season ... Bass was named a first team all-conference selection as a freshman on Beam and could possible compete as an All-Arounder ... Hibler, who competes primarily on beam and floor, missed all of last season with a broken foot ... Narasaki was an NCAA West Regional qualifier as a freshman.
San Jose State joined the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) this year after competing in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) the past few seasons ... Last year, San Jose State posted a 17-5 overall record, and placed second at the MPSF Championship ... The Spartans return eleven letterwinners including Michelle Minotti, who in her freshman year qualified in the All-Around at the NCAA Regionals in 2005; Amber Klein, who won the 2003 and 2004 MPSF beam championship; and Greta Leach, who competed in the All-Around at the NCAA West Regional ... Seven freshmen join the team in 2006 ... San Jose State opened the 2006 campaign with a second place finish at the Cal State Fullerton Invitational ... The Spartans tallied a total of 188.450, which is currently the 24th best score in the nation.
A strong group of seniors (Hanna Anderson, Sophia Chaban, Mei Ling Clark, Arianne Furman) will help lead UC Davis during the 2006 season ... Anderson is a returning USAG All-American on beam ... Michelle Kulovitz is one of three UC Davis gymnasts to earn double All-America honors along with Julia Richards and Tiffany Chan in 2005 ... Look for top performances from junior Brandi Forte, who earned USAG All-American honors in 2005 ... Furman has appeared in bars lineup in 41 straight meets, consistently putting up her best scores at the conference and national events.
Cardinal Footnotes Freshman Heather Purnell, who was the team captain for Canada's 2004 Olympic team, comes from an athletic family ... Heather's sister, Ashley, is one of the top sprinters on the Stanford track & field team ... Heather's father (Ted), played professional football in Canada, while her mother (Gini) is a former professional golfer ... Natalie Foley's father, Steve, spent 12 years playing for the NFL's Denver Broncos ... There is no doubt, the Pacific-10 Conference is strong in women's gymnastics ... Four conference schools are ranked in the Top 25 for team totals ... Stanford leads the way with its 194.950 points at the recent Cancun Classic followed by #9 UCLA (193.812), #15 Oregon State (191.925), #18 Washington (190.425) ... Seven Pac-10 teams compete in women's gymnastics (Stanford, Arizona, Arizona State, California, Oregon State, UCLA and Washington) ... Stanford's tradition in women's gymnastics is strong ... Since 1998, Stanford has won three Pac-10 titles (1998, 2001, 2004), three NCAA Regional crowns (1999, 2002, 2004) and has made two trips to the NCAA Super Six (2002, 2004).