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Gymnastics Ranked 10th in Preseason Poll
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 06/21/1999

January 6, 1999

For Openers: The Stanford women's gymnastics team, ranked 10th in the Preseason Coaches Top 25 poll, will open the 1999 season when it travels to UC Davis this Sunday, January 10. Starting time for the non-conference meet is 4:00 pm at Recreation Hall in Davis.

On the Horizon: The Cardinal enter the 1999 season on the heels of one of the most successful seasons in school history. Last year, Stanford won the Pac-10 Championship and had a individual NCAA Champion, both for the first time in school history. Injuries plagued the team at the beginning of the season yet, the team responded to win its first-ever conference title. Despite a few holdover injuries from last season, the 1999 squad is deep and talented. With the return of eight key performers from '98, and the addition of four outstanding freshmen, this season could be one of the best in school history. Ahead on the schedule, Stanford will face seven teams ranked in the Top 16 of the Preseason Coaches Poll. Included among those are meets against #3 UCLA, #4 Utah and #6 Arizona State.

Leading the Way: This year's squad is led by junior Larissa Fontaine and senior Amy Murakami. A junior from Deerfield, Illinois, Fontaine returns after winning the 1998 NCAA Championship in the Vault. Despite limited action in the first four meets last season, she recovered to post a remarkable run at the end of last season. After leading the Cardinal to the Pac-10 Title with a third place finish in the Vault, she responded to win the vaulting title at both the NCAA Regionals and Championships. In addition, Fontaine did almost as well in the bars, where she finished second at the Pac-10 Championships (9.925) and third at the NCAA Regionals (9.900). Murakami, a junior from Wayland, Massachusetts, was one of Stanford's most consistent and durable performers, competing in the all-around in all but one meet last season. In last yer's upset over nationally-ranked Utah, she finished first in the All-Around with a score of 39.250. One of the finest gymnasts in school history, Murakami holds school records in the Uneven Bars (9.975) and Floor Exercise (9.950). Also returning for the Cardinal are two girls who rebounded from injuries last season - senior Katie Fitzpatrick and sophomore Jen Exaltacion. A native of Centerville, Ohio, Fitzparick missed the first five meets of last season due to ankle surgery. She responded from her injury, however, to finish 11th in the Uneven Parallel Bars (9.750) at the Pac-10 Championship. Exaltacion, a 1996 Canadian Olympian, returned from a stress fracture in her foot to have a successful freshman season. One of the top preformers in the balance beam, she had the highest score on the team last year, scoring a 9.850 at the Pac-10 Championships, good for a fourth place finish.

The Newcomers: The 1998 freshman class consists of four highly touted athletes who could figure prominently from the beginning. Highlighting the class is Becky Meldrum, a member of the United States National Team over the last two years. Another incoming freshman, Kristen Derr, comes to The Farm after a very successful club career. The 1998 Texas state champion in the floor exercise and a Level-10 National qualifier, Derr will see extensive time in the lineup. The last two members of the class are Katy Herbert and Becky Jensen. Both outstanding club athletes, the two will extensively help the Cardinal in all aspects of competition.

At the Helm: At the helm of the Cardinal program is second-year head coach Mark Cook. In just one season on The Farm, Cook has transformed Stanford into one of the best gymnastics programs in the country. Last season, he led the Cardinal to the Pac-10 Title and an individual NCAA Title, both first-time accomplishments for the program. Previously one of the top assistant coaches in the nation, Cook came to Stanford from rival UCLA where he helped build the Bruins into a national championship team. During his three-year stint in Westwood, the Bruins improved each year. After finishing fourth at nationals his first year (1995), UCLA placed second in 1996, and in 1997, he helped direct the Bruins to their first-ever NCAA tilte. The 1996 West Region Assistant Coach-of-the-Year, Cook also helped lead the team to three consecutive West Region titles and two Pac-10 Conference championships. While at UCLA, Cook's duties included scouting, recruiting, strength development, training athletes and promoting gymnastics.

Scouting the Aggies: UC Davis returns 10 letterwinners, including two All-Americans, from last year's 14-5 squad which finished seventh at the NCAA West Regionals. Those All-Americans are two girls from Northern California - Dawn McDiarmid, who is from San Jose, and Bridgit Fortino, who is from Modesto. Head coach Ray Goldbar is in his 10th year at the helm of the Aggie program and boasts an overall record of 82-87.

PRESEASON COACHES TOP 25 POLL

 1.  Georgia (32)           942
 2.  Florida (1)            873
 3.  UCLA (1)               824
 4.  Utah (1)               820
 5.  Alabama (2)            816
 6.  Arizona State          743
 7.  Michigan (1)           742
 8.  Washington             638
 9.  Louisiana State        600
10.  Stanford               587
11.  Nebraska               457
12.  BYU                    435
12.  Penn State             435
14.  West Virginia          387
15.  Oregon State           372
16.  Arizona                357
17.  North Carolina State   305
18.  Minnesota              253
19.  Boise State            214
20.  Ohio State             200
21.  Iowa State             183
22.  Kentucky               163
23.  Utah State             162
24.  Michigan State         152
25.  Illinois                80 

Number in parantheses represents first-place votes.

1997 Results
Date    Opponent           W/L/Result    Score
Jan. 10 Georgia                L         191.400-195.025
Jan. 17 UCLA                   L         193.225-195.625
Jan. 24 at Washington          L         193.900-195.000
Jan. 31 at Arizona             L         192.850-195.300
        George Washington      W         192.850-187.875
        Oregon State           L         192.850-193.825 
Feb. 7  Arizona State          L         195.325-195.750
        UC Santa Barbara       W         195.325-189.875
Feb. 14 at California          W         194.150-192.850
Feb. 22 at UC Santa Barbara    W         193.150-190.100
Feb. 28 Chili's Invitational at Stanford
        Oregon State           W         195.400-191.97
        Univ. of Denver        W         195.400-190.550
Mar. 7  at Utah                L         196.800-197.925
Mar. 22 Pac-10 Championships#  2nd       196.325
Apr. 5  NCAA West Regionals$   5th       193.950

# University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ) $ Boise State University (Boise, ID)

1997 Individual Meet-by-Meet Results

Katie Fitzpatrick

                         Vault   Bars    Beam    Floor   Total
Georgia                  9.625   9.325   8.800   9.100   36.850
UCLA                     9.750   9.225   -       9.775   -
at Washington            9.825   -       9.600   9.275   -   
at Arizona*              9.850   -       -       9.050   -
ASU, UCSB                9.725   9.250   9.625   9.875   38.475
at California            9.550   9.250   9.725   9.725   38.250
at UC Santa Barbara      9.725   -       9.425   9.650   -
Chili's Invitational!    9.675   9.825   9.550   9.700   38.750  
at Utah                  9.875   9.800   9.575   9.800   39.050
Pac-10 Championships     9.775   9.900   9.700   8.600   37.975  
NCAA West Regionals      9.700   9.800   9.875   9.750   39.125
NCAA Championships       9.250   9.750   9.700   9.225   37.925
Larissa Fontaine
                         Vault   Bars    Beam    Floor   A-A
Georgia                  9.800   9.725   9.775   9.775   39.075
UCLA                     9.900   9.900   9.200   9.875   38.875
at Washington            9.925   9.900   -   -   -
at Arizona*              9.900   9.850   8.675   -   -
ASU, UCSB                9.900   9.875   9.725   -   -
at California            9.700   9.875   9.850   9.775   39.200
at UC Santa Barbara      -   -   -   -   -
Chili's Invitational!    9.850   9.850   9.825   9.850   39.375
at Utah                  9.875   9.900   9.900   9.750   39.425
Pac-10 Championships     9.900   9.925   9.850   9.875   39.550
NCAA West Regionals      9.775   9.725   9.850   9.775   39.125
NCAA Championships       9.875   9.875   9.275   9.800   38.825
Sarah Harding
                         Vault   Bars    Beam    Floor   A-A
Georgia                  -       -       -       -   -
UCLA                     -       -       -       -   -
at Washington            -       -       -       -   -
at Arizona*              -       -       -       -   -
ASU, UCSB                -       -       -       -   -
at California            -       -       -       -   -
at UC Santa Barbara      -       -       -       9.675   -
Chili's Invitational!    -       -       -       9.725   -
at Utah                  -       -       -       -   -
Pac-10 Championships     -       -       -       9.800   -
NCAA West Regionals      -       -       -       9.775   -
Christie Jones
                         Vault   Bars    Beam    Floor   A-A
Georgia                  -       -       -       -       -
UCLA                     -       -       8.600   8.625   -
at Washington            -       -       9.750   -       -
at Arizona*              -       -       9.725   -       -
ASU, UCSB                -       -       9.600   -       -
at California            9.450   -       9.025   -       -
at UC Santa Barbara      9.675   -       8.550   -       -
Chili's Invitational!    -       -       9.700   -       -
at Utah                  -       -       -       -       -
Pac-10 Championships     9.750   -       9.750   -       -
NCAA West Regionals      9.750   -       9.550   -       -
Tracey Kohl
                         Vault   Bars    Beam    Floor   Total
Georgia                  9.700   9.275   9.075   9.325   37.375
UCLA                     9.750   9.725   8.950   9.775   38.200
at Washington            9.750   8.975   9.025   9.775   37.525
at Arizona*              9.875   9.650   -       9.750   -
ASU, UCSB                9.775   9.275   -       9.900   -
at California            -       -       -       -       -
at UC Santa Barbara      9.575   9.725   9.725   9.800   38.825
Chili's Invitational!    9.675   9.725   9.700   9.775   38.875
at Utah                  9.800   9.750   9.825   9.875   39.250
Pac-10 Championships     9.900   9.775   9.725   9.875   39.275
NCAA West Regionals      9.700   9.675   9.325   9.775   38.475
Tara LaMorte
                         Vault   Bars    Beam    Floor   Total
Georgia                  -       -       9.525   -       -
UCLA                     -       9.625   8.850   -       -
at Washington            -       8.750   9.675   9.525   -
at Arizona*              -       9.350   9.475   9.625   -
ASU, UCSB                -       -       -       9.800   -
at California            -       8.750   -       9.075   -
at UC Santa Barbara      -       8.700   9.125   9.650   -
Chili's Invitational!    -       -       -       -       - 
at Utah                  -       -       -       9.825   -
Pac-10 Championships     -       9.550   -       9.700   -   
NCAA West Regionals      -       -       -       9.675   -
Keri Monahan
                         Vault   Bars    Beam    Floor   Total
Georgia                  9.925   9.600   8.675   9.925   38.125
UCLA                     9.950   9.750   9.875   9.900   39.475
at Washington            9.975   9.700   9.900   9.850   39.175
at Arizona*              9.900   9.850   9.725   9.775   39.250
ASU, UCSB                9.950   9.800   9.725   9.950   39.425
at California            9.725   9.825   9.850   9.675   39.075
at UC Santa Barbara      9.900   9.750   -       9.775   -
Chili's Invitational!    9.825   9.700   9.900   9.325   38.750
at Utah                  9.875   9.650   9.800   9.875   39.200
Pac-10 Championships     -       -       -       -       -
NCAA West Regionals      -       8.800   -       -       -
Amy Murakami
                         Vault   Bars    Beam    Floor   Total
Georgia                  9.750   9.900   9.100   9.400   38.150
UCLA                     9.725   9.250   9.775   9.850   38.600
at Washington            9.725   9.700   9.900   9.850   39.175
at Arizona*              9.800   9.250   7.750   9.625   36.425
ASU, UCSB                9.775   9.775   9.625   9.950   39.125
at California            9.525   9.875   9.825   9.900   39.125
at UC Santa Barbara      9.800   9.800   9.775   -   -
Chili's Invitational!    9.525   9.900   9.750   9.850   39.025
at Utah                  9.800   9.950   9.900   9.775   39.425
Pac-10 Championships     9.800   9.975   9.775   9.875   39.425
NCAA West Regionals      9.700   9.150   9.400   9.925   38.175
Amy Neil
                         Vault   Bars    Beam    Floor   Total
Georgia                  -       9.675   -       -       -
UCLA                     -       -       -       -       -
at Washington            9.150   -       -       -
at Arizona*              -       9.650   9.150   -       -
ASU, UCSB                -       9.675   9.450   -       -
at California            -       9.725   9.725   -       -
at UC Santa Barbara      -       9.475   9.700   -       -
Chili's Invitational!    -       9.575   -       -       -
at Utah                  -       9.800   9.725   -       -
Pac-10 Championships     -       9.625   9.575   -       -
NCAA West Regionals      -       9.550   9.700   -       -
Ann Thananopavarn
                         Vault   Bars    Beam    Floor   Total
Georgia                  9.800   -       -       9.500   -
UCLA                     9.800   -       -       -       -
at Washington            9.850   -       -       9.425   -
at Arizona*              9.800   -       -       9.625   -
ASU, UCSB                9.750   -       -       9.200   -
at California            9.575   -       -       9.475   -
at UC Santa Barbara      9.550   -       -       9.425   -
Chili's Invitational!    9.600   -       -       -       -
at Utah                  9.875   -       -       -       -
Pac-10 Championships     9.825   -       -       -       -
NCAA West Regionals      9.750   -       -       -       -

* Included George Washington and Oregon State ! at Stanford - included Oregon State and the University of Denver


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