STANFORD, Calif. – No. 12 Stanford delivered a clutch performance on floor in the final rotation to earn a comeback first-place finish Saturday afternoon in Burnham Pavilion.
The Cardinal (7-0, 2-0 Pac-12) scored a meet-best 49.375 on floor to finish with a team total of 195.925, ahead of No. 19 Arizona (195.850) and Sacramento State (192.450). Stanford outscored opponents in two of four events and had four gymnasts claim six individual wins.
Kristina Vaculik had a big day, earning three individual victories and either tying or setting three collegiate bests. Vaculik posted victories on bars and floor, scoring 9.925 on both events, and earned her first collegiate all-around win with a personal-best 39.425.
Vaculik has scored 9.800 or higher in nine of 10 events this season.
“She’s been amazing and it was exciting to see her put four events together,” Stanford head coach Kristen Smyth said. “She’s been showing great leadership. We’ve talked a lot about competitiveness, consistency and confidence and she’s exuding all three.”
After counting a fall on both bars and beam, Stanford entered the final rotation trailing Arizona, 147.175-146.550. The Cardinal knew it would need a big score on floor to pull out the victory.
Four gymnasts scored 9.850 or higher in the final event, punctuated by back-to-back 9.925 collegiate bests from Pauline Hanset and Vaculik to close out the meet. Shona Morgan opened the event with a 9.850 and was followed by Jenna Frowein with a 9.775. Rachel Daum delivered a terrific routine and was rewarded with a 9.900.
“We talk a lot about being a team that’s competitive and that when our backs are up against a wall we respond,” Smyth said. “We want to be a team with grit that fights for what it wants and I saw that on the last event.”
Stanford got off to a quick start on vault with five gymnasts scoring 9.825 or higher. Freshman Nicolette McNair led the way with a meet-best 9.900, followed by classmate Daum with a 9.875. Melissa Chuang also had a good day in the event, tying her collegiate best with a 9.850.
The Cardinal nearly had a huge day on bars with four gymnasts scoring 9.875 or higher, including three in the 9.900 range. Vaculik paced Stanford with a 9.925, followed by Shona Morgan and Samantha Shapiro who both scored 9.900. Nicole McNair turned in a strong performance to earn a 9.875. However, two Cardinal gymnasts missed routines and Stanford was forced to count a fall.
Stanford faced even more adversity on beam, again having to weather two missed routines. Amanda Spinner continued to lead the Cardinal on the event and earned her third consecutive individual victory with a 9.850.
Despite the tough day on bars and beam, Stanford regrouped and delivered the performances needed on floor to earn the victory.
Stanford will look to continue its undefeated season when it travels to UC Davis next Sunday for a dual meet against the Aggies at 1 p.m.