Jan. 12, 2013
STANFORD, Calif. -
In its second quad meet and first Pac-12 match up of the season, the Stanford women's gymnastics team provided plenty of highlights to capture its second first-place finish of the season.
The No. 6 Cardinal finished the meet with a score of 196.025, followed by No. 19 Arizona (195.850), No. 18 Illinois (193.750) and San Jose State (192.550).
Head coach Kristen Smyth was happy with her team's performance - especially considering approximately half the team was dealing with flu-like symptoms.
"I'm really proud of our team effort tonight," Smyth said. "We had probably half our team dealing with the flu so I'm really proud of how the girls stepped up and competed so well."
Stanford (6-0) began its night with perhaps its most impressive performance of the meet, recording a 49.325 team score on uneven bars - its highest team score on any event this season. Junior All-American Shona Morgan set the tone for the Cardinal by delivering a solid leadoff routine and sticking the landing on her double-front dismount for a score of 9.825.
Energized by the strong start, Stanford never looked back.
Sophomore All-American Ivana Hong scored a new personal best (9.900) and 2012 London Olympian Kristina Vaculik recorded the meet's highest score (9.925) to lead the Cardinal's dominating bars performance.
Senior All-American Ashley Morgan also delivered a strong uneven bars routine with her highest score of the night (9.850). Despite being one of the athletes battling the flu, Morgan competed on all four events for the Cardinal and recorded a third-place finish in the all-around.
Along with uneven bars, Stanford recorded the highest team scores on beam (49.025) and vault (49.000).
Shona Morgan and Hong delivered the highest scores on beam with scores of 9.875 and 9.850, claiming second and third-place finishes, respectively.
A week after tying her career best score on vault, senior captain Nicole Dayton won her second consecutive vault title scoring 9.875. Along with her standout performance on vault, Dayton contributed on bars and floor.
"Nicole Dayton was outstanding tonight," Smyth said. "I think people are really recognizing her work and it's nice to see her getting rewarded for it."
Dayton was joined by Hong, and freshmen Melissa Chuang and Taylor Rice, who made her collegiate debut, as top-three finishers on vault.
Ashley Morgan recorded the highest score for Stanford on floor with a 9.800.
After two consecutive first-place finishes to start the season, Smyth notes she is happy with where the team is at - and where it's headed.
"I feel like we're right on track," Smyth said. "We're where we want to be and I was proud of [the team's] effort on the road to get a win and to make good improvement on bars this week.
"It was a great step, and we're looking forward to continuing to build."
The Cardinal will head to perennial Super Six participant No.11 Georgia for an away dual meet on Jan. 21.