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Feb. 11, 2002
This Week's Action
Fri., Feb. 15...No. 14 Florida, No. 19 Penn State, Illinois-Chicago...4 p.m. PST...Gainesville, Fla.
Stanford looks to get back on the winning track this weekend when it travels to Gainesville, Fla. Competing in Friday night's meet along with the Cardinal, will be host No. 14 Florida, No. 19 Penn State and Illinois-Chicago. The Cardinal will enter the weekend with a 4-2 overall mark despite dropping a 196.925-195.025 decision to UCLA on the road in its last contest. Prior to that meeting with the Bruins,the Cardinal had rattled off four consecutive dual-meet victories to climb as high as No. 7 in the national rankings. After the trip to Florida, it's back to The Farm the following week for a Friday evening showdown with rival California.
Stanford in the National Rankings
The Cardinal hold down the No. 7 position for the second straight week after falling to UCLA on the road last weekend. That represents the highest ranking of the season for the Cardinal, who are the highest-rated Pac-10 squad in this week's edition of the GymInfo National Rankings. The top five programs in the nation are as follows: No. 1 Georgia, No. 2 Utah, No.3 Alabama, No. 4 Oklahoma and No. 5 Nebraska. Other Pac-10 schools in the rankings include No. 10 UCLA, No. 11 Arizona, No. 16 Arizona State and No. 21 Oregon State. The Cardinal finished the 2001 season at No. 8, as it advanced to the NCAA Championships and ended with a 12-3 overall mark.
Scouting This Weekend's Opponents
This week's meet will feature three other schools (Florida, Penn State and Illinois-Chicago) in addition to the Cardinal competing in Gainesville, Fla on Friday in the SunTrust Mardi Gras Madness Compeition.. No. 14 Florida, the host school of the event, nearly upset No. 4 Oklahoma on the road before the Sooners pulled away in the final rotation to claim a 194.475-193.925 victory. No. 19 Penn State climbed a notch in the national rankings this week after defeating New Hampshire on the road Sunday night by a score of 195.525-194.900, the highest total for the club in 2002. The third participant in Friday's meet, Illinois-Chicago, knocked off in-state rival Illinois 193.950-193.700 as the Flames won three-of-four individual event titles on the afternoon.
The Smyth File
Kristen Smyth begins her first year at the helm of the Stanford women's gymnastics program. Smyth came to The Farm in June of 2001 after previously serving as the associate head coach at Arizona State during the last five seasons. Smyth came to Tempe as an assistant coach prior to the 1997 season, and was promoted to associate head coach in 2000. She was named the 1998 Regional Assistant Coach of the Year after helping the Sun Devils to a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. During her tenure, Arizona State advanced to the NCAA Super Six in three of her five seasons.
Cardinal Falls Short Against Bruins
Sunday's meet between conference powers Stanford and UCLA lived up to its billing, however the Cardinal was unable to pick up the road victory against the Bruins in a 196.925-195.025 defeat in front of 2,174 at Pauley Pavilion. The Cardinal led after the first rotation, scoring a 48.875 on the uneven bars and paced by Becky Meldrum's 9.875. The Bruins then jumped into the lead in the second rotation, scoring a season-high 49.525 on the bars. Caroline Fluhrer led the Cardinal on the vault with a 9.825 mark, while Lindsay Wing garnered a 9.875 to finish in a second place tie. Two Cardinal gymnasts, Shelly Goldberg and Lise LÚveillÚ each earned a 9.875 for their efforts on the floor exercise to finish fourth.
A Balanced All-Around Lineup
With six meets in the books, the Cardinal find themselves ranked among the top-20 nationally in all four categories and in the top-10 in three. Stanford is currently ranked No. 3 on the balance beam with a 48.846 average and No. 6 on the uneven bars at 49.058. The Cardinal finds itself among the nation's top-10 on the vault, checking in at No.8 with a 48.846, while holding down the No. 19 spot with a 48.871 on the floor exercise.
Three Stanford gymnats are currently ranked in the top-25 of the individual event rankings in the latest edition of the GymInfo Rankings. Sophomore Lindsay Wing is seventh in the country on the balance beam with a 9.855 average, having scored a 9.875 on the event in the last three meets. Senior Becky Meldrum checks in at No. 14 among competitors on the uneven bars with a 9.850 average. Meldrum's 9.950 bar score against Denver on Feb. 3 is the highest on the event for the Card this year. Sophomore Caroline Fluhrer is ranked No. 19 on the vault with a 9.842 average and has achieved a season-high 9.900 mark on two occasions so far this season.
Sophomore Caroline Fluhrer has picked up where she left off in her freshman campaign. Fluhrer has competed in the All-Around in five of the first six meets, posting a team-best 39.225 score in the event against Minnesota. The 2001 All Pac-10 selection also holds the top floor exercise score (9.900) for the Card in 2002, and has tallied a 9.900 twice on the vault- another Cardinal season high. Fluhrer is coming off a solid performance against UCLA, including a 9.825 score on the vault to lead the Cardinal in the contest.
Freshman Mandy Delgado has really performed well for the Cardinal in her rookie season. Delgado has competed in three of the four events on three different occasions this year, and has posted high scores of 9.825 (vault and balance beam) and 9.775 (floor exercise).