May 18, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. - In a vote by her teammates, senior Alyssa Brown was named as Stanford’s Gymnast of the Year on Thursday at the team’s awards banquet at Jimmy V’s Café.
Brown overcame a severe off-season shoulder injury to start in three events during the NCAA Super Six final, helping Stanford to fourth place and its highest ever score in NCAA Championships competition.
The Toronto native, a former Canadian national champion and hockey player, earned second-team All-America honors on vault and captured the NCAA Champaign (Ill.) Regional title in that event. She also served as team tri-captain and focused on creating a communications bridge between the seniors and a five-member freshman class that was instrumental in the team’s success.
Other award winners were Shona Morgan (Academic Award), Pauline Hanset (Most Improved), Amanda Spinner (Most Inspirational), and Nicole Pechanec (MVP).
Pechanec, like Brown, received her first All-America honor. Pechanec was a second-team selection on floor and all-around, provided an incredible amount of durability and consistency despite being limited in practice by torn knee ligaments and the lingering effects of past injuries.
Pechanec, a senior from Kenilworth, N.J., tied junior Ashley Morgan with a team-high 11 victories over the course of the season, including an NCAA regional title on the bars, an event in which she had the team’s highest score of the season of 9.950. She also was a second-team Pac-12 All-Academic choice.
Shona Morgan, a sophomore and 2008 Olympian from Melbourne, Australia, earned the Academic Award after earning a 4.07 GPA in the winter quarter. She carries a cumulative GPA of 3.77.
Morgan, who will declare major as a junior, was a second-team All-America on the bars and a second-team All-Pac-12 choice on the balance beam.
Spinner, a sophomore, was an easy choice for the Most Inspirational Award. A victim of injuries that nearly ended her gymnastics career and prevented her from competing for two years, Spinner made her collegiate debut midway through the season and went on to earn first-team All-America honors on beam.
Spinner, a team captain, finished fourth at the NCAA Championships and was an NCAA regional champion as well.
Hanset, a freshman, was a major contributer throughout the season, but provided her top performances for the postseason. Hanset was a member of the Super Six vault lineup that registered the highest team in score in any event this season, and the second-highest vault score in school history. Hanset tied her collegiate best with a score of 9.850 and then turned the same score on floor.
Stanford women’s gymnastics team awards
Gymnast of the Year: Alyssa Brown
MVP: Nicole Pechanec
Academic Award: Shona Morgan
Most Improved: Pauline Hanset
Most Inspirational: Amanda Spinner