Nov. 7, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. -
The Stanford women's gymnastics team, fresh off a third-place national finish, has assembled a demanding schedule for the 2009 season highlighted by four home competitions, including the Pac-10 Championships.
In addition to a competitive conference dual-meet schedule, Stanford faces top competition at the season-opening Cancun Classic, and concludes the regular season March 6 at four-time NCAA champion Alabama.
On March 21, Stanford hosts the Pac-10 Championships at Maples Pavilion, where the Cardinal will attempt to defend its conference title on the way to nationals in Lincoln, Neb., April 16-18.
The season begins Jan. 2 in Mexico, where Stanford will compete against seven others in Cancun: Boise State, BYU, Denver, Michigan, LSU, North Carolina and Oregon State.
Of those, LSU was a fellow Super Six finalist in 2008, finishing fifth. Michigan and Boise State were conference champions, and North Carolina features junior Christine Nguyen, the sister of Stanford freshman Catherine Nguyen.
Stanford will host duals against Arizona State (Jan. 22) and UCLA (Feb. 8) at Burnham Pavilion, and Oregon State with UC Davis (Feb. 15) at Maples Pavilion.
The Cardinal's competition with Alabama marks the fourth consecutive season that Stanford has taken on a team from the powerful Southeastern Conference in a dual-meet event, and third time against the Crimson Tide. This will be Stanford's second trip to Tuscaloosa.
"It will be great for the freshmen to get experience competing in front of a large crowd and in the SEC," Stanford coach Kristen Smyth said. "Alabama's fans are knowledgeable and supportive of good gymnastics and it will be a great atmosphere."
The timing will be right. It is the final competition before Pac-10s.
"It will be excellent preparation for our championship season," Smyth said.