No. 14 Women's Gymnastics To Face Arizona State In Conference Showdown
Jan. 22, 2002
This Week's Action
Fri., Jan. 25 at Arizona State...7:30 p.m...Tempe, AZ
The Stanford women's gymnastics squad will be looking to continue its winning ways this weekend when it squares off against Arizona State on Friday in Tempe, Ari., at 7:30 p.m. The Cardinal registered its first victory of the season last weekend, edging Washington 193.925-191.075 in its home opener to improve its overall record to 1-1. Stanford will be competing against its second straight conference opponent before next weekend's homestand against Arizona and Denver. Friday's meet against Arizona State will also represent Cardinal first-year head coach Kristen Smyth's return to Tempe, where she served the last five seasons as the associate coach.
Stanford in the National Rankings
Following its victory against Washington, the Cardinal (1-1) returns to the national rankings again this weekend at No. 14 after being unranked last week. The top five programs in the nation, according to the GymInfo National Rankings, are as follows: No. 1 Georgia, No. 2Utah, No. 3 UCLA, No. 4 Nebraska and No. 5 LSU. Other Pac-10 schools in the rankings include No. 6 Arizona and No. 20 California. 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 the Sun Devils
Arizona State (1-1) finds themselves out of the national polls this week after suffering a 195.325-192.125 loss to two-time defending national champion UCLA last Sunday. The Sun Devils were strongest on floor exercise, where they accumulated a team total of 49.025, their best team total in any event this season. ASU struggled in other areas, twice accumulating event totals below 48 points for the first time since the 2001 season-opener. Arizona State's vault corps are currently ranked No. 15 nationally, and the Sun Devils are No. 16 in the floor exercise.
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.
Breaking Into The Win Column
Stanford edged Washington 193.925-191.075 in its home opener last Friday night before a sellout crowd of 1,220 at Burnham Pavilion. The victory was the first of the season for the Cardinal, who topped the Huskies in three of four categories to secure the victory. The Cardinal recorded a 48.525-48.300 edge on vault, 48.625-46.525 edge on bars and a 48.500-47.550 advantage on the floor exercise. Sophomore Caroline Fluhrer posted a match-high 9.875 on the vault, with Stanford capturing three of the top five spots in the event. Lindsay Wing and Becky Meldrum each notched a 9.775 to lead the Cardinal on bars, while Wing's 9.825 led all competitors on the balance beam. Katy Herbert placed second in the All-Around with a 38.925.
A Balanced All-Around Lineup
With two meets in the books, the Cardinal find themselves ranked among the top-20 nationally in three different categories. Stanford is currently tied for 13th place with a Minnesota on the vault, with a high score of 48.800. The Cardinal are also ranked No. 15 on the uneven bars at 48.875, and No. 20 on the balance beam with a 48.550 tally.
It Won't Be Easy
Seven of the 12 opponents Stanford faces this season are ranked in the latest edition of the top-25. The Cardinal faces non-conference foes Florida, Penn State and Minnesota, along with its usual competitive Pac-10 slate. Stanford University will also be the host site for the 2002 Pac-10 Championships on Mar. 23.
Sophomore Caroline Fluhrer has picked up where she left off in her freshman campaign. Fluhrer had the match-high score in vault with a 9.850 and her score of 9.850 on the floor exercise put her in a third place tie against Minnesota, where she placed second in the All-Around at 39.225. The 2001 All Pac-10 selection was just as impressive against Washington, leading the Cardinal with a 9.875 on vault and a 37.750 All-Around tally in Stanford's first victory of the 2002 campaign.
Herbert Paces The Card
Senior Katy Herbert has been a steady performer for the Cardinal thus far in 2002, competing in the All-Aroundin each of the first two meets. Herbert finished second on the squad with a 9.800 on the uneven bars against Minnesota, and followed that up with a 9.700 in the same event against Washington. One of four All-Americans on the Cardinal roster, Herbert finished second with a 38.225 score in the All-Around last week against Washington.
Gaining Experience Quickly
Both Stanford freshmen, Mandy Delgado and Marla Ranieri, have provided an immediate boost to the Cardinal lineup with their early season performances. Delgado, a two-time Junior Olympics Vault Champion, posted season-high scores of 9.750 (fourth place) on the vault and a 9.775 (seventh place) on the floor against Minnesota. Ranieri, a member of the fifth-place American team at the Trophee Massila in Marseille, France, recorded a 9.625 (ninth place) on the vault in her Cardinal debut.