No. 7 Women's Gymnastics To Square Off Against No. 11 UCLA
Feb. 4, 2002
This Week's Action
Sun., Feb. 10...at No. 11 UCLA...2 p.m...Los Angeles, CA
Stanford continues to roll through the early portion of its schedule, andbrings a 4-1 overall record into this weekend's marquee matchup with No. 11 UCLA in Los Angeles. The Cardinal has notched four straight victories, with the latest victims being Arizona and Denver-- the Cardinal upended the Wildcats 197.250-195.175 and defeated the Pioneers 197.075-194.500 two days later. Sunday's battle with UCLA will provide another test for the Cardinal, who are looking to return to the NCAA Championships. The meet will be televised nationally on a delayed basis by Fox Sports Net, while listings for time and dates of the broadcast in different areas will vary. Live stats of the meet can be accessed on www.gostanford.com.
Stanford in the National Rankings
The Cardinal find themselves back in the nation's top-10 following back-to-back victories against Arizona and Denver last weekend. Stanford holds down the No. 7 spot in the latest edition of the GymInfo National Rankings, after checking in at No. 12 the previous week. The top five program in the nation are as follows: No. 1 Utah, No. 2 Georgia, No.3 Oklahoma, No. 4 Alabama and No. 5 Nebraska. Other Pac-10 schools in the rankings include No. 9 Arizona, No. 11 UCLA and No. 17 Arizona 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 the Bruins
No. 11 UCLA (5-4) was edged out in their last meet on Jan. 25, falling to Arizona 195.175-195.100. UCLA took a .025 lead headed into the final rotation andprotected the lead well with a 49.3 on beam, but the Wildcats scored a 49.375 on floor to capture the win. Jamie Williams stepped in on floor and recorded a career-high 9.775 in front of a hometown crowd. Valerie Velasco tied her career-high on beam with a 9.85 and placed second in the all-around. Michelle Conway also stepped in on beam and recorded a career-best 9.8.
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.
Stanford Takes Down Pioneers In Sunday Matinee
The Cardinal produced yet another show-stopping performance on Sunday as the Cardinal defeated Denver 197.075-194.500. Stanford outscored the Pioneers in three of the four events, while each school notched a 48.900 on the fourth apparatus- the vault. The Cardinal held a season-best 49.550-48.100 edge on the bars, a 49.250-48.550 margin on the balance beam and a season-best 49.375-48.950 advantage on the floor exercise. Cardinal gymnasts snagged first place finishes on all four apparatuses in the victory, and eight gymnasts posted scores of 9.900 or better on the day in all events. Caroline Fluhrer occupied the top spot on the vault, recording a 9.900 and finished tied for second on the bars and floor exercise.
Cardinal Tame Wildcats In Stellar Performance
No. 12 Stanford women's gymnastics improved its record to 3-1 by upsetting No. 7 Arizona 197.250-195.175. The Cardinal earned its third consecutive Pac-10 victory and outscored the Wildcats on three events and posted season-best totals on every event en route to a season-high total 197.250. The Cardinal broke out with a 49.175 on vault, besting the previous high of 48.800. Stanford also posted a 49.425 on bars, a 49.400 on bars and a 49.250 on floor. Sophomore Caroline Fluhrer notched a team high 39.025 in the All-Around to take second. Becky Meldrum snagged first on the bars with a 9.925, while Kristin Jensen chalked up a 9.900 to tie for second.
A Balanced All-Around Lineup
With five meets in the books, the Cardinal find themselves ranked among the top-25 nationally in all four categories. Stanford is currently ranked No. 4 on the balance beam with a 48.862 average and No. 6 on the uneven bars at 48.987. The Cardinal finds itself among the nation's top-10 on the vault, checking in at No.9 with a 48.825, while holding down the No. 22 spot with a 48.731 on the floor exercise.
Sophomore Caroline Fluhrer has picked up where she left off in her freshman campaign. Fluhrer has competed in the All-Around in four of the first five 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 is coming off a tremendous performance against Denver in which she scored a 9.900 or better on all three events (vault, bars, floor) she competed in.
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.