No. 7 Women's Gymnastics Focuses On Rival California This Weekend
Feb. 19, 2002
This Week's Action
Fri., Feb. 22...vs. California...7:30 p.m...Stanford, Calif.
Stanford meets up with its arch rival California this weekend, as the Cardinal looks to improve to 4-1 in Pac-10 competition. The Cardinal and Golden Bears will square off at Burnham Pavilion on Friday, Feb. 22, at 7:30 p.m. Stanford currently sits at 6-3 overall with just three meets remaining before Pac-10 Championships on Mar. 23. The Red & White is coming off a second place finish at the Mardi Grass Madness Exhibition last weekend in Gainesville, where the Cardinal recorded a 195.700. Host Florida notched the top team score at 196.900, while Penn State (195.325) and Illinois-Chicago (194.175) rounded out the top four.
Stanford in the National Rankings
For the third consecutive week, the Cardinal managed to hold down the No. 7 position in the latest edition of the GymInfo National Rankings. That represents the highest ranking of the season for the Cardinal, who are the highest-rated Pac-10 squad in this week's poll.The top five programs in the nation are as follows: No. 1 Georgia, No. 2 Utah, No.3 Alabama, No. 4 Nebraska and No. 5 Michigan. Other Pac-10 schools in the rankings include No. 10 UCLA, No. 12 Arizona, No. 16 Arizona State and No. 19 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 The Golden Bears
Much like the Cardinal, California (5-4) finished secondin its only competition last weekend. The Golden Bears scored a 192.825 to outdo UC Davis at 190.550 and UC Santa Barbara at 185.500 at the biannual California Invitational Sunday afternoon at Haas Pavilion. UCLA paced the field with a high score of 194.825. Freshman My-Lan Dodd finished first in the All-Around competition with a 39.075. The Golden Bears are led by head coach Trina Tinti, who is in her fifth season at Berkeley.
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 Places Second In Gainesville
Stanford tallied a team score of 195.700 to defeat Penn State (195.325) and Illinois-Chicago (194.175), but fell to Florida who put up a 196.900 to win the SunTrust Mardi Gras Madness last weekend in front of 2,473 fans in Gainesville, Fla. The Cardinal failed to win an event, but picked up two second-place finishes. Sophomore Kendall Beck tied for second with Florida's Orley Szmuch on the vault, with each gymnast posting a 9.925. Senior Becky Meldrum recorded a 9.900 to place fourth on the uneven bars. Senior Katy Herbert, the only Stanford athlete to compete in the All-Around, placed sixth at 38.250.
A Balanced All-Around Lineup
With just three meets remaining before Pac-10 Championships, 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. 4 on the balance beam with a 48.861 average and No. 5 on the uneven bars at 49.046. The Cardinal finds itself among the nation's top-10 on the vault, checking in at No. 10 with a 48.850, while holding down the No. 21 spot with a 48.875 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 sixth in the country on the balance beam with a 9.854 average, having scored a season-high 9.875 on three different occasions this year. Senior Becky Meldrum checks in at No. 14 among competitors on the uneven bars with a 9.857 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. 25 on the vault with a 9.842 average and has achieved a season-high 9.900 mark twice 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 meets in 2002, 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.
Freshman Mandy Delgado has really performed well for the Cardinal in her rookie season. Delgado has competed in three of the four events on four different occasions this year, and has posted high scores of 9.825 (vault and balance beam) and 9.775 (floor exercise).
Beck Steps Up For The Card
Sophomore Kendall Beck is making the most of her first full season on The Farm after sitting out her freshman year as a redshirt. Beck has competed in every meet for Stanford this year, and her 9.925 score on the vault in last week's Mardi Gras Madness Exhibition represents a team season-high for Cardinal gymnasts on that event. She also recorded an individual season-high 9.850 on the balance beam against Arizona on Feb. 1.