Stanford Headed To NCAA Championships
April 21, 2003
This Week's Action
Thursday - Saturday, April 24-26 ....... at NCAA Championships
Coming off a second-place showing at the NCAA North Central Regionals in Salt Lake City two weeks ago, the sixth-ranked Stanford women's gymnastics team earned the right compete in the NCAA Championships Thursday-Saturday, April 24-26 at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. The Cardinal are making their third straight appearance and were placed in the second session on Thursday beginning at 7 p.m. (CT) at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. The top three schools from both sessions will then advance to the Super Six on Friday night.
This year's championships features 12 teams ranked in the top-17 or higher, including nine top-10 schools. Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, UCLA, Utah and Nebraska all won its respective regionals, while Auburn, Florida, Arizona State, Iowa, Stanford and LSU finished second. Stanford was placed in session two and will battle Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Nebraska and Utah for the top three spots. Three Pac-10 schools are represented in UCLA, Arizona State and the Cardinal. Against the competition field earlier in the season, Stanford tied UCLA (2/7) and beat Arizona State twice - at the Maui Invitational (1/3) and in a dual meet (2/21). At the Pac-10 Championships the Cardinal placed season, falling to the Bruins but defeating the Sun Devils. Utah is the only other team Stanford has faced, two weeks ago at the North Central Regionals.
The competition rotation calls for Stanford to begin the competition as it has all season. The Cardinal will start on vault, have a bye and continue with bars, beam and will have a bye before finishing the meet on floor.
Stanford in the National Rankings
The Cardinal enters this week as the No. 6 team in the nation according to the GymInfo National Team Rankings. UCLA, Nebraska, Arizona State, Georgia and Alabama are tabbed as the top-five programs in the nation, respectively. In addition to Stanford, UCLA and Arizona State, four other Pac-10 schools are ranked in the top-25: No. 11 Washington, No. 12 Oregon State, No. 18 California and No. 19 Arizona.
Stanford in the Postseason
The Cardinal produced their best season in program history last year, as the squad advanced to the NCAA Super Six for the first time in school history. Stanford ended the regular 2002 season at 13-5 overall and captured first place honors at the NCAA North Central Regional Championships, ultimately earning a trip to the NCAA Championships. The Cardinal have now made six appearances at Nationals, marking their third straight trip, and 2003 marks the 14th year Stanford has been selected for Regionals.
Year NCAA Regionals (Finish) NCAA Champs. (Finish)2003 Salt Lake City, Utah (2) Lincoln, Neb. (TBA)2002 Denver, Colo. (1) Tuscaloosa, Ala. (6)2001 Ann Arbor, Mich. (2) Athens, Ga. (8)2000 Corvallis, Ore. (3) Boise, Idaho (N/A)1999 Baton Rouge, La. (1) Salt Lake City, Utah (12)1998 Seattle, Wash. (3) Los Angeles, Calif. (N/A)1997 Boise, Idaho (5) Gainesville, Fla. (N/A)1996 Los Angeles, Calif. (3) Tuscaloosa, Ala. (9)1995 Corvallis, Ore. (3) Athens, Ga. (15)1994 Boise, Idaho (7) Salt Lake City, Utah (22)1993 Corvallis, Ore. (3) Corvallis, Ore. (15)1992 Berkeley, Calif. (4) St. Paul, Minn. (10)1991 Corvallis, Ore. (6) Tuscaloosa, Ala. (N/A)1990 Los Angeles, Calif. (5) Corvallis, Ore. (N/A)*** BOLD indicates advanced to NCAA Championships as a team*** Records not available prior to 1990 season
At the North Central Regional
Top-seeded Stanford finished second at the North Central Regional tonight in the John M. Huntsman Center on the campus of the University of Utah with a 196.625. The hosting Utes finished first with a 196.975 as both teams advance to the NCAA Championships in two weeks. Freshman Natalie Foley finished the night with a 39.350 to take second in the All-Around.
Stanford took a bye in the first rotation, but came out ready to perform in the second rotation with strong set of performances on the floor. Junior Caroline Fluhrer topped the Cardinal group with a 9.825 as the Cardinal posted a 48.850.
In the third rotation Stanford moved to vault where Foley posted a 9.900 to lead the squad and tie for first on the event, while fellow freshman Glyn Sweets backed her up with a 9.875 and a tie for third place.
After a bye, the Cardinal moved to the uneven bars for the fifth rotation where the Cardinal posted its highest team total so far of the night with a 49.175. Fluhrer, Sweets and junior Lindsay Wing each posted a 9.850. Utah closed out their final rotation with senior Theresa Kulikowski notching a 10.000 on the balance beam, securing a first place finish for the Utes who posted a Regional-high team mark of 49.600.
Stanford wrapped up competition on the beam in the final rotation. The Cardinal started off with junior Kendall Beck scoring a 9.875. Sweets followed with a 9.850 before Foley recorded a second 9.875 for the Cardinal. Wing then tallied a 9.900 as she tied for third place before senior Kelsey Stillinger ended the night with the third 9.875 on beam for the highest team total at 49.375.
At Arizona on Feb. 28, the Cardinal recorded a 49.575 team score on the balance beam, tying for the highest mark in school history. Stanford also set the high mark with a 49.575 at the 2001 Pac-10 Championships. As a team on the beam, the Cardinal are ranked third in the nation with an RQS total of 49.455 and an average score of 49.273. Junior Lindsay Wing has led Stanford on the event, ranking second individually on the beam. She is averaging a 9.950 and has recorded a 9.925 or higher in 10 of the 12 meets. Against Oklahoma (3/22), Wing recorded the school's first perfect 10.00 on the event and at the Pac-10 Championships was crowned the 2003 beam champion.
Junior Lise Lï¿½veillï¿½ had been consistent for the Cardinal in all 11 meets of the season. Lï¿½veillï¿½, ranked No. 14 in the all-around, did not compete against San Jose State, but finished with a 39.675 at the Pac-10 Championships to place third overall. She scored a career-high 39.725 against Arizona State, marking the third highest score in program history. In 11 meets, Lï¿½veillï¿½ has won the all-around four times, finished second once and placed third four times. All but one score have been 39.125 or higher.
Junior Kendall Beck recorded the team's first perfect 10.00 in 2003. Her score marks the first time in program history a gymnast has accomplished the feat on vault. Thus far in the season, Beck has scored a 9.875 or higher on the event in six of the team's 10 meets.
Freshmen Stepping Up
This year's freshmen class have contributed tremendously in their first season on The Farm. Natalie Foley (Englewood, CO) has competed in the all-around all but one competition for the Cardinal. Foley had a career night against UCLA, setting season-high marks on vault (9.925), floor (9.950) and all-around (39.725). Recently, she hit a 9.975 routine on bars at Arizona and placed fourth in the all-around at the Pac-10 Championships (39.625) and second at the NCAA Regionals (39.350). Glyn Sweets (Reston, VA) has been a solid performer on vault and bars for Stanford recording a 9.950 on vault and a 9.925 score on bars against UCLA, marking career-highs. She competed in her first collegiate all-around performance at San Jose State, collecting a 39.375. Sweets also recorded a career-high mark on bars (9.925). Jessica Louie (Loomis, CA) has competed in eight meets on vault for the Cardinal, also recording a career-high 9.850 against UCLA and Arizona State. At the Pac-10 Championships, she posted a high mark on floor (9.875) and competed on bars for the first time in a Stanford uniform at San Jose State.
The Smyth File
Kristen Smyth begins her second year at the helm of the Stanford women's gymnastics program after guiding the Cardinal to their most successful season in history. Smyth came to The Farm in June of 2001 and in her first season as head coach, led Stanford to its first-ever NCAA Super Six appearance. Previously, Smyth served as the associate head coach at Arizona State. 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.