Cardinal Gymnastics Set To Compete At NCAA Regional

April 4, 2005

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WHAT: NCAA Women's Gymnastics Regional
WHEN: Saturday, April 9, 2005 - 5:00 PM (PST)
WHERE: Seattle, WA - Bank of America Arena
THE FIELD: No. 2 UCLA, No. 11 Penn State, No. 14 Central Michigan, No. 24 Washington, Stanford and Boise State
COVERAGE: Live stats available at

Stanford travels to Seattle for NCAA Regional competition on Saturday at 5:00 pm. The Cardinal will be one of three Pac-10 teams in the regional, as No. 2 ranked UCLA and host Washington will also compete. No. 11 ranked Penn State, No. 14 Central Michigan and Boise State are included in the six-team field. The top two finishers will advance to the NCAA Team Championship scheduled for April 21st in Auburn, AL.

The Cardinal enter Saturday's West Regional Championship meet with a 7-11 record ... Stanford has already competed against three of the teams in the West Regional this season. Central Michigan topped the Cardinal in a dual meet in early February, and UCLA defeated the Cardinal in a dual meet at Maples Pavilion on February 18th. Stanford was edged by Washington by a slim margin in the squad's season opener in January, but finished ahead of the Huskies at the Pac-10 Championship on March 26th ... ... The Stanford roster is highlighted by a six member freshman class that includes 2004 Olympic Trials participants Liz Tricase and Tabitha Yim ... The roster also features three juniors in co-captain Jessica Louie and All-Americans Natalie Foley and Glyn Sweets ... Stanford's strongest event this season has been the uneven bars, as the team has averaged a 48.805 score on the event ... The Cardinal have also come on strong on the balance beam as of late, registering a season-high team score of 48.775 at the Pac-10 Championship ... The Cardinal have finished in the top two spots in each of their last four trips to a regional meet, taking first place in both 2002 and 2004 ... The Cardinal will be looking to make their fifth straight trip to the NCAA Championship .... Stanford reached is first Super Six in 2002 and advanced to Super Six competition last season, tying for third with Alabama.

At the West Regional, the Cardinal will proceed in Olympic order, beginning the meet on vault in the first rotation. Stanford will have a bye in the second rotation before proceeding to the uneven bars in rotation three. The Cardinal will head straight to the balance beam following the bars, and will get a chance to rest up for the last rotation with a bye in rotation six. Stanford will wrap up the regional competition on the floor exercise in the sixth rotation.
Rotation I Vault
Rotation II Bye
Rotation III Uneven Bars
Rotation IV Balance Beam
Rotation V Bye
Rotation VI Floor Exercise

Stanford is advancing to its 16th consecutive NCAA Regional. The Cardinal have finished in the top three on 10 different occasions and finished first three times (2004, 2002, 1999), the last time in Denver in 2004. The Cardinal will be seeking their eighth NCAA Championship bid when they head to Seattle on Saturday. Last season, the Cardinal finished first at the North Central Regional held in Denver, CO with a score of 196.575.

Pac-10 rival UCLA is ranked No. 2 in the nation and ranks in the top-five nationally in every event. The Bruins rank first on vault and bars, while checking in at No. 3 on the balance beam and No. 5 in the floor exercise. UCLA features Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year Kristen Maloney and Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Tasha Schwikert. Penn State enters the weekend ranked No. 11 in the nation, and the Nittany Lions are particularly strong on beam and in the floor exercise where they rank in the top-14 nationally. Central Michigan's Sara Burtinsky is ranked 13th in the nation on bars, and the Chippewas defeated the Cardinal in Mount Pleasant, Michigan earlier this season. Washington, serving as host for the regional, is led by senior captain Carly Dockendorf. The Huskies edged Stanford in the Cardinal's season-opener in January but finished just behind Stanford at the Pac-10 Championship. Rounding out the regional field is No. 34 ranked Boise State. The Broncos took third place at the Western Gymnastics Conference Championship on March 25th.

Junior Natalie Foley and freshman Tabitha Yim were named to the Pac-10 All-Conference Team as announced by the conference office last Wednesday. Foley, who earned three all-conference honors last season, was named to the Pac-10 All-Conference Team in the all-around, while Yim received All-Pac-10 accolades on the uneven bars. Foley has competed in the all-around in each of the Cardinal's last seven meets, posting a personal season-high score of 39.250 at the Utah Quad on March 4th. Yim received All-Pac-10 honors for the first time after establishing herself as one of the top performers in the nation on bars with a 9.900 Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) ... UCLA led all Pac-10 teams with 13 All-Conference honors, while Stanford and Arizona State each had two selections and Arizona had one ... The All-Conference team consists of the top-six all-around competitors, plus the top three competitors in each individual event. A gymnast's score is determined by a combination of 50 percent RQS (entire season composite) and 50 percent Pac-10 Championship score.

Sophomore Stacy Sprando and junior Natalie Foley earned Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention accolades as announced by the conference office last Thursday. Foley received Pac-10 All-Academic honors for the second straight season after earning honorable mention recognition following her sophomore year, while Sprando received Pac-10 All-Academic honors for the first time ... To be eligible for selection to the All-Academic team, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.0 overall grade-point average and be a starter or significant contributor.

Junior Natalie Foley scored a 39.075 in the all-around to capture sixth place and lead the Stanford women's gymnastics team to a fourth place finish at the Pac-10 women' s gymnastics championship in Berkeley. The Cardinal, who captured the conference title in Tucson last season, posted a team score of 194.600 to finish just ahead of Washington's fifth place mark of 194.425. UCLA claimed its 12th Pac-10 championship with a team score of 197.100 ... The Cardinal started the meet off on a strong note, registering a season-high team score on the balance beam with a 48.875. Foley led the squad on beam, posting a personal season-high score of 9.875. Stanford moved on to the floor exercise, and freshmen Lauren Elmore and Aimee Precourt got the Cardinal off to a good start with back-to-back 9.800 scores. Freshman Stephanie Gentry injured her toe during a tumbling pass in her floor routine and was forced to cut her performance short. The Cardinal continued on to the vault without Gentry, one of the squad's top competitors in the event, and posted a team mark of 48.475. Coach Smyth's squad wrapped up the competition on the uneven bars, and freshman Tabitha Yim scored a 9.900 to take second place as the Cardinal recorded a team score of 48.775. Elmore was Stanford's only other all-around competitor, scoring a 38.925 to place seventh.

Stanford continues to be one of the top teams in the nation on the uneven bars, and the squad currently ranks 11th in the nation in the event with a team RQS of 49.050 and an average event score of 48.805. Freshmen Tabitha Yim and Liz Tricase have led the way, as the pair have brought Stanford's team to new heights on bars. Yim currently ranks seventh in the nation with a 9.900 RQS, while Tricase has posted a 9.895 mark but will not compete for the remainder of the season due to injury. Junior Natalie Foley ranks No. 59 in the nation with a 9.825 RQS on bars, while junior Jessica Louie's return from injury has provided the Cardinal with a spark in the event over the past four meets. Sophomore Stacy Sprando and freshman Alex Pintchouk have also been consistent competitors for the Cardinal on the uneven bars throughout the 2005 season.

The 2005 campaign has proven to be another banner year for Pac-10 women's gymnastics. Six of the seven conference squads will be competing in NCAA Regionals this weekend, and four of the squads currently rank in the top-25, with Arizona State and Stanford not far behind. Arizona State checks in at No. 29 in the rankings, while the Cardinal, who are right on ASU's heels at No. 30, have defeated No. 12 ranked Oregon State and the Sun Devils in dual meets this season, and finished ahead of No. 24 ranked Washington at the Pac-10 Championship on March 26th. UCLA is the top ranked Pac-10 squad at No. 2, while Arizona is the second highest ranked Pac-10 team at No. 18.

Following a fourth place finish at the Pac-10 Championship, Stanford's Regional Qualifying (RQS) score improved to 194.835, and the squad moved to the No. 30 spot in the nation, just behind Pac-10 rival Arizona State. Tabitha Yim is one of the nation's top ranked gymnasts on the uneven bars, as the freshman currently has a 9.900 RQS in the event and ranks seventh in the country. Freshman Liz Tricase, who will miss the remainder of the season due to injury, has a 9.895 RQS and ranks No. 11 on the uneven bars. Junior Natalie Foley currently ranks No. 47 in the all-around with a 39.055 RQS.

Freshman Liz Tricase received Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week honors for the second time this season following her performance against Arizona State on February 25th. Tricase captured first place in three events against the Sun Devils, winning vault (9.875), tying a team season-high on bars (9.950), and setting a team season-high on floor (9.900). Tricase was also named Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week after leading the Cardinal to its first dual meet win of the season against Oregon State on January 28th. The Itasca, IL native was outstanding on the vault (9.900) and bars (9.950), capturing first place in both events against the Beavers.

The Cardinal received the highest preseason ranking in program history, checking in at No. 3 in the 2005 preseason coaches poll. The squad received four first place votes, and tallied 554 total votes, just 11 shy of No. 2 ranked Georgia. Defending NCAA Champion UCLA grabbed the top spot, receiving 15 first place votes.

With no seniors on the 2005 squad, the Cardinal are led by a trio of juniors. Natalie Foley (Englewood, CO) returns after an outstanding season in which she garnered five All-American honors. Foley established herself as one of the top gymnasts in Cardinal program history, receiving first team All-American honors on the vault, uneven bars, floor exercise, and all-around, while garnering second team honors on the balance beam. Foley will serve as the team's co-captain along with junior Jessica Louie (Loomis, CA), who competed on the vault, bars, and floor exercise at last season's NCAA Super Six. Louie tied for first on the vault at last season's North Central Regional, scoring a 9.900. Glyn Sweets (Reston, VA), the third junior on the squad, earned second team All-American honors on the vault and bars as a freshman, and is back to full strength after battling injuries throughout much of her sophomore campaign. The Cardinal roster also features a pair of sophomores in Brittany Billmaier (Woodinville, WA) and Stacy Sprando (Portland, OR). Billmaier sat out her freshman season and did not compete due to injury. She is expected to contribute on the beam and floor in 2005. Sprando saw considerable action on the competition floor as a freshman, competing primarily on the bars and balance beam.

Coach Smyth welcomes a highly-touted six-member freshman class to The Farm for the 2005 season. The group was recently ranked as the nation's second best recruiting class by, being narrowly edged out by Georgia's incoming group. Headlining the incoming class is a pair of gymnasts that competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials last summer. Liz Tricase (Itasca, IL) will jump right into the Cardinal lineup as an all-around performer, while Tabitha Yim (Irvine, CA) continues to rebound from an injury and will be ready to compete early in the season. Stephanie Gentry (Plano, TX) joins the squad after competing in the Junior Olympic Nationals twice, and participating as a member of the National Team from 2000-2001. Lauren Elmore (Bloomington, IN) is a five-time Junior Olympic Nationals Competitor, a former Junior Olympic National all-around champion (2003), and will contribute immediately on a number of events. Alex Pintchouk (Mt. Laurel, NJ) is a two-time Level 10 New Jersey state champion, and competed for Will-Moor Gymnastics. Aimee Precourt (Pasadena, TX) is a two-time Junior Olympic Nationals competitor, and captured the Texas State all-around championship in 2004.

The 2004 Stanford Cardinal gymnastics team capped off a record-setting season with a program-best third-place tie with Alabama at the Super Six last April. The Cardinal also garnered a program-best 15 All-American awards, easily eclipsing the previous season's program-high of eight. After guiding Stanford to its most successful season in school history, head coach Kristen Smyth swept the annual coaching awards, being named Pac-10 Coach of the Year, West Region Coach of the Year, and NACGC National Coach of the Year. The Cardinal began the season on a high note, entering the campaign with a school-best No. 6 preseason ranking. But the team didn't hit its stride until February, when the squad started posting record-setting numbers. On February 20, Stanford's five seniors put on a show to remember in their final home meet, leading the Cardinal to a 198.875-195.750 win over California. The team score established a national season-high, while the team scores of 49.925 on the floor and 49.750 on the beam were also the best scores in the country. The Cardinal continued to roll along, as the then-No. 2 ranked squad edged the top-ranked UCLA Bruins for the Pac-10 Championship, 197.900-197.875. Stanford entered the North Central Regional as the hottest team in the country, and captured first place with a 196.575 team score. The team then moved on to the NCAA Championship, where more records crumbled as the Cardinal wrapped up the best season in program history.

Kristen Smyth returns for her fourth year as Stanford women's gymnastics coach, following an incredible 2004 campaign that saw her sweep the annual coaching awards, garnering Pac-10, West Region, and NACGC National Coach of the Year honors. During her time at Stanford, Smyth has quickly turned the Cardinal program into one of the nation's elite. Smyth came to The Farm in June of 2001 and in her first season, led Stanford to its first-ever NCAA Super Six appearance. She followed that up with another NCAA Championship appearance in 2003, marking the third straight year that the Cardinal advanced to NCAA Championships. Last season, she guided Stanford gymnastics to its fourth straight NCAA Championship, and capped the most successful season in program history by tying for third at the NCAA Super Six Championships.

The 2004 Stanford gymnastics squad put together an amazing campaign, capturing the Pac-10 title as well as a championship at the North Central Regional. Then Cardinal garnered 15 All-American awards in 2004, eclipsing the previous season's program-high of eight. The team also posted a national season-high score with a 198.875 against California on February 20th, and set national event season-high scores on floor (49.925) and beam (49.750).

Smyth has also brought some of the nation's top talent to The Farm. Stanford's six-member recruiting class was ranked as one of the top incoming groups prior to this season, and features former Olympic Trial participants Liz Tricase and Tabitha Yim.

Smyth came to The Farm after previously serving 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 1998 Regional Assistant Coach of the Year after helping the Sun Devils to a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. During her time in Tempe, Arizona State advanced to the NCAA Super Six in three of her five seasons.

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