No. 4 Women's Gymnastics to Host No. 8 UCLA

March 21, 2007

Stanford, CA -

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What's Happening This Week: The Stanford women's gymnastics team is ranked No. 4 nationally in the latest GymInfo poll released Monday. The poll, which is calculated by regional qualifying score, also ranks Stanford first in both the West region and the Pac 10 Conference. In her sixth season Head Coach Kristen Smyth has followed up last season's Pac-10 Conference Championship title with a remarkable 2007 run that includes an undefeated record in the Pac-10 and a 10-2 record overall. This week the Card are home for the last time this season when they host No. 8 UCLA at 2:00 pm this Sunday, March 9, in Burnham Pavilion. Stanford won the first matchup between the top two Pac-10 teams at UCLA on Jan. 15, 196.975-195.525. The teams will meet again on Mar. 31 at the Pac-10 Championships as Stanford attempts to defend its conference title.

The Card in Action Last Week: Stanford was off last weekend but the weekend before SWG rebounded solidly from a disappointing loss at Nebraska by defeating No. 8 Oklahoma, 196.475 to 196.175. It was a very closely contested meet and the outcome was in doubt until the very end, thanks to a really strong performance by a gritty Oklahoma team that seemed primed for an upset. 'Oklahoma is a great team and they're very well coached. This was a tight meet all night and we did fight enough to win, but we did not have our best work,' said Head Coach Kristen Smyth. The Cardinal were led by a 39.325 All Around effort by freshman Carly Janiga as well as an inspirational return to multiple lineups by junior All American Tabitha Yim. Yim has been out with a couple of nagging injuries for over a month and did a nice job at Nebraska on bars two weeks ago, but it was her additional efforts on vault and beam that really helped tonight. 'It was great to have Tab back in the lineup and we're hoping to get her back on floor soon,' said Smyth. 'She always adds a spark and she was as solid as ever, not missing a beat and turning in 9.9s on three events.'

Gymnasts of the Week: Stanford gymnasts have sewn up three Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week award for a three week stretch in the early season--Tabitha Yim, Carly Janiga, and Nicole Ourada all earned honors for outstanding All Around performances.

The Rankings: In individual events, the Card rank No. 11 on vault (49.13), No. 4 on bars (49.28), No. 3 on beam (49.125) and No. 6 on floor (49.215). Individually, Carly Janiga is ranked No. 5 (9.91) on bars, and No. 13 in the All Around (39.36).

About the Rankings: Unlike other collegiate athletic rankings, collegiate gymnastic rankings are not based on wins and losses or votes. Gymnastic teams are ranked by their meet scores alone. From Jan. 15-Feb. 12, teams and individuals were ranked by their total season average. Starting Feb. 19, teams and gymnasts are ranked by a Regional Qualifying Score (RQS). An RQS is based on a team's top six regular-season scores, with at least three scores coming from away meets. To obtain the RQS, the team's or gymnast's highest score is dropped and the remaining five scores are averaged.

Injury Update: Co-captain juniors Liz Tricase (shoulder) and Tabitha Yim (wrist) have missed much of the middle of the season recovering from from soft tissue injuries. Both are doubtful for this weekend but should be ready for NCAA Regional Championships in three weeks. Sophomore Heather Purnell underwent successful ACL reconstruction last week and will miss the remainder of the year. Freshman Allyse Ishino, alternate to the 2004 US Olympic Team, will redshirt this season as she recovers from a pulmonary embolism late in the Fall.

Future Card: In November Stanford signed Danielle Ikoma to a National Letter of Intent. Ikoma has twice finished in the top three in the All Around at the Junior Olympic National Championships and last year was named the Region V Junior Olympic athlete of the year in recognition of her efforts. Ikoma (Naperville, IL) is an honors student at Naperville Central High School. She is a five-time Junior Olympic National qualifier who trains under Dan and Beth Miller at Arena Gymnastics in Joliet, Illinois. At the Level 10 Nationals in 2005, Ikoma was the balance beam champion, placed second on uneven bars, second in the all-around and third on vault. At the Level 10 Nationals in 2006 she was the balance beam champion and placed third in the All-Around.

Looking Ahead: Stanford will leave next Friday for Tempe, AZ, where Arizona State University will host the 2007 Pac-10 Championships on Saturday, March 31 at 6:00 pm. Two days after that meet the NCAA will determine the final regular season rankings and seedings for the post-season. If the Card remain in the top 6 in the national rankings, they will be a #1 seed. There is a good chance the team would then be sent to the NCAA Regional Site at Cal-Berkeley that will be held on Saturday, April 14. The top two teams from each Regional Championship will move on to NCAA National Championships, which will be hosted in Salt Lake City by the University of Utah, beginning on Thursday, April 26 .

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