Pac-12 Gymnasts Among Nation's Elite
Utah's Stephanie McAllister is averaging a 39.388 in the all-around.
With no shortage of talent on display, Pac-12 Gymnastics teams appear to be in mid-season form. Impressive early season performances have confirmed the Conference's standing among the very best in the nation. Heading into the week, the Conference has five teams placed in the top-15 in the nation - No. 2 UTAH, No. 4 OREGON STATE, No. 7 UCLA, No. 13 ARIZONA and No. 14 STANFORD. In each week of the season thus far, the Conference has had no fewer than four teams in the top-15.
Individually, Pac-12 gymnasts have made an immediate impact on women's gymnastics nationally. A number of strong performances have been turned in by Pac-12 teams and individuals alike. UCLA's Samantha Peszek (39.450), Oregon State's Leslie Mak (39.400) and Utah's Stephanie McAllister (39.388) highlight the strength of the Conference, placing sixth, eighth and ninth, respectfully, in the nation's top-10 average score in the all-around. These exceptional early season performances have helped each of their teams get off to impressive starts.
Friday, January 20
NO. 4 OREGON STATE at No. 13 ARIZONA, 7 p.m.
CALIFORNIA at ARIZONA STATE, 7p.m.
Sunday, January 22
WASHINGTON at No. 14 STANFORD, 2 p.m.
No. 19 San Jose State at No. 7 UCLA, 2 p.m.
All times are local to site.
Rankings from 2012 Preseason Coaches Poll provided by troester.com.
ARIZONA: The Wildcats are set for their home opener this weekend as they play host to No. 4 Oregon State. After being off for a week, senior Katie Matusik and Arizona will look to improve from their impressive debut in which they placed second at the Cancun Classic. The Wildcats jumped up six spots in the rankings, moving from No. 19 to No. 13.
ARIZONA STATE: Beate Jones and the Sun Devils are set to welcome California to the desert on Friday night for their Conference opener. Finally fielding a healthy roster for 2012, Arizona State will try to remain undefeated after narrowly escaping with the victory over UC Davis in its season opener.
CALIFORNIA: California travels down to Arizona State for its second Conference meet in as many weeks. The Bears played host to then-No. 1 UCLA last week in Berkeley. Cal has improved statistically each meet thus far and looks to continue that trend when it takes on the Sun Devils at 7 p.m. on Friday night. Junior Mariesah Pierce has performed well as of late, placing second place on the floor with a 9.825 in last Sunday's meet against UCLA.
OREGON STATE: The Beavers moved up in the national polls, going from No. 7 to No. 4. Their win against then No. 4 Oklahoma snapped the Sooners' 32 meet win streak. In helping her team to victory, senior Leslie Mak was named Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week. Oregon State hopes to keep its momentum heading into its first Conference meet against No. 13 Arizona.
STANFORD: The Cardinal are set for their first Conference meet of the season when they host Washington on Sunday. Stanford is the fifth Pac-12 team in the nation's top-15, making an appearance at No. 14. Kristina Vaculik, a Stanford gymnast taking a year off from school in an attempt to qualify for the 2012 Olympics, helped Canada advance to the London Games during an Olympic Qualifying Test Event on Jan. 11.
UCLA: UCLA will take a break from Conference action to host No. 19 San Jose State Sunday. The undefeated Bruins received a stellar performance from junior Vanessa Zamarripa on the vault as she posted her fifth career perfect 10. For her efforts, Zamarripa was awarded Pac-12 Special Performance of the Week honors.
UTAH: Utah has moved up to No. 2 in the nation with a 196.713 average after the first two meets of the season. In their win over in state rival Utah State, the Utes posted the best score in the nation with a 197.400. Freshman Georgia Dabritz is leading the nation on the floor with an average of 9.938 and a high of 9.975.
WASHINGTON: Washington will travel to Stanford for its first Conference meet of 2012. The Huskies look to rebound after falling short to then No. 14 Boise State. Junior Lauren Rogers won her first career vault title with a career best 9.875. With their meet at Stanford on Sunday, Washington will conclude a challenging opening stretch in which it has competed on the road for three straight weeks.