Women's Gymnastics Prepares For Home Opener Against Washington

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Jan. 13, 2002

This Week's Action
Fri., Jan. 18...vs. Washington...7:30 p.m...Stanford, CA

Cardinal Update
The Stanford women's gymnastics squad will be looking for its first victory of the season on Friday, Jan. 18, when it squares off against Pac-10 rival Washington in the home opener at Burnham Pavilion at 7:30 p.m. The Cardinal are hoping to bounce back from a loss they suffered in their season opener against Minnesota, a close 195.800-194.675 decision. Stanford, the defending Pac-10 champions, dropped their season-opening meet last season to UCLA before capturing a win against Washington in the following meet at the Fox Sports Net Northwest Challenge in Seattle, Wash.

Stanford in the National Rankings
The Cardinal (0-1) enters this weekend unranked after debuting at No. 8 in the opening week of the GymInfo National Rankings. The current top-five programs in the country are as follows: No. 1 Georgia, No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 Nebraska, No. 4 Utah and No. 5 Minnesota. Other Pac-10 schools in the rankings include No. 7 Arizona, No. 14 California, No. 19 Arizona State and No. 24 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 Huskies
Washington, which opened the season with a No. 19 preseason national ranking, will be competing in its first match of the 2002 campaign when it faces Stanford on Friday. The Huskies produced a 17-13-1 record in 2001 and made its 20th consecutive appearance at an NCAA Regional, good for a No. 15 final ranking. Washington has a roster which includes eight returning starters, led by junior Stacy Wong and senior Allison Bruce. At the helm of the Washington women's gymnastics program is head coach Bob Levesque, currently in his 12th season.

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 Looks To Rebound
The Cardinal dropped a 195.800-194.675 decision to No. 5 Minnesota on the road last weekend in the season opener. Stanford bested the Golden Gophers in just one event- a 48.800-48.525 edge on the vault. Sophomore Caroline Fluhrer finished with a match-high 9.850 score on the vault and team-high scores in two other events (bars and floor). Fluhrer, an All Pac-10 selection in 2001 for the All-Around and vault, also finished with a 39.225 tally in the All-Around. On balance beam, three Cardinal gymnasts (Kendall Beck, Lise L�veill�, and Lindsay Wing) each notched a 9.825 to finish in a three-way tie for second. Senior Katy Herbert recorded an All-Around score of 37.975.

It Won't Be Easy
Eight of the 12 opponents Stanford faces this season are ranked in the latest edition of the top-25. The Cardinal faces non-conference foes Florida, Penn State and Minnesota, along with its usual competitive Pac-10 slate. Stanford University will also be the host site for the 2002 Pac-10 Championships on Mar. 23.

Leading the Charge
Sophomores Lindsay Wing and Lise L�veill� wrapped up the 2001 s eason for the Card by garnering All-America honors at the NCAA Championships last April. Wing snagged second place on the beam with a 9.925, while L�veill� chalked up a 9.850 on floor- good for 11th place. Wing, the 2001 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, earned First Team All-America honors on beam and the All-Around, and was named a Second Team All-American on floor. L�veill� was tabbed a First Team All-American selection on the floor exercise.

Vaulting Over the Competition
The vault apparatus appeared to be the most obvious strength for the Cardinal in its season-opening loss to Minnesota. Stanford outperformed the Golden Gophers in the event by a 48.800-48.525 margin. Caroline Fluhrer led all gymnasts with a 9.850 score and was followed by Kendall Beck in second place with a 9.800 and Shelly Goldberg in third place with a 9.775. Freshman Mandy Delgadotied for fourth at 9.750, while fellow freshman Marla Ranieri notched a 9.625.

Fantastic Fluhrer
Sophomore Caroline Fluhrer picked up where she left off in her freshman campaign, leading the Cardinal squad against Minnesota. Fluhrer had the match-high score in vault with a 9.850 and her score of 9.850 on the floor exercise put her in a third place tie. She finished tied for fourth place on the uneven parallel bars at 9.825 and was the second-best All-Around competitor in the contest, netting a 39.225.

Gaining Experience Quickly
Both Stanford freshmen, Mandy Delgado and Marla Ranieri, provided an immediate boost to the Cardinal lineup with their performances against Minnesota. Delgado, a two-time Junior Olympics Vault Champion, posted a 9.750 score (fourth place) on the vault and a 9.775 score (seventh place) on the floor. Ranieri, a member of the fifth-place American team at the Trophee Massila in Marseille, France, recorded a 9.625 (ninth place) on the vault in her Cardinal debut.

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