Stanford Hosts Quadrangular To Open 2004 Season

Jan. 7, 2004

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THIS WEEK: Stanford Quadrangular
WHEN: Friday, January 9, 2004 - 7:30 PM (PT)
WHERE: Burnham Pavilion on the Stanford Campus
WHO: No. 6 Stanford, Central Michigan, Sacramento State, San Jose State
LIVE STATS: click here!

Sunday, January 18, 2004
at No. 9 Arizona State
Tempe, AZ

Central Michigan University hails from the Mid-American Conference which they have been crown champions nine of the last 13 seasons. The Chippewas are led by Junior Kara Reighard who finished 11th in the all-around at the NCAA Championship as well as winning MAC titles in the vault, floor exercise and the all-around ... Sacramento State will be seeking its fifth consecutive conference title in 2004. The Hornets have captured the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship the past two seasons and were named Western Independent champions in 2000 and 2001. The Hornets sent two performers to the 2003 NCAA West Regionals in juniors Jessica Hoffman and Nirvana Zaher. Zaher finished 13th in the all-around, while Hoffman finished 18th ... San Jose State got its first taste of NCAA postseason competition in 2003, making its first-ever NCAA Regional Championship appearance. The Spartans, who also belong to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, finished tied for fifth place, while Shirla Choy, then a junior, finished in eighth place in the all-around.

If the preseason women's gymnastics coaches poll is any indication of things to come, the 2004 season should be a very successful one for the Cardinal. Stanford University women's gymnastics team is ranked No. 6 in the women's gymnastics preseason coaches poll. The No. 6 ranking is the highest preseason ranking in program history. The Cardinal, who earned a No. 6 final national ranking in 2003, tallied 751 points, finishing just seven points behind No. 5 Michigan. UCLA, who has captured three of the last four NCAA championships, including winning the national title last season, garnered 27 first place votes and 938 total points for preseason No. 1 honors.

The Cardinal welcome back six All-Americans in seniors Kendall Beck (San Antonio, TX), Caroline Fluhrer (Seattle, WA) , Lise L�veill� (Burnaby, B.C.), Lindsay Wing (Cypress, TX) and sophomores Natalie Foley (Englewood, CO) and Glyn Sweets (Reston, VA). Last season, Stanford garnered two first team and six second team All-American honors for a program best eight awards. Wing garnered one of the Cardinal's first team honors for her performance on the balance beam, tying for second in her session with a 9.900. She also picked up a second team award for bars, tying for fifth. For Wing, it was her fifth career All-American honors as she was a first team All-American on beam in 2001 and 2002 and a first team All-American in the all-around in 2001. Fluhrer received her first All-American status in 2003 for a fifth place tie on bars, earning second team honors, while Sweets also earned her first All-American honor, gaining second team accolades on vault and beam. Sweets tied for sixth and seventh on the events, respectively. As a freshman last season, Foley took seventh overall (fourth in Stanford's session) in the all-around with a 39.375, earning her first career first team accolades and collected second team honors for her performance on vault and bars, tying for sixth and seventh, respectively. L�veill� garnered first team All-American honors on beam and second team All-American on floor in 2002 and earned first team accolades on floor in 2001. Beck earned first team honors on the vault in 2002.

The Stanford Cardinal welcome a talented freshman class in 2004. Brittany Billmaier, Erin Geary and Stacy Sprando should have an immediate impact on the team, not only this season, but for many to come. Sprando hails from Portland, Ore., where she competed for Metro Gymnastics. A former National Elite competitor, Sprando took the beam title at the 2003 National Championships, while finishing in fourth place in the all-around competition. She placed first on balance beam and in the all-around in the Regional Championships in consecutive years (2002, 2003). She also placed second on the floor exercise and on uneven bars at the 2003 regionals. Billmaier, a native of Woodinville, Wash., is a four-time Junior Olympic Nationals competitor and has earned seven regional gold medals. Competing for Gymnastics East of Bellevue, she earned a gold medal on balance beam in international competition in Santiago, Chile, in 2002. Geary is a seven-time Level-10 Junior Olympic competitor, a four-time All-American on bars and a three-time Level-10 state champion. The Honolulu, Hawaii, native also twice qualified for the Region 2 All-Star Team. Geary competed for the Hawaiian Island Twisters Gymnastics Team.

Stanford followed up its first-ever Super Six appearance in 2002 with another strong year, just missing the Super Six in 2003. The Cardinal, who ended the season with a No. 6 national ranking, posted a 20-4-1 overall record and a 5-2-1 dual meet record. The Cardinal's lone tie came versus Pac-10 rival and eventually National Champion UCLA when the two teams scored identical 197.45 marks to end in a draw. The two national powerhouses would battle for the Pac-10 Championship, but in the end, the top-ranked Bruins held off the Cardinal. Stanford tallied 197.700 points, led by All-American Lindsay Wing's tremendous performance on the balance beam. Wing registered a 9.975 en route to capturing her third consecutive Pac-10 Beam title. The Cardinal advanced to the NCAA Regionals, where despite being placed in the most competitive regional in the nation, captured second, earning the teams third consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships. At the NCAA Championships, the Cardinal missed advancing to its second Super Six, but the team earned a program best eight All-American honors. On top of that, six Cardinal gymnasts were named 2003 National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches (NACGC) Academic All-Americans (Shelly Goldberg, Alissa Cooper Caroline Fluhrer, Lise L�veill�, Lindsay Wing and Natalie Foley).

Kristen Smyth begins her third year at the helm of the Stanford women's gymnastics program. 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 in 2002. The Cardinal continued to flourish under Smyth's guidance in 2003, advancing to the program's third consecutive NCAA Championship. Under the tutelage of Smyth and her outstanding coaching staff, the Cardinal earned a program record eight All-American honors last season. Previously, Smyth served as the associate head coach at Arizona State. Smyth came to Tempe, AZ 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.

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