Stanford Falls Short In Bid For Fifth Straight NCAA Championship Appearance

April 9, 2005

Seattle, Wash. - The Stanford women's gymnastics team fell short in its bid for a fifth straight NCAA Championship appearance, scoring a 194.750 to finish fourth at the NCAA West Regional in Seattle on Saturday evening. Freshman Tabitha Yim captured fifth place in the all-around to earn one of the two automatic berths to the NCAA's reserved for individuals on non-automatic qualifying teams.

UCLA captured the top spot with a 197.025 score, and Penn State finished in second place with a 195.375 to advance to the NCAA Championship in Auburn, Alabama on April 21-23. Stanford's 194.750 mark fell just short of host Washington's 195.000 team score, as the Huskies captured third place. Rounding out the field at the West Regional was Boise State in fifth place with a 194.500 score and Central Michigan in sixth place with a 194.125 team mark.

The Cardinal proceeded in Olympic order throughout the six-team meet, beginning on vault in the first rotation. The squad registered a team score of 48.225, with junior Natalie Foley and Yim each scoring a 9.750 to lead the team. It marked the first time this season that Yim has competed on vault for the Cardinal.

Following a bye in the second rotation, the Cardinal competed on the uneven bars in the third rotation. Yim scored a team-high 9.875, and Foley chipped in with a 9.800 as the team registered a 48.750 team mark. Yim captured third place, and Foley tied for fourth place on the bars.

Head coach Kristen Smyth's squad excelled on the balance beam in rotation four, posting a season-high team score of 49.000, thanks in large part to freshman Lauren Elmore's personal season-high 9.900 score that tied for third place. Elmore's mark is the second best beam score posted by a Stanford gymnast this season, just behind Yim's 9.925 mark set on March 19th. Yim and Foley also contributed to the team score with identical 9.800 marks. Freshmen Alex Pintchouk and Aimee Precourt also set personal season-highs on beam, with each gymnast receiving a 9.750 score.

Stanford headed into the floor exercise in the final rotation within striking distance of the top two spots. Yim continued to impress, tying a personal season-high with a 9.825 to capture fifth place in the event. Elmore contributed to the team mark with a 9.775 score, but the Cardinal could only muster a 48.775 team total on floor.

Due to injuries, only seven different gymnasts competed for the Cardinal at the West Regional, and five of them competed in the all-around. Yim competed in the all-around for the first time this season, and scored a 39.250 to finish fifth overall. Her mark is tied for the second highest all-around score posted by a Stanford gymnast this season. Foley scored a 39.025 in the all-around to place eighth, while Pintchouk finished ninth with a personal season-high score of 38.950. Elmore placed 11th with a 38.875 and Precourt competed in the all-around for the first time this season, scoring a 38.525 to finish 17th.

Yim and Boise State's Lindsay Ward, who finished fifth and sixth in the all-around respectively, earned the two automatic berths to the NCAA's reserved for individuals on non-automatic qualifying teams. UCLA's Tasha Schwikert was first in the all-around, followed by teammates Kristen Maloney and Jordan Schwikert. Penn State's Kristal Uzelac was fourth.

Final Team Scores

1. UCLA 197.025
2. Penn State 195.375
3. Washington 195.000
4. Stanford 194.750
5. Boise State 194.500
6. Central Michigan 194.125

Top Stanford Finishers

15t. Natalie Foley 9.750
15t. Tabitha Yim 9.750
18t. Alex Pintchouk 9.725

3. Tabitha Yim 9.875
4t. Natalie Foley 9.800
13t. Alex Pintchouk 9.725

3t. Lauren Elmore 9.900
13t. Natalie Foley 9.800
13t. Tabitha Yim 9.800

5t. Tabitha Yim 9.825
15t. Lauren Elmore 9.775
18t. Alex Pintchouk 9.750
18t. Aimee Precourt 9.750

5. Tabitha Yim 39.250
8. Natalie Foley 39.025
9. Alex Pintchouk 38.950
11. Lauren Elmore 38.875
17. Aimee Precourt 38.525

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