No. 3 Women's Gymnastics to Host No. 9 Oklahoma

March 6, 2007

Stanford, CA -

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What's Happening This Week...

The Stanford women's gymnastics team is ranked No. 3 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 9-2 record overall. This week the Card are home for the first time in a month when they host No. 9 Oklahoma at 7:30 pm this Friday, March 9, in Burnham Pavilion. OU (11-1, 3-0 Big 12) is off to its best start since 2001 under first year Head Coach KJ Kindler and are undefeated in the Big 12 Conference. The Sooners are led by Brittney Koncak-Schumann, who is ranked 9th nationally in the All Around.

The Card in Action Last Week....

Stanford was off last weekend but the weekend before the team survived a trying travel challenge as they braved a blizzard en route to the Masters Classic at the University of Nebraska. LSU, also scheduled to compete, was stranded by weather in Dallas but NC State made it safely to Lincoln for what became a three team invitational. The Card started the day with a disappointing balance beam rotation that left them in a deep, early hole. They put together three solid events afterwards, but it was not enough to catch the Huskers and the final tally left Stanford with only its second loss of the season, 195.8 to Nebraska's 196.35. NC State took third with a 194.475. All three of Stanford's All Around competitors struggled, but freshman Carly Janiga's 39.15 was enough to capture second place behind Husker Emily Parson's 39.25.

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: Stanford enters competition this week ranked No. 3 in the country, with a regional qualifying score (RQS) of 196.53. In individual events, the Card rank No. 11 on vault (49.1), No. 3 on bars (49.28), No. 3 on beam (49.105) and No. 5 on floor (49.215). Individually, Carly Janiga is ranked No. 3 (9.91) on bars, and No. 4 in the All Around (39.345).

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. Yim returned to the bar lineup last weekend and is expected to compete this weekend as well, while the team looks to have Tricase back for the post-season. 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 have another off weekend after the Oklahoma meet to prepare for the post-season. The Card will host No. 5 UCLA in their next and last regular season meet on Sunday, March 25 at 2 pm in Burnham Pavilion. Stanford has defeated UCLA in their last three meetings, including a very closely contested Pac-10 Championship last year at Oregon State. This year's Pac-10 Championship Meet will be held on Saturday, March 31 at 6 pm at Arizona State University.

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