No. 5 Women's Gymnastics Heads to Pac-10 Championships

March 28, 2007

Stanford, CA -

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What's Happening This Week:The Stanford women's gymnastics team (SWG) is ranked No. 5 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 an 11-2 record overall. This week the Card will head to Tempe, AZ for the 2007 Pac-10 Conference Championships at Arizona State University. Stanford looks to defend its team title from the 2006 season and solidify their position as a #1 seed heading into NCAA Regional Championships on April 14. The Pac-10 Conference named Alex Pintchouk to the All Academic Team for the year. Aimee Precourt was named to the second team.

The Card in Action Last Week: SWG finished the regular season undefeated in the Pac-10 with a solid victory on Sunday over #8 UCLA, 196.825 vs. 196.25. Stanford was led by Junior Alex Pintchouk's second best All Around effort ever, an outstanding 39.425 that included 9.9s on both vault and bars and gave her the All Around title. Stanford was without the services of All American Tabitha Yim and last year's #1 ranked bar worker Liz Tricase, but both are expected to see action this weekend at the Pac-10 meet.

Last Year at Pac-10 Champs:Stanford had their best meet of the 2006 season when Oregon State hosted the championship last season. A remarkable and nearly flawless beam performance anchored a 'complete' meet that gave the team a 197.3, a .1 victory over UCLA, and Coach Smyth's third Pac-10 title in six years. Sophomores Tabitha Yim and Liz Tricase stole the show, as Stanford captured its 4th Pac-10 Championship. Yim took first place honors in the all-around (39.650) and on the beam (9.975), and Tricase took first on the bars (9.925). UCLA came insecond scoring 196.800.

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: In individual events, the Card rank No. 12 on vault (49.14), No. 4 on bars (49.28), No. 4 on beam (49.165) and No. 6 on floor (49.245). Individually, Carly Janiga is ranked No. 5 (9.91) on bars, and No. 13 in the All Around (39.375).

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. After conference championships weekend there is 'new life' and rankings will be based on NCAA Regional scores.

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. Both are doubtful for this weekend but should be ready for NCAA Regional Championships in three weeks. 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 leave Friday for Tempe, AZ, where Arizona State University will host the 2007 Pac-10 Championships on Saturday, March 31 at 6:00 pm. Two days after that meet the NCAA will determine the final regular season rankings and seedings for the post-season. If the Card remain in the top 6 in the national rankings, they will be a #1 seed. There is a good chance the team would then be sent to the NCAA Regional Site at Cal-Berkeley that will be held on Saturday, April 14. The top two teams from each Regional Championship will move on to NCAA National Championships, which will be hosted in Salt Lake City by the University of Utah, beginning on Thursday, April 26 .

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