Stanford Senior Series: Liz Tricase

March 6, 2008

Stanford, Calif. - In our six-part series featuring all six Stanford women's gymnastics senior class, we focus today on Liz Tricase. A native of Itasca, Ill., Tricase has been a huge contributor on vault and bars this season. She was a 2007 First-Team All-American on vault and was the vault champion at the 2007 South Central Regional. This season she has high's of 9.950 on vault this season and a 9.925 on bars.

She has helped the Cardinal out to a 9-4 record on the season and a No. 9 national ranking. Tricase will be competing for the final time at home this Friday, Mar. 7 at Maples Pavilion at 7:00 p.m. Come cheer on Tricase and the five other Stanford women's gymnastics seniors for one last time this Friday.

Seven Questions with Liz Tricase:

Why did you choose Stanford?
There are several reasons why I chose Stanford. First of all, the academic opportunities that Stanford has to offer are just incredible. It still astonishes me that I've been taught by a Nobel Prize winner and by the person who discovered the REM sleep cycle, among other world-renowned professors with incredible accomplishments. In addition, Stanford has a very strong athletics program--you could say we're pretty good at sports. I think the past 13 Director's Cups say quite a bit. :) Third, all of the students who go here are amazing. The student body is a very accomplished group of diverse, young people, and they succeed in so many areas of their lives. They make it exciting to be a part of this school. Finally, the girls on the team and the coaches who welcomed me with open arms also played a huge part in why I chose Stanford. They are genuine, wonderful people, and there isn't any other group with whom I'd have rather shared the past four years, through thick and thin. I can't imagine having had a different college experience. If I could do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing.

How has Stanford women's gymnastics changed you since you came inas a freshman?
SWG has taught me so many important lessons, and I will be able to apply them in numerous areas of my life. I've really learned the meaning and the value of 'team' because collegiate gymnastics is a completely different experience than club gymnastics. The club culture is more individualized, and SWG has taught me accountability and leadership, rekindled my passion for the sport, showed me the importance of fulfilling my roles when others are depending on me, and helped me become a well-rounded student-athlete with experiences that have prepared me to handle any career field. Together, our team has encountered hardships, and we've celebrated exciting moments. I've taken lessons with me from the rough times, and I cherish and appreciate the good ones. I will treasure my collegiate gymnastics experience with SWG for the rest of my life.

What is your most memorable meet these past four years?
For me it is most definitely Super Six Team Finals last year. After having a rough freshman year and not making to nationals either freshman or sophomore year, it was so awesome to not only compete at NCAA's but show that we're a team who can compete among the very best in the country. We made it to Nationals and qualified through to the very last team competition day of the year. Coming in 5th place at NCAA Team Finals, only few tenths of a point behind the top teams, is my most memorable meet thus far for sure.

Describe a memorable off the court moment as a team in your time atStanford?
This question is harder to answer! There definitely isn't just one. Somehow, we are able to find the fun in just about everything we do, and I love that about us. Our team really is a family, and whether we're at dinner, cross-training with the synchro team in the pool, watching movies together in the Creekside, or traveling--doing anything together, really, we're always making memorable moments. Luckily Precourt is usually around with her camera to capture them in pictures or on video. These are moments such as locker pictures (Nikki, Fee, and Purnell), the water chugging contest (Pre and Tabbs), or the 'let's put a whole tin of Altoids in our mouths and see what happens' event (Natalie and Tabbs)...and I could go on.

What is your favorite class at Stanford?
There were a few that I really enjoyed. (Maybe by now you're noticing a trend in my answers.) Sleep and Dreams with Dr. William Dement was one of my favorite courses. It completely changed how much I value sleep and showed me why it's important (as opposed to just hearing 'it's important'). During my freshman year, it seemed like there were so many things to do and people to talk with, and I was so excited about everything that I barely ever slept. How I got through classes and gymnastics from day to day is kind of a mystery looking back on it. Now I get at least 8 hours a night, and I've noticed a huge improvement in how I feel on a daily basis, which I didn't even realize I could have before.

What is something you would tell any aspiring gymnast?
I would say two things: and set your goals high--really high, and take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Don't ever feel silly about your goals, or let people slow you down in going for them. Set them so high that no matter what happens in the end, you'll have gained so many valuable experiences and learned so many things along the way that it can't possibly be a failure. It's kind of like that saying, 'Always shoot for the moon, and if you miss, you'll land among the stars.' If you don't reach your ultimate goal, it's ok. Nobody is perfect and reaches their goals 100% of the time, and if anyone does, they're not striving to reach their full potential. We wouldn't be human if we were perfect. Before college, my goal was to make the Olympics. While I didn't quite make it there, I have awesome memories with people I met along the way, I had incredible experiences traveling to other countries, and I overcame obstacles that made me stronger. As for opportunities, when the idea of competing for Stanford came up amidst the craziness of training for the Olympics, I didn't know if I could get in, if I should go for it, or if I should just focus on my other goals. I decided to seize the opportunity in front of me and set my sights on Stanford in addition to my other goals. I may not have competed in Athens, but in September of '04 I began my freshman year as a student-athlete here. I have enjoyed every step of my path and loved my time at Stanford so it feels like things worked out. :)

What do you plan to do after you graduate?
Next year I'll be doing the Coterm Master's program in Communication. I'm really looking forward to staying at Stanford for another year!

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