Stanford Returns to NCAA Championships For Second Straight Season

April 21, 2008

Stanford, Calif. - 2008 Women's Gymnastics NCAA Championships
March 24-26, 2008
Stegeman Coliseum, Athens, GA.

Coming Up:
No. 6 Stanford women's gymnastics travels to Athens, Ga. as they embark on their second straight trip to the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships looking for the first national championship in the program's history. The Cardinal is also coming off a third Pac-10 title in the past five years and with everybody back from the 2007 'Super Six', Stanford is loaded and ready for another run in 2008. The team is also confident and putting forth some of their best routines at the most important juncture of the season. Their regional team score of 197.525 was their best score of the season.

Last Week:
Stanford earned the fourth seed after a 197.525 regional score last weekend in Baton Rouge. While the Cardinal finished second to LSU at the Central Regional, their team score at the regional was the third highest score in the nation. Preliminary team and all-around competition will be conducted in two sessions Thursday, April 24 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. The top three teams from each session will advance to the Super Six competition Friday, April 25 at 6 p.m. The top four individuals from each session in each event (plus ties) from the preliminary team and all-around competition will compete in the individual-event competition Saturday, April 26 at 6 p.m.

Smyth Report:
Head Coach Kristen Smyth feels her team is really starting to gel going into the most important part of the season.

'It is a strong field of teams and will be a great competition,' said head coach Kristen Smyth. 'We are looking forward to being in the evening session with Georgia. The energy of the home crowd will be additional fuel--it will be an outstanding atmosphere.'

In the Rankings:
The Cardinal come into this week fourth in the rankings for National Qualifying score, which is the ranking system for the NCAA Championships. The National rankings for the meet are as follows:

Team Region Regional Score National Qualifying Score
Georgia Northeast 197.775 395.175
Florida Southeast 197.525 394.750
LSU Central 197.625 394.355
Stanford Central 197.525 394.295
Utah North Central 196.950 394.205
Alabama South Central 197.300 394.170
Oregon State West 197.100 393.750
Michigan West 196.375 393.200
UCLA Southeast 196.625 393.135
Oklahoma South Central 195.875 392.325
Arkansas North Central 196.125 392.290
Denver Northeast 195.775 391.730

Stanford Wins Pac-10 Championship:
Stanford women's gymnastics feel just short of a conference championship in 2007, but made sure that they wouldn't feel the same way in 2008 after scoring a 197.000 for the second straight week to bring home the title in 2008. This is the third conference title in the last five seasons. The Cardinal placed first on three of the four events to outlast conference rival Oregon State 197.000-196.550. Defending champion UCLA finished third in the competition with a team score of 196.200.

Tabitha Yim Named Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year:
Cardinal senior Tabitha Yim was named Pac-10 gymnast of the year Monday, as announced by Commissioner Tom Hansen. The honor is the first in Stanford history and adds to a long list of accolades compiled by Yim in her illustrious collegiate career. Last weekend Yim won the All-Around competition at the Pac-10 Championships, the fourth individual Pac-10 title earned in her career. Yim is currently an 11-time All-American.

Cardinal in the Postseason:
The Cardinal now have nine appearances in the NCAA Championships as a program and three 'Super Six' appearances, including earning a berth in the 2007 event. The Cardinal was won the NCAA South Central Regional in 2007, outlasting Oregon State and Arizona. If the Cardinal is able to get back to the 'Super Six' this season it will be the first time in the program's history that they will have back-to-back berths in the event.

NCAA Championship Floor Rotation:
Stanford will begin on floor in the NCAA Championships and will next rotate to vault. After a bye in the third rotation, the Cardinal will head to bars and will finish the first day of competition on beam.

Yim, Elmore and Ishino Named All Pac-10:
Three Stanford women's gymnasts were honored today, as the Pac-10 announced its All-Conference team, as announced by Commissioner Tom Hansen. Overall, Cardinal players garnered five awards, as Yim was able to garner three on her own. Redshirt freshman Allyse Ishino was named to the First Team on the Uneven Parallel Bars after putting together an RQS score of 9.885. Her score was 18th nationally in her first season of NCAA competition. Senior Lauren Elmore earned Second Team honors for floor exercise after earning an RQS score of 9.860. Her score was 47th nationally and this was the first all-conference award for Elmore in her career. Senior Tabitha Yim added to her personal accolades with all-conference awards in balance beam and uneven bars. Yim now has three all-conference accolades in her career. Yim was also named 2008 Pac-10 Gymnast of the Year, which was the first such honor in Stanford women's gymnastics history.

Cardinal Wins Final Home Meet:
No. 10 Stanford came out strong on senior night in their defeat of No. 6 Alabama and No. 16 Nebraska, two weeks ago at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal achieved their second highest score of the season (196.775) and defeated two high-caliber opponents, both of whom made the Super Six in 2007.

Impact Freshmen:
The Cardinal has had fantastic contributions from their freshman class in 2008. Shelley Alexander continued to make a strong contribution when she scored a 9.825 on vault in the UNO meet. Alexander also scored a 9.750 on vault against UCLA and a 9.775 on vault in the Chicago Style meet. Danielle Ikoma made an appearance in the Chicago Style meet and scored a 9.800 on vault. Ikoma also appeared against UCLA on vault and scored a 9.800. Gretchen O'Henley didn't appear against UCLA but has competed in all other meets. O'Henley earned a 9.700 on bars in the Chicago Style meet. She also scored a 9.825 on vault against Georgia and gave the team a big lift when she came back with a 9.700 in the same event against Arizona. Alexander also scored a 9.825 on vault against Georgia and a 9.800 against Arizona. Ikoma sat out against Georgia, but scored a 9.825 on vault against Arizona.

Cardinal wins UNO 'Flip for a Cure':
The Cardinal finished off their road Pac-10 schedule by winning the UNO 'Flip for a Cure' meet on the campus of Arizona State. The meet included San Jose State and UW-Oshkosh and the Cardinal achieved a team-score of 195.800. The Cardinal was led by senior Liz Tricase, who scored a 9.925 on bars and junior Nicole Ourada competed in the all-around and scored a 38.875.

Carly Janiga Named Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week:
Stanford women's gymnast Carly Janiga has been named Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week, for March 18-24, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced today. Janiga, a sophomore from Paradise Valley, Ariz., gave the Cardinal a huge lift in their victory in the quad-meet last weekend in Davis, Calif. Janiga scored a 39.200 in the all-around competition, which was third best out of all four teams. In four of her five competitions on the day, Janiga tied for fifth or better. She collected a pair of shared third places as a result of a 9.850 bar routine and 9.875 floor exercise. The 197.00 team score for the Cardinal was their second-best score of the season as they prepare for postseason play starting this weekend.

Liz Tricase Wins Specialist of the Week:
Stanford women's gymnast Liz Tricase has been named Pac-10 Event Specialist of the Week, for February 18-25, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced. Tricase, a senior from Itasca, Ill., has been a huge lift for the Cardinal since returning from injury. She continued her great run in the Battle of the Bay against California. Tricase put together pristine routines on vault and bars that notched scores of 9.95 and 9.9, respectively. She nabbed a tie for first place on both apparatuses. The meet was the Cardinal's best showing this season as they crossed the 197-point threshold for the first time in 2008. In the past three weeks, Tricase has scored no lower than 9.875 on either of her event specialties.

Yim and Ishino Sweep Pac-10 Gymnastics Awards:
Stanford women's gymnasts Tabitha Yim and Allyse Ishino were named Pac-10 Gymnast of the Week and Pac-10 Event Specialist of the Week, respectively, for February 5-11. Yim performed in the all-around competition at the IGI Chicago Style Meet and placed in the top three on each of the four individual apparatuses. Yim showcased a trio of 9.900s on vault (2nd), bars (T-1st), and floor (T-1st). Each event score was a season-best, including the 9.875 she hit on beam (3rd). Yim led the Cardinal to a second-place finish with her all-around sum of 39.575. The impressive mark is eighth-best in the nation this year and next to best in the Pac-10.

Janiga Named Pac-10 Event Specialist of the Week:
Sophomore Carly Janiga picked up where she left off last season by scoring a 9.900 on beam and a 9.825 on bars. Last year's Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, Janiga picked up honors from the Conference when she was named the inaugural Pac-10 Event Specialist of the Week (Jan. 7-Jan.13). The Cardinal also had a very strong performance from junior Nicole Ourada, who was the only Cardinal gymnast to perform in the all-around. Ourada scored a 9.850 on beam, 9.750 on bars, 9.800 on floor and 9.900 on vault, which was good for a 39.300 score in the all-around.

Head Coach Kristen Smyth:
Kristen Smyth is in her seventh year as Stanford women's gymnastics Head Coach, following a historic 2007 season. The season included the first undefeated Pac-10 season in school history, and the second highest finish at the NCAA Championships in school history. The team featured six All-Americans, all of whom have returned for the 2008 season.

During her time at Stanford, Smyth has quickly turned the Cardinal program into one of the nation's elite. Smyth came to The Farm in June of 2001 and in her first season led Stanford to its first-ever NCAA Super Six appearance. In 2002, she led the Cardinal to another strong season and produced five All-Americans. She followed that performance with another NCAA Championship appearance in 2003, marking the third straight year that the Cardinal advanced to the NCAA Championships. In 2004, she guided Stanford gymnastics to its fourth straight NCAA Championships, and capped the most successful season in program's history, by tying for third at the NCAA Super Six Championships. 2005 was a rebuilding year for the young Cardinal team, but the experience helped the Cardinal in capturing their fourth Pac-10 Championship in the 2006 season.

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