The Show Goes On: Stanford Takes On UC Davis

Feb. 6, 2009

STANFORD, Calif. -

This Week
No. 6 Stanford entered the week expecting to face No. 2 UCLA in matchup of top-10 teams. Instead, the Cardinal will play host to UC Davis, a willing replacement for a Bruins team that fell ill and could not make the trip. After a narrow 195-575-195.175 victory at Arizona last week, Stanford has extended its best-ever start to 8-0.

On the Air
A free live Webcast of the meet can be found live on Look for the All-Access button on the home page, or find the 'Watch' link on the Calendar of Events at the bottom of the page.

Breast Cancer Awareness Day
Think Pink! That's the message for gymnasts and fans alike as the team takes part in its annual Breast Cancer Awareness meet. Fans are encouraged to wear pink and support breast cancer research by entering to win raffle prizes throughout the meet. The Stanford gymnasts will wear pink as well.

Alumni Day
One of the guiding principals that coach Kristen Smyth attempts to instill in her gymnasts is a sense of family. The meaning is not limited to the active gymnasts, but includes the alums as well. That's one reason why Sunday's meet is so important to Stanford women's gymnastics. It's an opportunity for former gymnasts to get to know the current ones, and share the bonding that comes through sharing similar experiences.

Parking Scarce
Parking will be at a premium Sunday because of ongoing campus construction combined with a men's basketball game that begins at 2:30 p.m. at nearby Maples Pavilion. The athletics department has designated two parking areas for gymnastics. The closest is the Galvez Lot, a dirt parking area at the corner of Galvez and Campus Dr. Fans coming up the Embarcadero in Palo Alto can find the lot by continuing into campus, where it's name changes to Galvez. Turn right on Campus Dr. and an immediate right into the Galvez Lot. The other designated lot is Lot 2, a dirt on the far side of Stanford Stadium near El Camino Real and the soccer fields. Another option is street parking on Memorial Way, which is close to Burnham and can be reached from Galvez, between Campus Drive and Serra St.

Ring Bearers
More than 10 months have passed since Stanford won its third Pacific-10 Conference championship in five years. But it wasn't until Thursday night that the Cardinal was rewarded with conference championship rings. Current and graduated members of the 2008 team received their rings on the court at halftime of Stanford's men's basketball victory over Washington State at Maples Pavilion. Stanford has won five Pac-10 titles altogether, in 1998, 2001, 2004, 2006 and 2008. In all, the Cardinal has seven gymnasts who have combined to win 15 individual titles. The Pac-10 meet this year will be held at Stanford, March 21, at Maples Pavilion.

Video Interviews
Stanford captains Heather Purnell and Kelly Fee discuss the season and the team's goals and expectations in video interviews that can be found at:

Now at No. 6 ...
Stanford dropped two spots in the national rankings, not because the Cardinal lost, but because its season average sagged after a season-low score in Tucson last week. Still, Stanford is in good position to draw a No. 1 regional seed if it maintains its spot while Regional Qualifying Scores are determined over the next few weeks.

This week's top-10 team rankings, based on total average scores, are: 1, Utah 196.7; 2, UCLA 196.48; 3 (tie), Georgia and Arkansas 196.32; 5, Auburn 196.225; 6, Stanford 196.1; 7, Oklahoma 196.094; 8, Florida 196.087; 9, Alabama 196.075; 10, Oregon State 195.635.

Best-Ever Start
Stanford's 8-0 start is believed to be a school record. It certainly is the best in at least a decade. Before that, the program wasn't nearly as strong as it is today. Among the victims have been five teams (including Washington) that were ranked in the Top 25 at the time their meetings. Stanford's victims that are currently ranked are: No. 10 Oregon State, No. 19 Denver, No. 21 Arizona, No. 23 Arizona State. Future 2009 regular-season opponents include No. 9 Alabama.

This Week: UC Davis
The Aggies were confirmed as a replacement on Thursday, after UCLA was forced to withdraw by the Pac-10 Conference after more than half its team fell ill. This will be the second meet in three days for UC Davis (2-3-1), which competes at Seattle Pacific on Friday night. The Aggies will return to Stanford again next week for a regularly scheduled tri-meet involving Oregon State, and then plays host to Stanford on Feb. 27. For those counting, that will be three Stanford-UC Davis matchups in 19 days. UC Davis is led by a pair 2008 regional individual qualifiers: all-arounder Tanya Ho and bars specialist Lida Gehlen.

Last Week
Carly Janiga scored 9.9's on the vault and uneven bars to help Stanford to a narrow 195-575-195.175 victory over then No. 24 Arizona in a Pacific-10 Conference dual meet Friday night at Tucson's McKale Center. Janiga captured the all-around competition with 39.45 points, the second-highest of her four all-around scores this season. Janiga won three events and set or equaled season-bests in each: the vault (9.875), bars and floor. Freshman teammate Alyssa Brown scored a 9.875, her collegiate best in the event, and Blair Ryland's season-best 9.825 helped Stanford to a season-best in the vault (49.35).

Team Scores in Rankings
In every event, Stanford is among the national leaders in average score. Here is how the Cardinal ranks, and its season averages:
Overall: 6th, 196.1
Floor: 12th, 48.894
Beam: 3rd, 49.031
Bars: 4th, 49.119
Vault: 10th, 49.056

Individual Scores in Rankings Here is how Cardinal individuals rank, with their season averages:
All-around: 5th, Carly Janiga, 39.4
8th, Nicole Ourada, 39.375
Beam: 4th, Nicole Ourada, 9.892
13th (t), Carly Janiga, 9.85
20th (t), Heather Purnell, 9.831
Bars: 3rd (t), Carly Janiga, 9.894

What the Rankings Mean
Unlike other collegiate athletics rankings, gymnastics is not based on wins and losses or votes, but by season scoring average. But starting Feb. 16, teams and gymnasts will be ranked by a Regional Qualifying Score, which is based on each team's top six regular-season scores. At least three scores must come from away meets. The highest score is then dropped and the remaining five scores are averaged. The 36 teams with the highest RQS's earn NCAA regional berths. Stanford is shooting for an RQS among the top six, which would enable the Cardinal to earn a No. 1 seed.

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