Stanford Takes No. 3 Ranking to Davis

Feb. 26, 2009

STANFORD, Calif. - No. 3 Stanford has put together three consecutive meets with team scores of 197 points and above. The Cardinal will try to extend the streak to four, which it hasn't reached since 2004, when it accomplished the feat in three dual meets and the Pacific-10 Conference Championships. That Stanford team went on to win the Pac-10 title and finished third in the NCAA -- exactly what last year's Stanford team did. On Friday, Stanford (12-0) will also attempt to extend its best-ever start. UC Davis (4-6-1) will be the opponent for the third time in four weeks, and the Cardinal will renew a South Bay rivalry with San Jose State (10-1).

Pac-10 Tickets on Sale
Tickets are now on sale for the Pacific-10 Conference Women's Gymnastics Championships, which will be held at Stanford's Maples Pavilion on March 21 at 4 p.m.Prices are $8 for adults, $5 for students, youths, and seniors, and $3 each for groups of 10 or more that have pre-ordered. Some rules: Every individual age 3 and above must have a ticket;there are no returns, refunds, or exchanges; tickets will be mailed after March 1; and orders received after March 13 will be available at Will Call (photo ID required). For additional information, call 800-STANFORD or visit

On the Net
There will no live stats or streaming video from UC Davis, but final results will be posted as soon as possible on

Now at No. 3 ...
Stanford earned a season-best score of 197.175 last week despite resting top all-arounders Carly Janiga and Nicole Ourada, and captain Heather Purnell, and moved up to No. 3 in the nation. Stanford got 21 season-best performances on the way to earning its 17th consecutive victory over California (190.625), on Sunday at Haas Pavilion. The result boosted Stanford's Regional Qualifying Score to 196.529, an increase of more than 0.2 since last week, moving the Cardinal up one spot in the rankings, from No. 4.

Freshmen sensations
Two freshmen made their collegiate debuts at Cal on Sunday and another appeared in a new event. Former Canadian national champion Alyssa Brown scored 9.925 to win the vault, earning her first collegiate victory in any event and scoring the highest for any Stanford performer in that event all season. Nicole Pechanec, a Czech Republic national team veteran, scored a Stanford season-best of 9.925 in the floor exercise and a 9.9 in her first collegiate try on the balance beam, winning both events. Jenny Peter made her collegiate debut and scored a 9.8 on the vault, a higher score than any of Cal's six gymnasts. And Catherine Nguyen, another freshman making her collegiate debut, performed a flawless beam routine before under-rotating on her dismount and falling on her landing, dropping her score.

Best-Ever Start
Stanford's 12-0 start is a school record. Among the victims have been five teams (including Arizona State and Denver) that were ranked in the Top 25 at the time their meetings. Stanford's victims that are currently ranked are: No. 8 Oregon State, No. 16 Arizona, and No. 24 Washington. Stanford visits No. 11 Alabama on March 6.

Friday's Opponent: San Jose State
The Spartans (10-1) are coming off their second-best team score of the season (194.85), to win a quad meet at BYU. San Jose State also set a school record with a team score of 49.1 on the vault, with Veronica Porte leading the way by tying a school record in the event with 9.925. Porte is tied for 24th in the nation on the floor. The Spartans are ranked No. 29 in the country based on their RQS, and are fifth in the West region. San Jose State is coached by Wayne Wright, who served as a Stanford assistant for five seasons from 1996-2001. While at Stanford, the Cardinal earned its first Pac-10 title (1998) and first regional championship (1999).

The San Jose State Series
Stanford has won the past four meetings, including two last season. San Jose State last defeated Stanford on March 19, 2005, by winning a tri-meet with Stanford and California at Spartan Gym.

Friday's Opponent: UC Davis
Stanford and UC Davis have certainly seen a lot of each other. This will be their third meeting in 20 days. The Aggies first faced Stanford on Feb. 8 at Burnham Pavilion when they filled in as a late-week replacement for a UCLA team that was forced out of the meet after most of its athletes fell ill. Stanford won the dual meet, 197.1-189.35. In a regularly-scheduled tri-meet also involving Oregon State on Feb. 15 at Maples Pavilion, the Cardinal scored 197.1, while the Aggies were third at 191.55.

What the Rankings Mean
Unlike other collegiate athletics rankings, gymnastics is not based on wins and losses or votes, but first by season scoring average, and then 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 are averaged. The 36 teams with the highest RQS earn NCAA regional berths. Teams must finish among the top two in the regionals to advance to the NCAA team preliminaries, where teams are divided into two six-team sessions. The top three in each session advance to the Super Six, the Final Four of women's gymnastics. Stanford's regular season goal is to finish with a high enough RQS to finish among the top six, and receive a No. 1 regional seed.

The Rankings ...
This week's Top 10 team rankings, based on RQS: 1, Georgia 197.015; 2, Utah 196.885; 3, Stanford 196.59; 4, UCLA 196.34; 5, Auburn 196.26; 6, LSU 196.25; 7, Florida 196.22; 8, Oregon State 196.215; 9, Arkansas 196.21; 10, Oklahoma 196.105.

Team Scores in Rankings

In every event, Stanford is among the national leaders in average score. Here is how the Cardinal ranks, and its RQS:
Overall: 3rd, 196.59
Vault: 6th, 49.15
Bars: 4th, 49.215
Beam: 2nd, 49.225
Floor: 7th, 49.115

Individual Scores in Rankings

Here is how Cardinal individuals rank, with their RQS. Some Stanford gymnasts are not included because they haven't yet competed in six competitions in a specific event.: Vault: 20th (t), Shelley Alexander, 9.857 Bars: 3rd, Carly Janiga, 9.895 Beam: 9th, Carly Janiga, 9.855

Pac-10s Coming to Stanford March 21
Maples Pavilion (gymnastics capacity 5,488) will host the Pac-10 Conference Championships on March 21, at 4 p.m. Stanford is the defending champion and has won three of the past five titles and five overall. This will be the fifth women's gymnastics conference championship meet held at Maples Pavilion and first since 2002. More recently, it was the site of the 2008 NCAA men's gymnastics championships and the 2006 NCAA women's regionals.

The Stanford Gymnastics Tradition
• Stanford finished third in the nation last season.
• Stanford has two top-three national finishes in five years.
• Stanford is among four schools to reach the Super Six in each of the past two years.
• Stanford reached the Super Six four times in the past seven years.
• Stanford is the defending Pac-10 champion and has captured three conference titles in five years.

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