Ourada, Janiga, to Compete in Bars Final

April 18, 2009

LINCOLN, Neb. - Stanford's women's gymnastics season concludes Saturday night when Nicole Ourada and Carly Janiga compete in the NCAA Individual Events Finals in the uneven bars.

It will be a familiar stage for each of them, having combined for 13 All-America honors and six competitions in the Event Finals.

For Ourada, a senior, the unusual part is that she has never before received All-America honors, or reached this far, on the uneven bars. However, this season it has become one of her premier events. A two-time first-team All-America on the balance beam, Ourada instead won Pacific-10 Conference championships on bars and in the floor exercise.

She scored a 9.9 at Pac-10s to tie for the title, and then hit scores of 9.875 at the NCAA South Central Regionals and then at the NCAA team preliminaries. Her fourth place in Session I of the prelims on Thursday placed her in a tie for fourth, for the final qualifying spot.

Janiga, a junior, also is competing on the bars for the first time in the Event Finals, having reached on the vault and floor as a freshman in 2007 during a meet in which she earned first-team All-America honors in three events. Janiga and Ourada were among five to tie for the Pac-10 title on the bars, on her way to capturing her first conference all-around title. She advanced to the Event Final by tying for second in her team prelim session with a 9.9.

The competition will be formidable. Georgia's three-time all-around champion Courtney Kupets was the 2004 Olympic bronze medalist in the event. She scored a perfect 10 on bars Friday at the Super Six team finals while leading Georgia to its fifth consecutive championship.

Regardless of their individual finishes, it will be a fitting tribute to Janiga and Ourada, the team's two most complete gymnasts who arrived at this point from different backgrounds.

Janiga arrived at Stanford from Paradise Valley, Ariz., as an elite gymnast with national team experience. She placed among the top 10 in every event at the 2004 U.S. Olympic trials, except one - the bars - and was invited to the Olympic selection camp. She made an immediate impact at Stanford, finishing fourth all-around at the 2007 NCAA Championships.

Ourada, from Germantown, Wis., was mostly a Level 10 gymnast with several high finishes at Junior Olympic nationals. However, she arrived at Stanford relatively unknown. That changed as she scored 39.3 in the all-around as a freshman and began a run of All-America performances that now numbers seven, including three first-team selections. Only Tabitha Yim (14), Natalie Foley (10), and Lise Leveille and Lindsay Wing (eight each) have more All-America honors in Stanford history.

Here is a summary of their collegiate careers heading into Saturday's NCAA Event Finals:

Nicole Ourada

All-America selections
First team
2009: Uneven bars
2008: Balance beam (10th)
2007: Balance beam (3rd)

Second team
Floor Exercise
2008: All-around
2007: All-around, vault

Member of two Pac-10 championship teams
Member of two Super Six teams
Member of three NCAA qualifying teams

2009 NCAA South Central Region champion (vault)
2009 Pac-10 champion (bars, floor)
2008 Pac-10 All-Academic team
2007 All-Pac-10 (floor)

Career bests:
Vault: 9.95
Bars: 9.95
Beam: 9.925
Floor: 9.925

Carly Janiga

All-America selections
First team
2009: Uneven Bars
2007: All-Around (4th), Floor Exercise (8th), Vault (15th)

Second team
2008: Floor Exercise

Member of two Pac-10 championship teams
Member of two Super Six teams
Member of three NCAA qualifying teams

2009 NCAA South Central Region champion (all-around)
2009 Pac-10 champion (all-around, bars, beam)
2009 All-Pac-10 first team
Three-time Pac-10 All-Academic selection

Career bests:
Vault: 9.925
Bars: 9.95
Beam: 9.95
Floor: 9.925

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