Sports


Cardinal women team up to beat ASU in Pac-12 gymnastics

 

Senior Taylor Rice won an individual event and the all-around title, sophomore Elizabeth Price won twice and the 12th-ranked Stanford women's gymnastics team earned its 26th consecutive victory over Arizona State, beating the visiting Sun Devils, 195.750-194.325, in a Pac-12 Conference on Monday night.

Senior Ivana Hong and junior Nicolette McNair shared first place on the bars, while Rice shared her beam title with senior Melissa Chuang as the Cardinal (8-4, 2-2 Pac-12) improved to 31-1 against Arizona State under Kristen Smyth, who coached the Sun Devils before arriving at Stanford for the 2002 season.


Ivana Hong
Price recorded season-highs in winning the vault (9.950) and floor (9.925). She's the defending NCAA champion on the vault.

Stanford travels to Tucson Saturday to take on Arizona, coached by Stanford grad and 14-time All-American Tabitha Yim, in a meet to be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.

"It was a real team effort," Smyth said. "We're right on track of preparing to be one of the top teams at the end of the year. We're looking to continue to get better each weekend."

Price has scored 9.825 or higher in 17-of-19 performances this season and 9.900 or higher in 30-of-44 performances in her career. Price has won 13 individual events in 23 possible events.

McNair continues to be one of Stanford's most consistent gymnasts, hitting all three of her events, adding a 9.825 on beam and season-best 9.825 on vault, where she finished third.

McNair's performances are noteworthy as she generally assumes the leadoff position in multiple events.

"I wouldn't want anyone else in that spot," said Smyth. "Nikki is a natural leader and you know she's going to be aggressive. It sets the tone for the rest of the team to not hold back and get after it."

Hong continued to post individual event wins after winning beam in each of the past two weeks and picking up her first bars victory of the season.

Chuang is quickly establishing herself as one of the Cardinal's top clutch gymnasts, performing big routines when her team needs them. Following a fall before her on beam, Chuang stepped up to deliver a meet-best performance and get Stanford back on track. She also contributed a 9.775 on floor.

"Melissa is a great competitor," said Smyth. "She's been outstanding in the gym this year in leading by example and she brings a lot to the table competitively."

Danielle McNair performed the first beam routine of her career in the anchor position, posting a score of 9.700. She also contributed scores on vault (9.800) and bars (9.725). She has scored 9.700 or higher in all 10 performances this year.

Stanford freshmen Taryn Fitzgerald and Dare Maxwell have been proving invaluable, continuing to contribute to Stanford's success on multiple events. Fitzgerald provided scores on vault (9.725), beam (9.725) and floor (9.700), while Maxwell produced a 9.725 on bars.

Jenna Frowein, a regular on floor, contributed a 9.675.

"What I love about this team is that we're getting contributions from everyone," said Smyth. "We've had some misses throughout the year but that next person up has stepped up big, given us a nice routine and gets us back on track. It means we're tough."

Men's soccer

Menlo Park resident Marc Joshua is among four high school seniors who signed a national letter of intent to play men's soccer and attend Stanford, coach Jeremy Gunn announced Monday.

In addition to Joshua, who attends International High School in San Francisco, others joining the Cardinal are Kyle Casey (Fairfield, Conn./New York Red Bulls Academy), Jared Gilbey (New York, N.Y./New York Red Bulls Academy), and Derek Waldeck (Newhall/Real So Cal Academy).

The group joins a Stanford squad which won the program's first NCAA title at Sporting Park in December.

Stanford beat Clemson, 4-0, extending the school's streak of at least one NCAA team championship to 40 years, on ongoing record, while earning its 108th NCAA team title, second only to UCLA, and 129th overall.

Joshua led the Juventus Sport Club with 17 goals this season and was named to the USSDA West Coast All-League Starting XI.

"Marc is a goal-scoring central midfield player," Gunn said. "He has a very good first touch and is also capable of beating his opponent in one-on-one situations. Marc creates time and space for himself in the middle of midfield and then ghosts into the box as a phenomenal attacking threat."

Casey and Gilbey are teammates with the New York Red Bulls Academy, which leads the Atlantic Division heading into the spring season.

"Kyle has a wonderful knack for scoring goals," Gunn said. "Jared is a very talented midfielder with incredible movement."

Waldeck plays for Real So Cal Academy and was in the U.S. national team program in the Under-14 training camp.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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