Women's Gymnastics Begins 2007 Season At UC Davis

This Week:
Fri., Jan. 12
UC Davis
Davis, Calif.
7:00 p.m.

SPARTANS BEGIN SEASON FRIDAY NIGHT: The San Jose State women’s gymnastics team opens the 2007 season Friday evening with a meet at UC Davis. The two teams will compete against each other three times during the 2007 season.

HEAD COACH: San Jose State head coach Wayne Wright is in his sixth season at the helm of the Spartan women’s gymnastics team. The program has made significant strides during Wright’s tenure, breaking school records, winning conference championships and team invitations to the NCAA West Regional.

Wright helped lead the 2006 Spartan team to its second team appearance at the NCAA West Regional where San Jose State finished fourth, the best for a Spartan team. The Spartans broke the school vault team and individual records during the year. Wright also helped the Spartans transition to competing in the Western Athletic Conference. Three gymnasts received All-WAC honors - Renae Moneymaker, Veronica Porte and Kelsey Spellacy.

“I am looking forward to the start of the season. We have been training hard the last few weeks and are ready for competition. We just need to go out and be consistent and do good, clean routines.”

RETURNING GYMNASTS: The Spartans return seven letterwinners from last season’s team that finished fourth at the NCAA West Regional. Returning gymnasts include Leah Bigelow, who is a beam specialist for the team; Alise Blackwell, who will compete in the all-around this season after competing on the bars, beam and floor last year; Raylyn Cardeno, who holds one of the top vault scores in school history and competes on floor; Shina Cardeno, who set the school vault record last year with a 9.925; Michelle Minotti, who was the team’s “Most Valuable Gymnast” and one of the top all-around contenders; Renae Moneymaker, a first team All-WAC selection on vault; and Veronica Porte, a second team All-WAC selection in the all-around and “Most Outstanding Gymnast” of the Spartan team. Others returning include Casey Jay, who was named the team’s “Most Inspirational”; Danielle Johnson, who should compete on the vault; Greta Leach, who competed in the all-around at the 2005 NCAA West Regional; and Jennifer Pizano who competed in three meets on the bars.

FRESHMEN READY TO MAKE AN IMPACT: Seven freshmen join the Spartan women’s gymnastics team for the 2007 season. Bailey Baker competed for Browns Gymnastics in Las Vegas and was the 2006 Level 10 vault champion. Kelli Fournier and Jessica Khoshnood competed for Gymnastics East in Bellevue, Wash. Fournier was a 2006 Level 10 Junior Olympic National Championship qualifier. Khoshnood was the 2006 state and region II all-around champion and finished seventh in the all-around at the 2006 Junior Olympic National Championships. Tiffany Louie competed at San Mateo Gymnastics. Shelby MacDonald competed for Spirals Gymnastics in Santa Barbara and was a regional and state qualifier. Chantel Spurgeon competed for Coast Elite and finished sixth at the 2006 regionals. Gabrielle Targosz competed for Arizona Sunrays and finished second in the all-around at the 2006 Region I Championships.

ALL-WAC HONORS: Three Spartans were named to All-Western Athletic Conference teams last season. Renae Moneymaker was a first team selection on vault, while Veronica Porte was a second team selection in the all-around. Graduated senior Kelsey Spellacy was a first team selection on the bars.

Five Spartans received Academic All-WAC honors last spring. Those presented with the award are Leah Bigelow, Alise Blackwell, Michelle Minotti, Renae Moneymaker and Veronica Porte.

SJSU SCHOLAR ATHLETES: Nine current San Jose State women’s gymnasts were named Scholar Athletes after earning a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better for the 2005 fall semester and 2006 spring semester. Those accomplishing that feat are Leah Bigelow, Alise Blackwell, Casey Jay, Greta Leach, Liz Major, Michelle Minotti, Renae Moneymaker, Jennifer Pizano, Veronica Porte.

NEXT WEEK: The Spartans travel to Fullerton for a tri-meet with CS Fullerton and UCLA on Friday, January 19. The meet begins at 7 p.m., and is Breast Cancer Awareness Night. The Spartans will be wearing a special pink leotard with a pink ribbon stitched into the body.