SPARTANS CONTINUE SEASON AT STANFORD: The San Jose State women’s gymnastics team continues competition in the 2006 season at Stanford this Sunday. The team will compete against the Cardinal, UC Davis and Sacramento State. The meet will take place at Maples Pavilion, which will host the NCAA West Regionals this upcoming April.
ABOUT STANFORD: The Spartans defeated Stanford, 194.325-192.750, last year on March 19, in Spartan Gym. The Spartans scored a 49.025 on the beam to help secure the win. This season, Stanford scored a 194.850 in Cancun last Friday night. Glyn Sweets won the vault with a 9.925.
ABOUT SACRAMENTO STATE: San Jose State was 1-2 against Sacramento State last season. The Hornets won the MPSF meet, while the Spartans finished second, 194.550-192.025. The two teams will compete in the Western Athletic Conference this season. This season, Sacramento State placed sixth with a 188.075 at the Oahu Invitational on January 3.
ABOUT UC DAVIS: The Spartans were 2-1 against the Aggies last season, and UC Davis finished third at the MPSF Championships. Head coach Ray Goldbar has announced that he will retire after the 2006 season. This will be the first meet of the year for UC Davis.
HEAD COACH: San Jose Sate head coach Wayne Wright returns for his fifth season at the helm of the program. He has helped the Spartan program make significant strides during his four-year tenure, breaking school records, winning conference championships and a team invitation to the NCAA West Regional. Last year, Wright’s team had a 17-5 overall record and placed second at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships. Three of his gymnasts - Jennifer Greene, Greta Leach and Michelle Minotti, qualified for the NCAA West Regionals in the all-around.
NEW YEAR, NEW CONFERENCE: The San Jose State women’s gymnastics team joins the WAC this season after competing in the Mountain Pacific Sports the past few seasons. The WAC for women’s gymnastics consists of members Utah State, Boise State and San Jose State as well as affiliate members CS Fullerton, Sacramento State and Southern Utah. The conference championship meet will be held on Saturday, March 25, at Utah State.
SPARTANS FINISH SECOND AT SEASON-OPENING MEET: The San Jose State women’s gymnastics team started the 2006 season with a second place finish at CS Fullerton with a 188.450 team score. The Spartans finished second to NC State who scored a 188.575. Junior Raylyn Cardeno was the Spartans’ top-finisher with a second place on the vault with a 9.825 and seventh on the floor with a 9.525. San Jose State’s best scores of the day came on the vault as the team scored a 48.525. Along with Cardeno’s career-best 9.825, Michelle Minotti tied her career-best with a 9.800. Freshman Veronica Porte scored a 9.675, while Alley Zezoney tied her career-best with a 9.625. Renae Moneymaker scored a 9.600, while Shina Cardeno received a 9.575.
Minotti finished second in the all-around with a 37.375, while Veronica Porte was sixth with a 36.225.
WRIGHT ON THE FIRST MEET: “I am very pleased with our outcome. This was a great experience for everyone on the team. The freshmen made an immediate impact on our team which helped us. We have some kinks to work out, but this gives us the tools to get ready for meet at Stanford.”
CHANGES IN SCORING: One noticeable difference to collegiate women’s gymnastics fans will be the scores posted at meets. After last season, changes were made to the scoring system to lower start values and overall scores. “Scores are going to be lower across the board this season,” said Wright. “With the changes, start values for routines are lower which in turn will lower team scores.”
CARDENO SCORES ON THE VAULT: Junior Raylyn Cardeno score the third best score in school history on the vault. She received a 9.825 at CS Fullerton on January 8. Dani Albright owns the school record of 9.875 which she set during the 2001 season.
TOP SPARTAN VAULT SCORES
1. 9.875 Dani Albright Feb. 16, 2001
2. 9.850 Dani Albright Feb. 2, 2002
9.850 Dani Albright March 8, 2002
9.850 Dani Albright March 16, 2002
9.850 Dani Albright Jan. 31, 2003
9.850 Dani Albright March 14, 2003
9.850 Shirla Choy March 21, 2003
8. 9.825 Raylyn Cardeno Jan. 8, 2006
9.825 Tara Law March 14, 1997
9.825 Bridgett Coates April 12, 1997
9.825 Dani Albright March 21, 2003
9.825 Dani Albright April 12, 2003
9.825 Jennifer Greene March 25, 2005
NATIONAL RANKINGS: One Spartan individual ranks in the top-20 this week. Raylyn Cardeno is tied for 19th in the vault with a 9.825. As a team, the Spartans are 24th in the country with a 188.550. On the individual apparatus, San Jose State is 15th on the vault (48.525), 23rd on the bars (47.325) and tied for 19th on floor (47.200).
FRESHMEN MAKE IMPACT AFTER FIRST MEET: Five of the seven new gymnasts made an impact on the Spartan team after the first meet of the season. Veronica Porte competed in the all-around, scoring a 36.225. She led the team on the bars with a 9.650. Renae Moneymaker competed in three events: vault (9.600), bars (8.525) and floor (9.425). Alise Blackwell competed on the bars (9.500), while Michelle de Groof competed on the floor (9.250). Jennifer Pizano competed on the bars (9.075).
MINOTTI TOP ALL-AROUND SPARTAN COMPETITOR: Sophomore Michelle Minotti finished second last weekend in the all-around with a 37.375. She tied her career high on the vault with a 9.800 and scored a 9.575 on the bars and a 9.500 on the floor.
RETURNING GYMNASTS: The Spartans return 11 letterwinners from last season. Returning gymnasts include Michelle Minotti, who in her freshman year qualified in the all-around for the NCAA regionals; Amberly Klein, who won the 2003 and 2004 MPSF beam championship; Greta Leach, who competed in the all-around at the NCAA West Regional; Leah Bigelow, who competed exclusively on the beam last year; Raylyn Cardeno, who vaulted in all 11 meets and competed in floor on four meets; Shina Cardeno, who vaulted in all 11 meets; Casey Jay, competed on the vault and floor in every meet; Tracie Kavalec, competed on the bars in 10 of 11 meets; Liz Major, who competed on the bars in the final two meets after recovering from a knee injury; Adriane Mertens, competed on the beam in every meet and on the floor in seven meets; and Kelsey Spellacy, a bars specialist who competed in every meet. Also returning for San Jose State are Danielle Johnson, who won the “Team Spirit” Award last year and Alley Zezoney, who is a vault specialist for the team.
NEXT WEEK: The Spartans travel to Denton, Texas, for a quadrangular meet at Texas Woman’s with New Hampshire and Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The meet begins at 7 p.m. CST.