Fri., Jan. 19
at CS Fullerton, UCLA
Fullerton, Calif. 7:00 p.m.
SPARTANS TRAVEL TO FULLERTON: The San Jose State women’s gymnastics team travels to CS Fullerton this Friday evening for a tri-meet with the Titans and UCLA. 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.
ABOUT CS FULLERTON: The Titans enter the meet with a 1-0 record after defeating Boise State, 187.450-187.250, last Friday evening in Reno, Nev. Head coach Jill Hicks is in her first year at the helm of the program. San Jose State defeated CS Fullerton three times during the 2006 season.
ABOUT UCLA: The Bruins enter the weekend with a 1-2 record. The team’s only win came against Washington, 194.000-188.175, on January 6. The losses came at Utah, 196.325-195.975, on January 12, and against Stanford, 196.975-195.525, on January 15. Head coach Valorie Kondos Field is in her 17th season at the helm of the program and has a 323-70-1 coaching record.
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.
SPARTANS OPEN 2007 SEASON WITH WIN: San Jose State started the 2007 season with a 189.450-187.875 victory at UC Davis last Friday, January 12. Alise Blackwell led the Spartans as she won the all-around with a 38.050. Veronica Porte scored a 37.275 in the all-around. Michelle Minotti was the team’s top performer on the vault with a 9.750 and the bars with a 9.675. Blackwell posted a team-best 9.625 on the beam, while Greta Leach scored a 9.600. Porte led the Spartan floor team with a 9.500.
FIVE FIRST-TIME PERFORMERS FOR SAN JOSE STATE: Five Spartan gymnasts competed for the first time last Friday. Danielle Johnson competed for the first time in her collegiate career as she vaulted for a 9.550. Tiffany Louie competed on the vault, 9.675, bars, 8.275, and floor, 9.350. Jessica Khoshnood scored a 9.450 on bars and an 8.875 on floor. Kelli Fournier had a 9.100 on beam, while Gabrielle Targosz scored a 9.450 on floor.
GYMNASTS MAKE FIRST APPEARANCE IN OVER A YEAR: Greta Leach and Liz Major each made their 2007 debut after year-long absences from the gym due to injuries. Leach competed on the beam and scored a 9.600, while Major scored a 9.500 on the bars.
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 competes 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.
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.
ACADEMIC ALL-WAC HONORS: Five Spartans received Academic All-WAC honors last spring. Those presented with the award were 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 host their first meet of the season at Spartan Gym. The team welcomes Boise State, Utah State and Seattle Pacific for the 7 p.m., meet.