Women's Gymnastics Hosts Quadrangular Meet This Friday

This Week:
Fri., Jan. 26
Boise State, Utah State, Seattle Pacific
Spartan Gym 7:00 p.m.

SPARTANS HOST QUADRANGULAR MEET THIS FRIDAY: The San Jose State women’s gymnastics team hosts its first meet of the season this Friday, January 26, with two conference foes and a former conference opponent. The Spartans will compete against Western Athletic Conference members Boise State and Utah State and MPSF member Seattle Pacific. The meet begins at 7 p.m., in historic Spartan Gym, located on the corner of Fourth and San Carlos Streets in downtown San Jose.

ABOUT BOISE STATE: The Broncos bring an 0-2 record into Friday night’s meet. The team posted a 190.575 against BYU last Friday, January 19. Head coach Sam Sandmire is in her 20th year at the school. DeAvera Todd is the team’s top all-around performer with a 37.325 and vaulter at 9.825. Taylor Jacob owns the team’s top bars (9.875) and floor (9.850) scores.

ABOUT SEATTLE PACIFIC: The Falcons enter the meet with an 0-1 record after falling to UC Davis, 191.175-189.225, last Friday night. Head coach Laurel Tindall is in her 32nd year at the school. Senior Debra Huss led the team as she won the floor (9.850) and all-around (38.725) and tied for second on the beam (9.625).

ABOUT UTAH STATE: The Aggies enter the meet with a 1-3 record this season. Utah State lost to BYU, 195.475-193.800 this past Monday, January 22. Head coach Ray Corn is in his 30th year at the school. Jessica Parenti-Otte has the team’s top bars (9.900) and all-around (39.125) scores this season. Meagan Lewis holds the beam (9.825) and all-around scores (39.125).

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 THIRD AT FULLERTON MEET: San Jose State finished third with a 189.175 in a triangular meet at Titan Gym on Friday, January 19, facing off against CS Fullerton and #7 UCLA.

UCLA took first with a season-high 196.050 points, while San Jose State's WAC rival CS Fullerton rallied past the Spartans on the final rotation to place second with 190.425 points.

San Jose State began the competition on floor. Alise Blackwell led the team with a season-best 9.575. Veronica Porte followed closely behind with a 9.450.

On the vault, Raylyn Cardeno posted a season-best 9.800, and just off her career best of 9.85, set last season at UC Davis. Also recording highs on the vault were Tiffany Louie (9.650) and Porte (9.550).

On the uneven bars, Blackwell posted a season-best 9.625, while Porte finished with a season-high 9.575.

Leah Bigelow was San Jose State's top finisher on the balance beam with a 9.675, good for sixth. Porte was right behind with a 9.575.

In the all-around, Porte took third place with a score of 38.150. Blackwell posted a 37.675, and Louie finished with 37.150 points.

CARDENO RECORDS TOP SCORE ON VAULT: Raylyn Cardeno recorded the Spartans’ top score on any event this season at the CS Fullerton meet on January 19. She scored a 9.800 on vault in the meet. Cardeno scored a 9.800 or better on the vault four times last season.

BLACKWELL EMERGING AS LEADER:
In both meets this season, Alise Blackwell has been one of the top Spartan gymnasts. She led the Spartans on the bars (9.625) and floor (9.575) at the Fullerton meet. Against UC Davis, Blackwell won the all-around with a 38.050. She led the Spartans on the beam with a team-best 9.625.

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.

PORTE CONTINUES SOLID PERFORMANCES: After a freshman year in which she was named to the second team All-WAC in the all-around, Veronica Porte continues to be one of the Spartans’ most consistent performers in the 2007 season. At the Fullerton meet, she posted the Spartans’ top all-around score with a 38.150. At UC Davis, Porte scored a season-best 9.600 on the vault.

FIRST-TIME PERFORMERS FOR SAN JOSE STATE: Five Spartan gymnasts competed for the first time at UC Davis. 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 at UC Davis 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 receiving 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 the Windy City for a non-conference meet. The team competes against Illinois-Chicago on Saturday, February 3, at 7:00 p.m., CST.