Spartans Travel To Stanford To Face Top-20 Competition

This Week:
Fri. Feb. 9
Stanford, Iowa State, Oregon State
Maples Pavilion, Stanford, Calif.
7:30 p.m.

SPARTANS TRAVEL TO STANFORD TO FACE TOP-20 COMPETITION: The San Jose State women’s gymnastics team travels to Stanford this Friday for a quadrangular meet against three top-20 teams. The Spartans will compete against Stanford, Iowa State and Oregon State at Maples Pavilion. The meet is designated as Breast Cancer Awareness night, and any fans wearing pink to the meet will be admitted free.

ABOUT #5 STANFORD: The Cardinal enter the meet with a 4-1 record this season. The team scored a season-best 197.125 against Arizona State on January19. Head coach Kristen Smyth is in her sixth year at the school and was the 2006 Pac-10 Coach of the Year. Freshman Carly Janiga is the Pacific-10 Conference Gymnast of the Week after winning all four events and the all-around with career bests on vault (9.925), beam (9.900), and the all-around (39.575) against California on Sunday.

The Spartans and Cardinal competed in a quadrangular meet last season, with Stanford scoring a 194.350, while San Jose State scored a 190.575. Both teams competed at the 2006 NCAA West Regional where Stanford was third with a 195.275, and the Spartans finished fourth at 192.375.

ABOUT #11 IOWA STATE: The Cyclones enter the meet with a 5-1 record and scored a season-best 195.725 last Friday night in a home meet against Missouri. Head coach Jay Ronayne is in his first season at Iowa State and came to the school after four seasons as the top assistant at Auburn. Senior Janet Anson is 16th in the country in the all-around with a 39.194 average.

This is the first meet that San Jose State and Iowa State will compete against other in school history.

ABOUT #15 OREGON STATE:
The Beavers enter the meet with a 2-2 record and defeated Arizona State with a season-high 195.825 last Friday. Head coach Tanya Chaplin is in her 10th year at the helm of the program. Oregon State advanced to its fourth appearance at the NCAA Championships during her tenure. Sophomore Jami Lanz leads the Beavers this season after receiving 2006 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors. She is tied for 10th in the nation in the all-around with a 39.269 average.

The Spartans and Beavers competed at the 2006 NCAA West Regional where Oregon State scored a 195.800 to advance to the 2006 NCAA Championships.

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 SCORE SEASON-BEST IN WINDY CITY:
The San Jose State women’s gymnastics team scored a season-best 193.250 at a dual meet at the University of Illinois at Chicago last Saturday. The Flames won the meet with a 195.350.

Raylyn Cardeno led the Spartans as she won the vault with a season-best 9.850. She tied her career-best with a 9.650 on the floor.

In the all-around, Alise Blackwell finished second with a 38.850. She scored a 9.650 on vault, a 9.625 on bars, a 9.775 on beam and a 9.800 on floor. Veronica Porte scored a 37.925 in the all-around and a career-best 9.800 on beam.

CARDENO RECORDS TOP SCORE ON VAULT: Raylyn Cardeno tied her career-high as she won the vault with a 9.850 at Illinois-Chicago on February 3. She has received a 9.800 or better in two meets this year - the other at CS Fullerton with a 9.800. Cardeno scored a 9.800 or better on the vault four times last season.

WORLD WIDE WEB: Get all the latest up-to-date information on the San Jose State women’s gymnastics team by logging on to the Spartans’ web site at www.sjsuspartans.com.

SPARTANS SECOND IN HOME-OPENER:
San Jose State scored a season-best 193.025 en route to a second place finish in a quadrangular meet at Spartan Gym on January 26. Utah State won the meet with a 194.225, while Boise State was third at 190.700, followed by Seattle Pacific at 189.875.

Individually, Veronica Porte led San Jose State with a career-best 39.050 in the all-around, good for a second place finish. She also scored career-bests on the beam with a 9.750 and floor at 9.875. Porte added a 9.675 on the vault and a 9.750 on bars.

Others contributing for San Jose State included Raylyn Cardeno with a team-best 9.775 on the vault. Jennifer Pizano led the team on bars with a career-best 9.775. Leah Bigelow scored a 9.725 on beam, while Alise Blackwell received a 9.750 on the floor.

PORTE’S CAREER NIGHT:
Veronica Porte had the meet of her career against Boise State, Utah State and Seattle Pacific on January 26. That night, she finished second in the all-around with a 39.050, the first time in her career that she scored over a 39.000. Porte scored a 9.750 on beam and a 9.875 on floor for her other two career-highs.

BLACKWELL EMERGING AS LEADER: In four meets this season, Alise Blackwell has been one of the top Spartan gymnasts. She placed second at UIC on February 3, with a career-best 38.850 in the all-around. Blackwell recorded career-bests of 9.650 on vault and 9.775 on beam. On January 26, she scored a 38.625 in the all-around, 9.625 on the vault, 9.675 on bars, and 9.750 on the floor. Blackwell led the Spartans on the bars (9.625) and floor (9.575) at the Fullerton meet. Against UC Davis, she won the all-around with a 38.050 and recorded the team’s best beam score with a 9.625.

PIZANO SCORES BIG: Jennifer Pizano led the Spartan bar team against Utah State, Boise State and Seattle Pacific on January 26. She scored a career-high 9.775 and finished tied for second on the apparatus. Pizano also competed on the beam for the first time in her career and received a 9.500 in her first routine.

SPARTANS OPEN 2007 SEASON WITH WIN: San Jose State started the 2007 season with a 189.450-187.875 victory at UC Davis on 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. Porte led the Spartan floor team with a 9.500.

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.

SPARTAN NOTES:
Leah Bigelow is a beam specialist for the Spartans. She has competed in all four meets this season and scored a season-best 9.725 against Boise State, Utah State and Seattle Pacific. She averages 9.525 on the beam.

Alise Blackwell has competed in the all-around in all four meets. She won the all-around at UC Davis with a 38.050, placed second at Illinois-Chicago with a career-best 38.850 and scored a 38.625 against Boise State, Utah State and Seattle Pacific. Blackwell scored career-bests of 9.650 on vault and 9.775 on beam at UIC.

Raylyn Cardeno is the Spartans’ top vaulter this season and also performs on floor. She tied her career-best with a 9.850 at Illinois-Chicago. Cardeno also scored a 9.800 at CS Fullerton and a 9.775 in the team’s first home meet. On the floor, Cardeno tied her career-best with a 9.650 at UIC.

Kelli Fournier has competed on the beam in four meets and scored a 9.100 at UC Davis.

Danielle Johnson is a vault specialist for the Spartans. She has scored a 9.550 in three of the four meets this year.

Jessica Khoshnood competes on the vault, bars and floor for San Jose State. On the vault, she scored a 9.425 against Boise State, Utah State and Seattle Pacific. On the bars, Khoshnood scored a season-best 9.750 at Illinois-Chicago, while on the floor, she received a 9.625 at UIC.

Greta Leach performs on the beam and floor for San Jose State. She has competed in all four meets on the beam and the past three meets on the floor. Leach scored a 9.825 on the beam at Illinois-Chicago and a 9.550 on the floor against Boise State, Utah State and Seattle Pacific.

Tiffany Louie primarily competes on the vault, bars and floor for the Spartans. She scored a season-best 9.675 on the vault at UC Davis. On bars, Louie led the team with a 9.825 at Illinois-Chicago. Against Boise State, Utah State and Seattle Pacific, she scored a 9.525 on the bars and 9.575 on the floor. Louie competed in the all-around at CS Fullerton and scored a 37.150.

Liz Major is a bars specialist for the Spartans. She is averaging a 9.600 in the four meets. Major has a scored a 9.700 or better in two meets - 9.725 at Illinois-Chicago and a 9.700 against Boise State, Utah State and Seattle Pacific.

Michelle Minotti competed in only the first meet of the year due to an illness. At UC Davis, she scored a 9.750 on vault and a 9.675 on bars.

Jennifer Pizano has competed on the bars in three meets and on beam in two meets. On the beam, she scored a career and team best 9.775 against Boise State, Utah State and Seattle Pacific. On the floor, Pizano scored a career-best 9.675 at Illinois-Chicago.

Veronica Porte is one of the Spartans top all-around performers with a 38.100 average. She scored her career-best 39.050 in the all-around against Boise State, Utah State and Seattle Pacific. In that meet, Porte also scored a career-best 9.875 on the floor, a season-best 9.675 on vault and added a 9.750 on bars and 9.750 on the beam. Porte scored a career-high 9.800 on beam at Illinois-Chicago.

Gabrielle Targosz competed on the floor at the UC Davis meet where she received a 9.450.

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 Seattle for a non-conference meet against Seattle Pacific on Friday, February 16. The meet begins at 7 p.m.