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Elizabeth Price. (Photo by Hector Garcia-Molina)
Price Shines in Season Opener
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 01/10/2016

 VAULT 49.000 48.675 48.675 
 BARS 48.800 49.150 48.150 
 BEAM 48.675 48.575 48.525 
 FLOOR 49.100 48.400 48.975 
 TOTAL 195.575 194.800 194.325 

 VAULT 47.775 48.475
 BARS 47.675 47.450
 BEAM 47.400 48.275
 FLOOR 48.950 48.500
 TOTAL 191.800 192.700

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Elizabeth Price swept the individual victories and No. 8 Stanford finished strong to place second in the season-opening NorCal Classic.

Performing in the all-around for the second time in her career, Price posted meet-best scores in vault (9.850), bars (9.900), beam (9.850) and floor (9.900). She earned the all-around title with a final score of 39.500.

“She’s one of the best in the world and we’re happy to have her on our team,” said Stanford head coach Kristen Smyth.

No. 14 California finished first overall with a 195.575, followed by Stanford, Sacramento State (194.325), UC Davis (192.700) and San Jose State (191.800).

Consistent with previous season-openers, the Cardinal utilized the first meet of the year to build confidence and perform routines with reduced difficulty to focus on consistency. Smyth emphasized the importance of hitting routines, keeping gymnasts healthy and building momentum throughout the season.

“We’re going to get better each weekend and I’m confident if we continue to focus on staying healthy and making adds to routines throughout the year, we’ll be where we want to be in April,” said Smyth.

Three Cardinal gymnasts made their collegiate debuts and Melissa Chuang returned to the lineup after missing the 2014 season due to injury. The group did well and contributed scores on multiple events.

Four Stanford gymnasts combined for 10 top-three finishes, including four-of-five gymnasts who competed on bars.

Nicolette McNair registered a second-place finish on bars (9.875) and tied for third on vault (9.800) and beam (9.800). Taylor Rice and Ivana Hong tied for third on bars with scores of 9.850.

Nicolette McNair recorded top-three finishes in each of her three events.

Stanford entered the final rotation tied with Sacramento State for second place but rallied for a meet-best 49.150 in the event to secure the second-place finish. Nicolette McNair led off with a 9.875 and Rice followed with a 9.850. Dare Maxwell made her collegiate debut and produced a 9.675.

“Dare stepped up,” said Smyth. “To stand around the entire day, doing one event with a bye right before – it’s a long time to wait. I really saw a fight from her.”

Price fed off the momentum and delivered a high-flying routine to earn a meet-high score of 9.900. Ivana Hong followed with a 9.850 to close out the competition.

Stanford got off to a strong start on beam with a smooth routine by Nicolette McNair who earned a 9.800 to open the 2016 season. The second Cardinal gymnast missed her routine but Rice was able to get Stanford back on track with a quality routine to earn a 9.775. Chuang followed Rice with another strong performance to claim a 9.775.

Price captured the crowd’s attention with a highlight performance and scored a meet-high 9.850.

“She did a phenomenal job on balance beam,” said Smyth. “She only got one routine under her belt last year and she came out confident and aggressive, and did big gymnastics on beam.”

The Cardinal appeared to be rolling but a fall in the sixth position meant Stanford had to count a missed routine.

The Cardinal finished beam with a 48.575 and started the meet in second place behind California, which scored 48.800 on bars in its opening rotation.

Price continued her hot start with an outstanding performance on floor to earn a 9.900. Price’s routine was set up nicely by Haley Spector who performed in the spot ahead of Price and delivered a 9.825. Taryn Fitzgerald (9.650) and Nicole Hoffman (9.425) made their collegiate debuts, while Jenna Frowein (9.600) also contributed a score in the event.

Stanford finished the rotation with a 48.400 and trailed first-place California, 97.425-96.975, at the halfway point of the meet.

The Cardinal built momentum in the third rotation on vault, finishing with a 48.675. Price continued to pace Stanford, scoring a team-best 9.850. Nicolette McNair (9.800), Fitzgerald (9.750) and Danielle McNair (9.700) also had strong showings in the event.

After three rotations, Stanford was in second place and trailed California 146.575-145.650. While the Cardinal was on a bye, Sacramento State had a big performance on floor and tied Stanford entering the final rotation. However, the Cardinal rallied for its biggest performance of the afternoon on bars to secure the second-place result.

“They showed great resiliency, kept great attitudes and got after it big on those final two events,” said Smyth.

Stanford will look to build on its strong finish when it travels to No. 9 Georgia next Monday at 11 a.m. (PT).



Cardinal AXEcess

Cardinal AXEcess