The No. 11 Stanford women's gymnastics team overcame a difficult start to finish strong and place fourth at the season-opening NorCal Classic on Monday night.
The Cardinal finished with a score of 193.250, while No.10 California claimed top honors with a 195.325. Sacramento State went 194.475 to finish second, followed by UC Davis (193.875), Stanford and San Jose State (192.600).
Six Stanford gymnasts combined for nine top-10 finishes, highlighted by a pair of individual victories by Elizabeth Price on vault (9.950) and bars (9.950).
Rachel Daum competed in the all-around for the first time in her collegiate career and hit all of her routines to finish third overall with a 38.700. Kaylee Cole was impressive in her debut, tying for second on vault (9.875) and tying for 10th on floor.
Stanford has a history of starting the season slow and finishing strong. The Cardinal has scored below 196.000 in eight of the past 10 years but has made the NCAA Championships in nine of the past 10 seasons. Stanford's highest score in a season opener in the past 10 years came in 2011 (196.625) – the one time in the past 10 seasons the Cardinal missed the NCAA Championships.
Stanford got off to a steady start on beam but a pair of missed routines slowed the Cardinal's momentum. Taryn Fitzgerald returned to the competition floor after having her freshman year cut short by injury and opened the season with a quality performance on beam to earn a 9.675.
Danielle McNair followed with a team-high and career-best 9.725. Kaylee Cole made her collegiate debut in the following spot and registered a 9.650. After a pair of misses, Rachel Daum got Stanford back on track with a 9.550 to finish the event.
The difficulty continued on floor with the first two gymnasts missing their routines and three overall. Cole created some momentum with a 9.725 in the first floor routine of her career. Daum followed with a smooth performance to add a 9.700. However, Stanford had trouble in its final two routines and finished the event with a 46.925.
The Cardinal continued to battle and rebounded nicely on vault with a 49.175. Price led Stanford with a huge vault that earned her a meet-best 9.950. Cole completed her impressive debut with a 9.875, while Ashley Tai and Danielle McNair both earned scores of 9.825.
Following a bye, the Cardinal returned to the floor and delivered the night's best team performance on bars, scoring a meet-best 49.150. After a missed routine in the first spot, Stanford reeled off five straight performances of 9.750 or better.
Price led the way with a 9.950 and was followed by Nicolette McNair (9.875) and Aleeza Yu (9.825). Daum and Dare Maxwell each went 9.750.