The No. 10 Stanford women’s gymnastics team used a season-best push at the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional on Saturday to finish in second place in a six-team field and advance to the NCAA Championships for the 14th time in program history and for the seventh time in the last eight years.
With the top two teams from the regional advancing, Stanford tied a season high with its score of 197.275 and finished behind just first-place LSU, which tied the best score in the NCAA this year with 198.375.
“It was an outstanding team effort today,” said head coach Kristen Smyth to GoStanford.com. “The team showed grit, they fought for everything and they did a great job of covering each other when they needed to. We are definitely peaking at the right time.”
Senior Kristina Vaculik led the way with a third-place finish in the all-around with a 39.475 to accompany a career-high 9.950 on the bars to tie for the regional title with junior Samantha Shapiro.
Senior Shona Morgan also had a fantastic day, leading off in the vault, beam and floor and emerging with a pair of third-place finishes in the first two while finishing in a tie for ninth place in the floor. Morgan, who was competing in her fourth career NCAA Regional, rounded off a sweep of the top three in bars for the Cardinal with a 9.900 to equal her personal best.
The Cardinal will next compete in the NCAA Championships in Alabama starting on April 18.