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Cardinal a close second at Pac-12 Championships

Cardinal gymnasts led No.10 Stanford to a second-place finish at the Pac-12 Championships in Berkeley, California on Saturday.

Nicolette McNair (above) won Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors at this weekend's conference championships in Berkeley. (DAVID BERNAL/

Nicolette McNair (above) won Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors at this weekend’s conference championships in Berkeley. (DAVID BERNAL/

The Cardinal (15-4, 7-3 Pac-12) recorded its second-best team score of the season, finishing with a 197.175 and almost pulling ahead of No.5 Utah, which finished first with a team score of 197.925. Stanford finished ahead of No.7 UCLA and No.11 Oregon State at the meet.

Stanford’s Nicolette McNair was also named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year after recording three individual top-10 finishes.

The Cardinal earned a 49.400 on the vault, tying with Utah for third place in the event. Sophomore Melissa Chuang opened with a 9.825, which was followed by freshman Rachel Daum’s 9.875 and sophomore Taylor Rice’s 9.900. McNair scored a team-high of 9.925 in the event.

Stanford closed a season-best 49.450 on bars, coming in at second place overall. McNair’s 9.950 on bars was a career best and earned her a second-place finish in her first ever conference championships. Despite a fall on the second rotation, Stanford’s performance was impressive, with juniors Samantha Shapiro and Kristina Vaculik each scoring 9.925.

Stanford’s 49.350 on the beam was a meet-best, with senior Shona Morgan scoring a 9.850 in the leadoff position, which was followed by 9.800 by Rebecca Wing. McNair, Daum, Vaculik and senior Amanda Spinner finished strong by each scoring 9.875, winning Stanford first place in the event and keeping it within striking distance of the Utes.

Stanford stumbled a bit in the floor with a score of 9.675 to open, which was made up for by Morgan’s 9.875, sophomore Jenna Frowein’s 9.800 and Rice’s 9.850. The Cardinal came in seventh position overall with a 48.975

The meet was the last Pac-12 Championships for Morgan, and the former second-team All-American finished her conference career by scoring a 9.825 or higher in each of her three events.

Contact Nitish Kulkarni at nitishk2 ‘at’

About Nitish Kulkarni

Nitish Kulkarni '16 is a junior majoring in Mechanical Engineering, interested in writing about technology and research.