Five school records fell or were equaled on Sunday as the UC Davis women’s gymnastics squad smashed the all-time program benchmark for team points with 195.875 to take second place to visiting Stanford in a spirited quad meet at The Pavilion.
UCD’s gaudy team numbers were the second most in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation history — and the most in the league in more than a decade.
A crowd of 1,013 fans got into the four-event action early when Aggie Katy Nogaki earned a school-record-tying 9.900 with a stunning opening-round vault.
Coming off of a torn ACL just before reporting to UCD last season, Nogaki’s effort was the centerpiece of an Aggie 49.050 vault posting — the first time in school history a UCD team soared past the 49-point mark.
Nogaki’s score put her in a tie for third in the individual standings, and the team’s vault showing energized the big crowd and elevated subsequent Aggie performances.
Senior co-captain Anna Shumaker won the individual all-around with a personal-best 39.225. Meanwhile, Dani Judal, a 4-foot-11 sophomore from Antelope High, tied the UCD beam standard with a 9.900.
Judal’s score tied her for third at the meet.
And when the chalk settled, the locals trailed only No. 11 Stanford (197.725) as San Jose State (195.400) and Utah State (194.400) finished third and fourth, respectively.
The beam crew erased one of the school’s longest-standing marks when the Judal-led Aggies scored 48.925 — a skosh better than UCD’s 48.900 at the USAG Collegiate Nationals back in 1999.
Head coach John Lavallee didn’t know where to start in his praise of the Aggies’ record-rearranging outing.
“(Sunday’s performance) was exactly what I believe this team is capable of … this is a very talented group of young women,” Lavallee said after the locals improved to 4-7 in January. “They showed a little bit of what they’re capable of.
“It is early in the season, and to be able to put up a performance like (Sunday’s) should go a long way to raise our confidence and boost our desire to do even more.”
It took undefeated Stanford’s best showing of 2014 to vanquish the field, while San Jose State’s fifth-best mark in school history kept the Spartans within arm’s length of the runner-up Aggies.
Lavallee was asked about Judal, Nogaki and Shumaker …
“We had so many great performances … it is hard to just comment on only three,” the eighth-year Aggie mentor told The Enterprise. “But … Katy Nogaki’s vault was monster. She has made great progress (since the injury).
“Dani had some very solid performance during her freshman year and she is now starting to understand what it takes to perform at a high level.
“Anna is only the second Aggie (Katie Yamamura) to score 39 in the all-around more than once in her career.”
Lavallee added that Shumaker’s effort Sunday is “a testament to her drive and desire to lead this team to a new level.”
The explosion of confidence comes at the right time.
UCD entertains Sacramento State on Friday at 7 p.m.
The Hornets finished ahead of the Aggies at a Jan. 5 matchup, earning 1.25 points in the Causeway Cup competition between the two schools. Through Tuesday, that athletic scorecard stands at 37.50-23.75, advantage UCD.
“We are always motivated to have Sacramento State at home,” Lavallee explained. “It has been a great rivalry for many years and we are always up for the great competition.
“Friday will be a great gymnastics meet with two very evenly matched teams. I am sure that the meet will be hotly contested.”
Add to the mix the fact that the Hornets and Aggies are again in the same conference, and Friday could see even more records fall.
Notes: UCD assistant Tamara Ross is a former Hornet assistant who specializes in beam and choreography. Recently graduated Aggie Taryn West has stayed with UCD as a volunteer assistant and Carolyn Kampf, another ex-Aggie, is in her sixth season on Lavallee’s staff. … In addition to Shumaker, Sunday’s event winners were: Vault: Paige Jones (Utah State) and Nicolette McNair (Stanford) 9.925 (tie); beam: Amanda Spinner (Stanford) 9.925; Bars: Samantha Shapiro (Stanford) 9.925; floor exercise: Julie Greer (San Jose State) and Pauline Hanset (Stanford) 9.875. … Judal’s 9.900 on beam tied previous Aggie highs by Ericka Ruelas (2001), Tiffany Chan (2005) and Erika Van Dyke (2010). Nogaki’s vault equaled 9.900s by Jill Henrie (1993), Flora Bare (2003) and Yamamura (2011, 2012). … Ruelas, Yamamura and others were in attendance for Sunday’s Alumni Day.
— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at [email protected] or 530-320-4456