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Cardinal Heads Back to NCAAs
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 06/21/1999

April 21, 1999

CARDINAL NOTES

Up Next: Apr. 22-24 at NCAA Championships 5:00 pm

NCAA History: The Cardinal returns to the NCAA Championships after missing out on last year's regionals. In its last appearance, Stanford finished sixth at the 1997 NCAA Championships. Three years ago, the Cardinal placed third at the championships in 1996. Prior to those years, Stanford won three of the previous four NCAA Titles. The 1992 Championship marked the first national title in Stanford gymnastics history. Below is a recap of Stanford's NCAA history over the last eight years:

1991    5th 1995    1st
1992    1st 1996    3rd 
1993    1st 1997    6th
1994    2nd 1998    DNQ

Last Meet: The 12th-ranked Stanford men's gymnastics team scored its highest mark of the year (226.90) as it finished third at the NCAA West Regionals (Apr. 10). The Cardinal finished behind #5 Nebraska, which finished first with a 229.425, and #11 BYU, which finished second with a 228.475. Over the course of the night, Stanford scored season-highs in the high bar (38.45) and vault (37.625). The Cardinal was led by junior Jason Katsampes, who finished first in the horse (9.825) and third in both the all-around (57.225) and high bar (9.80) Meanwhile, junior Scott Finkelstein finished second in the horse (9.725) and ninth in the floor (9.55).

Can They Really Get Much Higher?: The Cardinal has been on a roll with a trio of high scores during its last three meets. Entering the competition versus Oklahoma (Mar. 13), Stanford had a high score of 223.90 and an RQS of 221.90. Since that time, however, Stanford has scored a 224.65 (Mar. 13), 224.275 (Mar. 26) and a 226.90 (Apr. 10). With those improvements, the Cardinal has taken a surprising leap into the National Championships. A big reason for Stanford's success has been its performance on the high bar. Going into the Oklahoma meet, the Cardinal had a high of 36.50 in the high bar, but the team was consistently scoring around a 35.00. Since that time, Stanford has surpassed the 36.50 mark in all three meets, including an amazing 38.45 at the NCAA West Regionals (Apr. 10). That team score was highlighted by individual marks of 9.80 and 9.70 by Katsampes and Rico Andrade, respectively. Another key event for the Cardinal has been the pommel horse. Though this is Stanford's best event, the team's consistent scores of 38.00 and above over the last three meeets have led the Cardinal to late season success. Among those last three, Stanford's highest was a 38.825 at the regionals. That score was made possible by Scott Finkelstein, who scored a 9.70, and Katsampes, who scored a 9.825. If the Cardinal can score just a bit higher in those events, keep your eyes open, Stanford might bring home another National Championship.

Stanford's Special K: Katsampes has been Stanford's best all-around gymnast this year. He has competed in the all-around in seven of the team's 11 meets this season, having received the Stanford's season-high in the all-around with a 57.225 at the NCAA West Regionals (Apr. 10). In addition, Katsampes has Stanford's top score in four of the six indivdual events this year, including a 9.95 in the pommel horse. Katsampes also ranks among national leaders in the pommel horse. With a Regional Qualifying Score of 9.750, Katsampes ranks seventh in the country and second in the west region.

The Dynamic Duo: Adam and Brandon Berkenbile have done very well in their first season of collegiate gymnastics. Both freshman twins from Alubuquerque, New Mexico, the two have had their share of impressive performances. Adam is second on the team with five indivdual titles acheived this season. In the meet against Air Force and UC Santa Barbara (Feb. 14), he won three titles as he took first place in the horse (9.700) high bar (9.600) and all-around (55.000). Brandon hasn't done too bad either as he has the team high in the floor exercise with a score of 9.800 (Mar. 13 vs. Oklahoma). With that score, it marked the second week that Brandon had won the floor. In the previous meet at New Mexico (Mar. 6), Brandon won the floor with a score of 9.650.

Back on Track: The 1999 season has been a very successful one for Stanford after a disappointing 1998 year. Last season, the Cardinal had a 2-18 record, finished sixth at the MPSF Championships and missed the NCAA Regionals after injuries and lack of depth plagued the team. This season, however, Stanford has returned to the same form that won Stanford three National Championships ealier in the decade. With six newcomers added to seven healthy veterans, the Cardinal is 12-7 this year and ranks 12th in the country with a Regional Qualifying Score of 223.850. This weekend, the Cardinal should be a team to watch as it attempts to win Stanford's fourth NCAA Championship this decade.

Head Coach Sadao Hamada: A veteran of the collegiate coaching ranks, Sadao Hamada is in his 27th year as head coach of the Stanford men's gymnastics team. Over the years, he has led Stanford to three National Championships (1992, 1993, 1995) and two conference titles (1990, 1995). Hamada has also won numerous accolades including National Collegiate Coach-of-the-Year on three diferent occasions (1992, 1993, 1995). Hamada's resume also includes the coaching of six individual NCAA titleists. Among those champions are U.S. Olympians Steve Hug (1972, 1976) and Jair Lynch (1992, 1996).

Rico Andrade
Competed on all the events except for the pommel horse ... His best event was the rings, where he has scored a 9.10 or higher in seven of the 11 meets ... His career-high in the rings (9.40) was acheived at the MPSF Championships (Mar. 26) ... Recorded his career-high in the high bar (9.70) at the NCAA West Regionals (Apr. 10), which was good for sixth place ... Also scored his season-high in the vault (9.30) at the regionals ... Registered career-highs in the floor (9.30) and and parallel bars (9.30) at the MPSF Championships (Mar. 26).

Adam Berkenbile
Participated on all six events during the year ... Competed in the all-around during three meets ... His season-high in the all-around was a 55.00, which he acheived against UC Santa Barbara and Air Force (Feb. 14) ... Also recorded season-highs in the parallel bars (8.80) and high bar (9.60) in that meet versus UCSB and AFA ... His best event was the pommel horse, where he has recorded a 9.25 or higher in seven of 11 meets ... Finished first in the horse at the UCSB Invitational (Feb. 27), where he scored his season-high (9.850) ... Scored a 9.40 or higher on the floor in five of the 11 meets ... Recorded his highest score on the floor (9.70) at the NCAA Regionals (Apr. 10), which was good for a fifth place finish.

Brandon Berkenbile
Competed on all six events ... His best score in all-around was a 52.000 (Feb. 14) ... His most successful event was the the floor exercise, where he scored a 9.15 or higher in eight of 11 meets ... Registered Stanford's season-high in the floor (9.80), which resulted in a first place finish against #7 Oklahoma (Mar. 13) ... Scored season-highs in the high bar (9.25) and parallel bars (9.55) at the UCSB Invitational (Feb. 27).

Jason Biltz
Participated on all six events ... Had his best meet of the year was at the NCAA West Regionals (Apr. 10), where he scored career-highs in the vault (9.30) and high bar (9.50) .... His best event was the vault, where he registered 9.10 or higher at seven of 10 meets ... Recorded a season-high in the floor (9.35) at the UCSB Invitational (Feb. 27) ... Received his season-high in the rings (9.35) against BYU and California (Feb. 20).

Kevin Chow
Competed primarily on the pommel horse ... His season-high was a 9.50 against UC Santa Barbara and Air Force (Feb. 14) ... Also scored a 9.30 against #7 Oklahoma (Mar. 13) ... Participated only once on the parallel bars.

David Durante
Mostly participated on the horse and parallel bars ... Scored his season-high in the horse (9.80) and parallel bars (9.65) at the UCSB Invitational (Feb. 27) ... Recorded a 9.30 or better in his last seven meets on the horse ... Received marks of 9.20 or higher in five of his six meets on the parallel bars ... Also competed once on the vault.

Scott Finkelstein
Participated on all six events, but never competed in the all-around ... His best event was the horse, where he has scored a 9.00 of better in all ten of his meets ... Finshed second in the horse (9.725) at the NCAA West Regionals (Apr. 10) ... Placed third in the horse (9.6875) at the MPSF Championship Finals (Mar. 27) ... Recored his career-high in the horse (9.75) at the UCSB Invitational (Feb. 27) ... Registered a 9.35 or higher in his last five meets on the floor ... Scored his floor season-high (9.675) at the MPSF Championships (Mar. 26), which was good for a fifth place finish ... Recorded his season-high in the vault (9.40) on three different occasions ... Scored his season-high in the high bar (9.35) at two different meets.

Reshad Garan
Competed only on the rings ... Scored a 9.05 or higher in six of his last seven meets ... Recorded his season-high with a 9.20 against BYU and California (Feb. 20).

Jason Katsampes
Participated on all six events during the year ... Has Stanford's season-high in four events ... Competed in the all-around at seven of the 11 meets ... Scored Stanford's season-high in the all-around (57.225) at the NCAA West Regionals (Apr. 10), which resulted in a third place finish ... Also scored a season-high in the floor (9.40) and a career-high in the high bar (9.80) at the regionals ... Recorded career-highs in the rings (9.80) and and horse (9.95), which are also team season-highs, at the New Mexico Lobo Invitational (Mar. 6) ... His best event is the horse, where he ranks seventh in the country (RQS - 9.750) ... Has scored a 9.65 or higher on the horse in six of the last seven meets ... Placed second in the horse (9.70) at the MPSF Championship Finals (Mar. 27).

Craig Nesbitt
Competed on all six events during the year ... His season-high in the all-around was a 55.65 against #7 Oklahoma (Mar. 13) ... Finished sixth in the all-around (55.60) at the MPSF Championships (Mar. 26) ... His best events were the vault and the parallel bars ... Scored a 9.20 or higher in his last seven meets on the vault ... Finshed seventh in the vault at the NCAA West Regioanls with a career-high of 9.525 ... Recorded a 9.00 or better on the parallel bars in his 10 meets this year ... Established his new career-high in the parallel bars with a 9.55 against #7 Oklahoma (Mar. 13) ... Adds to an already solid Stanford lineup in the pommel horse ... Has scored a 9.25 or higher in the horse over the last five meets ... Registered a career-high in the horse with a 9.75 at the UCSB Invitational (Feb. 27).

Bobby Osterhoff
Only particpated once during the year ... Scored a 9.25 in the horse at the UCSB Invitational (Feb. 27).

Cade Raggio
Competed only at the Cardinal Open (Jan. 30) ... His best score was in the vault (8.80).


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