STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford men’s gymnastics added depth to its 2014-15 lineup Friday when Robert Neff and Ryan Sheppard each signed a National Letter of Intent to join the Cardinal.
Neff, a Brookfield, Wis. native, is a member of the U.S. Junior National team. He had a strong showing at this past summer’s P&G Championships, placing second on horizontal bar, third on pommel horse, fourth on floor exercise, and fifth in the all-around.
“We’re extremely happy with Robert’s commitment to Stanford and he’s going to be a great addition to the team,” said head coach Thom Glielmi. “He’s one of the most solid all-arounders in his class. With his experience as a junior team member, it’s going to add to the strength and depth of the team overall.”
Neff has a wealth of national and international experience, including competing at the 2013 Men’s Junior Olympic National Championships (4th-HB, 7th-AA), 2012 Visa Championships (5th-HB, 7th-FX, 10th-AA) and the 2011 British Team Championships where his team finished first.
Sheppard, who joins the Cardinal from Murphy, Texas, is a talented all-around gymnast. Sheppard finished first in the all-around at the 2013 National Qualifier in Colorado Springs, Colo. He placed seventh on still rings and eighth on pommel horse and horizontal bar at the 2013 P&G Championships.
Glielmi expects Sheppard to add depth in events currently filled by the Cardinal’s seniors.
“Ryan is one of the top pommel horse and parallel bars workers in the country – two events where we’re going to need some help on,” Glielmi said. “He’s a great addition to the program and one of the top all-arounders in his class. He’s solid on rings and horizontal bars as well. We expect him to hit the ground running when he gets here.”
Neff and Sheppard join a Stanford team that made its 15th consecutive NCAA Championships appearance (30th overall) in 2013, finishing third in the team competition. It was the Cardinal’s seventh NCAA top-three finish in the past eight years.