Feb. 27, 2010
Stanford, Calif. - The No. 4 Stanford men's gymnastics team made a statement to the rest of the country on Saturday night, defeating top-ranked Michigan, 361.40-352.15. The score for Stanford was the top score achieved in the NCAA this season. The Wolverines had achieved the No. 1 ranking by averaging better scores so far this season, but the Cardinal showed they are rounding into form and plan to defend its national title from a year ago.
The Cardinal jumped out to a big lead early with the two teams competing in the floor exercise and on pommel horse. Stanford put up several scores of 15+ on the floor, led by Eddie Penev with a 15.45. Alex Buscaglia and Abhinav Ramani weren't far off both scoring 15.2. Overall, the Cardinal scored 60.95 on the floor, over a point better than Michigan.
The pommel proved to be the apparatus that really separated the teams, however. The Cardinal scored 58.40, easily its best of the season and almost two points better than Michigan. John Martin nailed a difficult routine for a score of 15.4, which is the second-highest score on pommel horse in the nation this year. Eric Hergenrader (14.5) and Ryan Lieberman (14.35) also scored well for Stanford.
On rings, the Cardinal continued to show why it is the top-ranked team in the country on that apparatus. The Cardinal scored 60.6, its best of the season and the best in the nation so far this year. Tim Gentry equaled his nation leading and season best with a score of 15.7 to lead the Cardinal. Freshman James Fosco also showed off his immense strength with a score of 15.05, his best of the year.
Stanford continued to expand its lead on the vault, posting a score of 64.25, the best in the nation so far this year. Gentry nailed his handspring front double for a score of 16.3, which was his career-best and is the best in the nation so far this year. His perfect landing drew loud cheers from the audience and the usually stoic Gentry even managed a smile. Penev also impressed on vault, finishing just behind Gentry with a score of 16.25.
Nicholas Noone led Stanford on the parallel bars with a score of 15.35. It was a season best for Noone, while the Cardinal matched its season best on the apparatus with a score of 58.6. Lieberman also performed well in the event with a score of 14.55.
Stanford finished off the resounding victory with a score of 58.6 on the horizontal bar. Buscaglia led the Cardinal men with a score of 15.4. It was his season best and among the top scores in the nation this year.
Next up for Stanford is a trip to Colorado Springs, Colo. to face Air Force and Illinois-Chicago in a tri-meet. The meet will be Friday, March 5, at 7:00 pm.