March 7, 2010
Lincoln, Neb. - For the second time in as many weeks, Stanford men's gymnastics knocked off the No. 1 team in the nation, this time newly anointed Oklahoma as part of a triangular meet that also included Nebraska. The Cardinal scored 361.65, the top score in the nation this year, defeating the Sooners with 360.3 and the Cornhuskers with 347.5.
The Cardinal excelled in every event, winning the rings, vault, horizontal bar and tying Oklahoma on the parallel bars. However, it is vault where Stanford continues to shine, this time scoring a NCAA season-high of 65.55.
Stanford had five scores of 16 or higher on vault, including a 16.5 from Tim Gentry. In addition, Eddie Penev (16.4), Josh Dixon (16.35), Alex Buscaglia (16.3) and Eric Hergenrader (16.0) all put up big scores for the Cardinal.
The other event where Stanford entered the competition ranked No. 1 in the country is the rings. The Cardinal again excelled in the event led by a 15.4 from Gentry. Freshman James Fosco added a 15.2 as the Cardinal outscored Oklahoma by almost two full points on the apparatus.
On horizontal bar, Stanford put together its best day of the season, scoring 59.5 points. The Cardinal outdistanced Oklahoma in the event as the Sooners had 58.95. Stanford got a balanced effort on horizontal bar with Buscaglia leading the scoring with a 15.0. Abhinav Ramani (14.9), John Martin (14.85) Cameron Foreman (14.75 and Ryan Lieberman (14.7) also chipped in solid scores.
The Cardinal and Sooners tied on the parallel bars with scores of 59.5. Nicholas Noone led Stanford with a score of 15.4, which was a season high for the former All-American in the event. Lieberman and Buscaglia solidified the apparatus for Stanford with scores of 14.75 each.
Oklahoma took the top scores on both floor and pommel horse, but the Cardinal kept it close enough to still come away with the victory overall. Penev led Stanford on the floor with a score of 15.7, while Martin had the top pommel score with a 14.75.
The national rankings are based on average scores, meaning Stanford won't necessarily take over the No. 1 ranking despite defeating the current top-ranked Sooners. However, with wins over No. 1 Michigan last week and now the big win over Oklahoma, Stanford is establishing itself as the team to beat at the NCAA Championships next month. The Cardinal will be looking to repeat as national champions after winning its first title under head coach Thom Glielmi last year.
The Cardinal will now have a two-week break for dead week and finals, but will return to action on March 26. Stanford will travel to the Windy City to take on Illinois-Chicago on a Friday night at 5:00 p.m., PST.