Feb. 28, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. -
For the second week in a row, the Stanford men's gymnastics team are atop the national ranks as they prepare to face No. 5 Michigan this Sunday at 1 p.m. EST in Ann Arbor, Mich. Stanford, who has only lost one meet, to California on January 18, will use this final competition on the road to sharpen their skills before competing in two more home meets, and then heading off to the MPSF Championships in Lincoln, Neb. on April 5.
The Cardinal enter this weekend fresh off a first-place finish at the Pacific Coast Collegiate Classic in Oakland this past weekend, where Michigan also competed and finished fourth. Stanford recorded a season-high team score of 361.650 at the tournament, defeating the five other teams competing.
The Cardinal will be without the services of senior David Sender and redshirt junior Sho Nakamori, as the two will be traveling to Doha, Qatar to take place in the First Doha ART Gymnastics World Cup A on March 4-6. Stanford will again look to their young and talented depth on the roster to fill the void left by Sender and Nakamori, as they have done twice so far this season: at Cal on January 18, and against Nebraska at home on February 16.
Many of the freshmen stepped up to the challenge against Cal. In that meet, Alex Buscaglia was the top performer for the Cardinal, nabbing victories in vault (15.750) and floor exercise (15.550) and tying for first (14.900) in high bar. Ryan Lieberman added a first place finish on the parallel bars (15.150) and Tim Gentry tied for first in still rings (14.900). Despite outstanding efforts, Stanford fell just short of Cal, losing 347.250-346.750.
Against Nebraska, the veterans helped to provide the 357.600-341.150 win as junior Bryant Hadden took the lead for the Cardinal by recording individual season bests in all five of his events. Hadden won first place in parallel bars (15.200), tied for first place in still rings (14.900), and received second place in pommel horse (15.050) and high bar (14.700). Senior Eli Alcaraz captured the vault title (15.800) and redshirt sophomore Greg Ter-Zakhariants earned the top finish in floor exercise (15.750) and also captured third in vault (15.500).
Stanford, as a team, is currently ranked first in pommel horse and high bar, second in floor exercise and parallel bars, third in still rings, and fourth in vault.
Individually, the Cardinal are highlighted by several top-five ranks. Sender is currently ranked second in still rings and all-around, third in floor exercise and vault, and fifth in high bar. Nakamori is fifth in floor exercise, Gentry is ranked third in pommel horse, senior Dylan Carney is second on high bar, and redshirt sophomore Greg Ter-Zakhariants checks in at fifth in floor.
Michigan is currently 8-6 on the year, with their best tournament finish of third place coming at the Windy City Invitational in Chicago, Ill, which Stanford also competed in and took first. They are 2-1 in dual meets, with their biggest win coming over second-ranked Penn State, 356.950 - 354.300 on January 19. The Wolverines are led by junior Joe Catrambone, junior Ralph Rosso, and freshman Thomas Kelley. Rosso and Kelly advanced to the Winter Cup Challenge finals, and Catrambone is currently the top-ranked gymnast in high bar.