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April 3, 2006
No. 2 Stanford Men's Gymnastics (18-4) heads to the NCAA Championships at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Oklahoma this Thursday-Saturday. The Cardinal is set to compete in the first session of the NCAA Qualifier, beginning at 1:00 pm on Thursday, against No. 7 Iowa, No. 10 Minnesota, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 6 Penn State and No. 11 William & Mary. No. 5 California, No. 4 Illinois, No. 8 Michigan, No. 9 Nebraska, No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 12 Temple will square off in Session 2 on Thursday at 7:00 pm. The top three teams from Session 1 and Session 2 will continue on to the Team Finals on Friday, April 7 (7:00 pm). The top three individuals on each event, as well as the top three all-around finishers, not part of a qualifying team will continue on to the Event Finals on Saturday, April 8 (7:00 pm).
RUNNER-UP TEAM, INDIVIDUAL CHAMPION
Stanford travels to Norman after finishing second to the Sooners at the MPSF Championships on March 25, 219.175-217.075. The runner-up performance is the program's highest conference finish since before the 2001 season. The Cardinal posted a top team finish on the vault, led by sophomore David Sender's individual victory with a score of 9.550. Sender also posted two runner-up finishes on the floor exercise (9.500) and all-around (54.100). Oklahoma tallied three individual wins on the floor exercise, still rings and high bar en route to the conference championship.
SECOND-RANKED CARDINAL IN TOP THREE FOR FOUR EVENTS
The Cardinal maintains the second seed heading into the NCAA Championship, the program's highest ranking in over a decade. Stanford is ranked in the top three teams on four events, including the floor exercise (3rd, 36.510), still rings (2nd, 37.690), vault (3rd, 36.930) and high bar (2nd, 36.700). The squad is also ranked fourth on the parallel bars (35.625). Stanford slipped to the second ranking on the high bar this week, as Oklahoma took over the top spot on the event. Sender maintains a top ranking on the vault with a season average of 9.510, followed by Michigan's Andrew DiGiore with 9.480. Junior Alex Schorsch is also ranked second on the still rings with 9.650, narrowly trailing Oklahoma's Jonathan Horton with 9.670. Sender is ranked third all-around with a season average of 53.310 behind Horton (53.960) and Iowa's Michael Reavis (53.340).
DOWNS NAMED NISSEN-EMERY FINALIST
Senior Nate Downs was named a finalist for the Nissen-Emery Award last month. Stanford's Dan Gill won the Nissen-Emery Award in 2004. This year's recipient will be named on Wednesday, April 5. The other finalists for the 2006 Nissen-Emery Award include Chad Buczek of Penn State, Jamie Henderson of Oklahoma, Ramon Jackson of William & Mary, Michael Reavis of Iowa, Gerry Signorelli of Michigan and Justin Spring of Illinois.
SENDER EARNS MPSF GYMNAST OF THE WEEK
David Sender opened up the season with the MPSF's first Gymnast of the Week award. Sender was honored for his season-opening performance at Cal on January 13, in which he won the floor exercise (9.350), the vault (9.550) and shared a victory on the rings with teammate Bryant Hadden (9.300).
SENDER SELECTED TO NATIONAL TEAM
After tying for fourth at the 2006 Winter Cup with a two-day combined all-around score of 173.900, David Sender was selected to the senior national team. The national team consists of fourteen gymnasts in all, including the top six finishers in the all-around final, six more gymnasts based on a points system established by the Men's Program Committee, and two additional gymnasts selected by the Men's Program Committee. California's Tim McNeill was also named to the national team as one of the six gymnasts selected though the point system. McNeill placed third on the pommel horse at the Winter Cup with a combined score of 29.000 after two days of competition.