April 13, 2010
Stanford, Calif. - The defending NCAA Champion Stanford men's gymnastics team is set to compete in the 2010 NCAA Championships, beginning Thursday, April 15, and continuing to Saturday, April 17. The Cardinal returns most of last year's squad and has been ranked No. 1 at various times this season. This season's nationals will take place on the campus of the U.S. Army Academy in West Point, N.Y.
The Cardinal went undefeated during the dual meet season and entered the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships as the nation's top-ranked team and looking like the team to beat. However, Stanford suffered an off day and fell to third place. Oklahoma took the team title, while California placed second. Stanford had beaten both teams during the regular season, including knocking off then No. 1 Oklahoma in its home gym.
The Cardinal will now regroup after the disappointment of the MPSF meet, but still have the talent and routines to repeat as NCAA Champions. Stanford enters the NCAA meet as the fourth qualifier with a season average of 354.480. Illinois, Oklahoma and Michigan are the top three qualifiers.
Stanford will compete in the first team qualifying session on Thursday night where they will face five other schools and need to finish in the top three to advance to the team final on Friday. The Cardinal will face No. 1 Illinois, No. 5 Ohio State, No. 8 Penn State, No. 9 Illinois-Chicago and No. 12 Temple. The top three teams will go on to face the top three teams from session two that includes No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Michigan, No. 6 California, No. 7 Minnesota, No. 10 Nebraska and No. 11 Iowa.
Tim Gentry will lead his team after earning two All-America honors last year and being the team's most valuable gymnast in 2010. He enters the meet as the nation's top ranked gymnast in the vault with an average score of 16.12. He is also ranked second on the rings (15.55) and 15th on the floor (14.89).
Gentry is not alone near the top of the nation averages as freshman sensation Eddie Penev
currently ranks second in the floor exercise (15.525). Penev is a veteran of international competition in this event and could be a threat for the individual national title. Also excelling on the floor are Josh Dixon
who ranks ninth (15.069) and Alex Buscaglia
who ranks 10th (14.893). Overall, Stanford enters the meet ranked second as a team on the floor.
The Cardinal are also ranked second on rings with freshman James Fosco ranking fifth (14.794), while Nicholas Noone is 11th (14.21). Noone is a returning All-American in the event after finishing third a year ago.
Vault has been a strong event for Stanford all season as Penev (15.87) joins Gentry with a top-10 ranking. Buscaglia also ranks in a tie for 16th with a score of 15.862. As a team, the Cardinal are also second overall on vault.
Stanford should also be highly competitive on horizontal bar and the parallel bars. John Martin, Buscaglia and Cameron Foreman are each ranked in the top-20 on parallel bars. On high bar, Ryan Lieberman currently ranks seventh (14.64), while Noone is a returning All-American and ranks 12th (14.45).
The Cardinal will look for improvement on the pommel horse, the event that may have cost them the MPSF title. Stanford does not have an athlete ranked in the top-20 in the event, but does have capable athletes who will just need to put it together at the right time.
Stanford has won four titles in the program's history including last year, which was the first under head coach Thom Glielmi. It should be a highly competitive meet as the NCAA Championships has come down to fractions of a point in recent seasons.
There will be updates after each rotation on Army's web site: www.goARMYsports.com. Tickets for the three-day affair are now on sale at the Army Ticket Office where fans may call toll free at 1-877-TIX-ARMY Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets can also be ordered by fax (845) 938-8146, by mail, in person at the Army Ticket Office, Holleder Center, West Point, NY 10996, or online by logging onto Army's web site at www.goARMYsports.com.
Schedule of Events
Wednesday, April 14
8:30 a.m. Session I team warm-ups Session 1
11:30 a.m.: Session II teams warm-ups
3:30-5:15 p.m.: Nissen-Emery Awards Banquet, Eisenhower Hall
Thursday, April 15
7 a.m.: Session 1 open gym
8:20 a.m.: Session I timed warm-up
10 a.m.: Session I team qualifier
1 p.m.: Session II open gym
2:30 p.m.: Session II timed warm-up
4 p.m.: Session II team qualifier
Friday, April 16
5-7 a.m.: Open gym
1 p.m.: Open gym
2:20 p.m.: Time warm-up
4 p.m.: Team championships
Saturday, April 17
2:30 p.m.: Open warm-up
4 p.m.: Individual championships
*All times Pacific Standard Time