Stanford's NCAA Notes
Columbus, Ohio - No. 2 Men's Gymnastics will take its turn in the attempt to win Stanford's 100th NCAA title this weekend from April 14-16. The Cardinal will compete in the prelims on Thursday night and if it can advance, will compete for the NCAA team title on Friday night. The individual event and all-around finals are Saturday night.
Stanford enters the meet as the No. 2 qualifier based on a four-meet average of scores during the regular season, but is coming off the MPSF title on Aril 2, when it topped both No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 3 California.
The Cardinal will compete in the second session of qualifying, which will begin at 4:00 p.m., PT, as Stanford will need to be in the top-3 of six teams to advance to Friday's finals. Thursday, Stanford will see No. 3 Cal, No. 6 Michigan, No. 7 Ohio State, No. 10 Nebraska and No. 11 Iowa in qualifying.
If it can advance, Stanford will compete in the team finals, which will be at 4:00 p.m. PT. The Cardinal will look to win its second national title in three years and earn Stanford's 100th national title in school history.
The top 10 gymnasts in each of the six team events Friday evening advance to Saturday's NCAA Championship individual event finals, which begin at 4:00 p.m. PT, where the top eight finishers on each of the six events will be awarded All-America status.
The Cardinal enters the meet as the nation's top-ranked team on rings and the horizontal bar, while they rank second in the floor exercise and the vault. Stanford ranks third nationally in the parallel bars and tied for fourth in the pommel horse.
The Cardinal will ride its four seniors, Alex Buscaglia, Josh Dixon, Tim Gentry and Ryan Lieberman throughout the meet. Dixon and Gentry will compete in the all-around, while Buscaglia and Gentry will likely compete in five of six events during the team finals.
Dixon has Stanford's top all-around score this season of 88.600, but was also the MPSF champion in the floor exercise where he is ranked No. 3 in the nation. He ranks in the top-11 nationally in four events and made the U.S. national team earlier this season.
Lieberman placed third in the all-around at the MPSF Championships and is the defending NCAA champion in the parallel bars. This year, he ranks third nationally on parallel bars with an average score of 14.900.
Gentry and Buscaglia will not compete in the all-around, but are among the favorites for NCAA individual titles. Buscaglia is by far the national leader on high bar where he was the Pan-Am champion over the summer and the MPSF champion a couple weeks ago. Gentry is the MPSF champion in the still rings and ranks third nationally in the event. He was named the MPSF Co-Gymnast of the Year.
The Cardinal have other veterans that will play a big role, including redshirt senior Nicholas Noone, who is a four-time All-American and will compete on rings and parallel bars, two events that he was an All-American last year. Abhinav Ramani, Cameron Foreman and Eddie Penev are also expected to compete in multiple events, while John Martin and Jordan Nolff will specialize in one event. James Fosco, Paul Hichwa, Jason Stevens and Chris Turner will each make their NCAA debut.
The Cardinal has won four NCAA titles in school history, including the 2009 title, the lone championship for head coach Thom Glielmi. He hopes that repeating as MPSF team champion this season provides the same omen that it has each of the last four title seasons when a conference championship also meant a national title.
There is no webcast available for the meet, but the team finals will be availble via tape delay on ESPN2 on Thursday, April 21, at 10:30 a.m., PT.