Aug. 5, 2002
Stanford, Calif. -
Four Cardinal men's gymnasts are headed to the USA Gymnastics Championships, which will be held in Cleveland, OH on Aug. 7-11 and will determine the Senior National Team which will help decide the World Championships Team. Dave Durante (Clark, NJ /Arthur L. Johnson) and Jason Biltz (Tempe, AZ/Tempe) both graduated this June from Stanford while senior Marshall Erwin (Cincinnati, OH/Wyoming) and junior Dan Gill (Fairfax, VA/James Robinson) will be returning to The Farm for the 2003 season. Both Erwin and Gill took home Individual titles at the NCAA Championships this past April, Erwin on rings and Gill on vault.
Durante, Biltz and Gill each qualified as All-Arounders for the USA Championships early in July at the Qualifying competition at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. Erwin was suffering from a severe infection in his wrist at the time of competition but was granted a petition into the Championships as a still rings specialist.
Durante, a 2002 Stanford graduate, posted a 52.55 at the Qualifiers to take fifth place and earn a berth at the Championships. "I am really excited about competing in Cleveland," said Durante. " Training has been going great and I think I am going to be in excellent shape. The new training schedule that Coach Thom Glielmi implemented has increased our confidence tremendously and I think we will benefit from the hard work we have put in this summer."
Biltz, another 2002 Cardinal graduate, took 10th place in July with a 51.45 after spending his senior year on The Farm recovering from injury. "Being that this is my first USA Championships, I am hoping to make a big entrance onto the USA Gymnastics scene," noted Biltz. "My expectations are pretty simple: I am looking to be consistent and to really enjoy myself. My gymnastics career is nearing its end so I am making a point to enjoy myself at every competition. Also, our major goal for this meet is to make the National Team. I am excited to be representing Stanford with such strong force at these Championships."
Gill, the 2002 NCAA Vault Champion, posted a 51.275 to capture 12th at the Qualifiers en route to the Championships. "I've been struggling with a back injury for the past few weeks so I haven't been able to prepare as thoroughly as I would like," commented Gill, "but things are improving and I'm getting back the kind of confidence necessary to compete at the level needed for the USA championships. I think that all four of us have been thriving under Thom Glielmi's coaching style and for the first time in a few years we have a legitimate shot of placing one or more guys on the Senior National Team, which is really exciting."
Erwin, the 2002 NCAA Rings Champion and MPSF Conference Co-Champion, was unable to compete during Qualifiers but his petition into the Championships was granted and he will compete as a rings specialist. During the 2002 collegiate season, Erwin posted three 9.95's on the event and took first place in nine meets.