Aug. 20, 2007
This past week Stanford's Sho Nakamori and David Sender made an impressive showing at the USA National Championships in San Jose to earn their place on the 14 member USA National Team. The top 8 point getters were locked into the national team and the next six positions were selected by a committee.
Nakamori put together two solid competitions to finish third in the all-around (combined total of the six events), with Sender right on his heals finishing fifth in the all-around. Stanford alum, David Durante ('03) won the coveted event, proving consistency wins the day. Other than a slight stumble on one floor exercise pass, Durante was a model of confidence and professionalism.
After the first day of competition Nakamori was in fourth place, but put pressure on the field and started his climb. He finished in the top ten on five of the six events earning the bronze medal on horizontal bar. In the second day of competition, Nakamori started with a clean routine on pommel horse and then proceeded to knock out five impressive routines sticking his ring dismount, vault, parallel bar dismount and horizontal bar dismount.
Sender was just as notable. Taking a few events to get going he nailed his parallel bar routine, horizontal bar and floor routine in addition to taking home the bronze on rings. He finished in the top ten on four events and moved up to fifth all-around.
The selection committee opted to pass up both Nakamori and Sender to take sixth place finisher - university of Oklahoma's Jon Horton onto the World Championships team. The selection committee chose all-around champion Durante, second place finisher Guillermo Alveraz (Team Cheveron), fourth place finisher Alex Artemev (Team Cheveron) and 6th place finsher Horton. Also selected where specialists Kevin Tan (Team Chevron) and Sean Golden (Gattaca).
Nakamori was selected as the alternate for the team. Sender a 2006 World Championships team member, sat down his vault on the second day - an event he expected to contribute to the team.
The 14 man national team has three NCAA athletes.