Stanford Captures NCAA Title
April 18, 2009
The 2009 National Collegiate Men's Gymnastics Championship trophy is headed to the Bay Area.
No. 1 ranked-Stanford combined to score a team total of 362.800 points to capture its first national championship in men's gymnastics since 1993 before 1,531 at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion Friday night.
Consistency was the key for the Cardinal, which posted the top score of the night on just two of the six events, leaving the outcome of the championship in doubt into the final rotation.
But Stanford brought home the team title with a sold set on rings that fetched the highest score of the night from the judges.
Stanford's victory marked the first time since 2001 the NCAA men's gymnastics trophy will not be headed to Norman, Okla., or State College, Pa. The No. 2-ranked Sooners, who had won five of the last seven national team title and were expected to be Stanford's chief rival for the trophy, also closed strong by putting up the highest score of the night on vault during the seventh and final rotation.
But it was not enough to lift OU above third as Michigan closed out the meet with a solid final rotation on the floor to edge the Sooners for second place, 361.500-361.200. California was also in the mix up until the final bell and finished just outside the top three with 361.150.
Oklahoma's Steve Legendre captured the all-around title with 90.500 points, followed by Cal's Glen Ishino with 90.000 points and Illinois' Paul Ruggeri with 89.500 points.
Legendre posted the evening's top score on floor with a 16-point routine and also tied for the best vault of the night with a score of 16.300.
The 2009 National Collegiate Men's Gymnastics Championships will conclude with the individual event finals at the Sports Pavilion at 7 p.m.
Stars Shine During Individual Event Finals
The best men's collegiate gymnasts in the country had the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion rocking Saturday night as the 2009 National Collegiate Men's Gymnastics Championships closed with a thrilling round of individual event finals.
All-Around champion Steven Legendre of Oklahoma continued his outstanding run at the championship, adding individual titles on both floor exercise and vault to his medal haul. Legendre scored a 15.625 to secure his win on floor and a 16.325 on vault that was the highest score of the three-day competition on the apparatus.
Legendre's floor performance was part of a brilliant run in the event by the Sooners, who claimed half of the eight All-American's, including Chris Brooks' score of 15.575 that was good enough to place third. Illinois' Paul Ruggeri just missed sharing the top spot on the podium with Legendre, earning a score of 15.600 from the six-judge panel.
Ruggeri, however, would go on to claim a spot on the top of the podium twice later in the competition with wins on both parallel bars and high bar.
Ruggeri performed what turned out to be one of the few clean routines on the high bar as the gymnasts adopted a go-big-or-go-home attitude throughout the event. Executing four release moves and sticking his dismount, he earned a score of 15.750 to blow away the field.
Michigan's Thomas Kelly scored a 15.275 to place second, while Stanford's Alex Busaglia took third with a score of 14.875.
On p-bars, Ruggeri's victory was much tighter as he finished with a score of 15175 to edge California's Kyle Brady, who scored a 15.075. Kelly of Michigan grabbed his second top-three finish to take third with score of 14.675.
Pommel horse was just as tight at the top of the podium. Big Ten Champion Dan Ribeiro of Illinois made it three win's for the Illini and once again proved he is among the country's best at the discipline as he put together a clean routine that earned a score of 15.575. Ohio State student-athletes took the next two spots, just missing out on the top spot. Steven Spencer scored 15.475 to take second and Ty Echard scored 15.450 to take third.
California's Evan Roth ended up with the most commanding win of the opening individual session, scoring 15.600 to win the still rings title by .200 over Michigan's Phillip Goldberg. Nicholas Noon of team champion Stanford took third with a score of 15.275 as the Cardinal claimed a total of four All-American's on the apparatus.