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.