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Competition Reports

Written by Amanda Turner    Friday, 17 April 2009 19:43    PDF Print
Stanford Men Win Fourth NCAA Team Title
(6 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Stanford captured the team title Friday night at the NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Stanford gymnasts celebrate their team title in Minneapolis.

With a final score of 362.800, Stanford defeated No. 4 Michigan (361.500) and No. 2 Oklahoma, the defending champion (361.200).

Stanford, second to Oklahoma by .45 in 2008, clinched the title on still rings with a season-high team total.

"The strength of this team is depth," Stanford head coach Thom Glielmi said. "Some of the guys had some breaks or falls, but generally our top six guys can put together four solid routines, and the difficulty is high. They knew that coming in, so there was never an issue of feeling they were out of it."

Oklahoma, second to Stanford in Thursday's qualifying, took third despite posting its second-best score of the season.

"I can't complain, our guys had a great meet," OU head coach Mark Williams said. "It may have been one of our highest scores of the season but other teams were rocking out there as well."

California-Berkeley finished fourth, ahead of Illinois and Ohio State.

Oklahoma sophomore Steven Legendre won the all-around title (90.500), scoring 16.000 on floor exercise and 16.300 on vault.

"It was definitely exciting to win the all-around tonight," Legendre said. "It felt like all my hard work came together in the end. Unfortunately it is overshadowed by not winning the team championship, which was our main goal for the weekend."

Cal-Berkeley freshman Glenn Ishino finished second (90.000) ahead of Illinois sophomore Paul Ruggeri (89.500).

Competition concludes Saturday in Minneapolis with the individual event finals. ESPN2 will air the competition on April 23.

Click here for detailed results.

2009 NCAA Men's Championships
April 17, Minneapolis

Team Final
1. Stanford University 362.800
2. University of Michigan 361.500
3. University of Oklahoma 361.200
4. University of California-Berkeley 361.150
5. University of Illinois 359.300
6. Ohio State University 355.950

All-Around Final
1. Steven Legendre (Oklahoma) 90.500
2. Glen Ishino (California) 90.000
3. Paul Ruggeri (Illinois) 89.500
4. Kyson Bunthuwong (California) 89.000
5. Kyle Bunthuwong (California) 88.700
6. Chris Brooks (Oklahoma) 88.450
7. Casey Sandy (Penn State) 88.400
8. Brandon Wynn (Ohio State) 87.450
9. Jake Bateman (Ohio State) 86.750
10. Noam Shaham (Penn Statea) 85.150
11. Kyle Shanahan (Nebraska) 85.100
12. Aaron Fortunato (Minnesota) 85.050
13. Andrew Stover (Illinois-Champaign) 82.450
14. Jonathan Buese (Iowa) 82.300

Written by Amanda Turner    Friday, 17 April 2009 16:04    PDF Print
Maribor World Cup Begins in Slovenia
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

Brazil's Diego Hypolito led the qualifying on two events as competition began Friday at the World Cup in Maribor, Slovenia.

Diego Hypolito (Brazil)

The top eight gymnasts on each event Friday advance to this weekend's finals at the competition in Maribor, also known as the Salamunov Memorial.

Hypolito, the reigning world champion on floor exercise, took the high mark on both men's floor and vault. The Brazilian star said he had planned to debut a new move on floor exercise in Maribor — which would give him a potential 6.8 difficulty score — but left it out. The "Hypolito 2" is a tucked Arabian double front with a full twist out.

"I had to postpone the 'Hypolito 2,' because the judging committee did not allow me to do it in the qualification," Hypolito said. "The reason was that it needed to be recorded and sent on DVD a few days before the competition, so that the judges could assess its value in the new Code of Points."

Belgium's Donna-Donny Truyens was the top qualifier on pommel horse, and Russian Olympian Konstantin Pluzhnikov led still rings.

Slovenia's own Mitja Petkovsek led qualifying on parallel bars, and teammate Aljaz Pegan was second on high bar to the Netherlands' Epke Zonderland.

Russian gymnasts were the top qualifiers on all the women's events. Newcomer Yekaterina Kurbatova led scoring on both vault and uneven bars, Kristina Goryunova took the high mark on balance beam and Anna Myzdrikova topped the field on floor exercise.

Click here to download detailed results.

External Link: 42nd Salamunov Memorial

Written by Amanda Turner    Thursday, 16 April 2009 22:37    PDF Print
Kupets Wins Third NCAA All-Around Title
(12 votes, average 4.00 out of 5)

2004 Olympian Courtney Kupets (University of Georgia) won her third all-around title in four years at the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships Thursday in Lincoln, Neb.

Kupets clinched the all-around title with a perfect 10.0 on beam, as she led Georgia to the highest qualification score (197.025) to Friday's Super Six team finals.

Kupets is the first gymnast since Kentucky's Jenny Hansen (1993-1995) to win three NCAA all-around titles. Kupets' all-around score of 38.900 also tied Hansen's record set in 1995.

The top three teams from each of Thursday's two qualification sessions advance to the Super Six, where the team title will be decided. Georgia is the four-time defending champion.

Georgia, Florida and LSU advanced from the first session, finising ahead of Stanford (196.225), Penn State (196.100) and Oklahoma (195.825).

Alabama, which dealt Georgia its only defeat this season, was the top team in the second session with 197.025. Arkansas finished second (196.950) to qualify to its first Super Six in program history. Utah tied UCLA (196.625) but will advance to the Super Six based on a tie breaker, which counts all scores.

Oregon State (195.325) and Illinois (195.050) rounded out the second session.

Utah senior Kristina Baskett (39.600) finished second all-around behind Kupets, and ahead of UCLA freshman Vanessa Zamarripa.

Kupets, a senior, also won the NCAA all-around title her freshman and sophomore years. She missed last year's NCAA Championships after tearing her Achilles' tendon. She said the possibility of another all-around title had not been in her mind when performing her beam routine.

"If any thoughts like that come into my head, I have to shoot them out and say no, this is for the team," she said. "I need to do this routine for the team. They do come in and then you have to send them out."

Fans can watch Friday's Super Six finals live online here at 6 p.m. Central (7 p.m. EST/4 p.m. PST).

2009 Women's NCAA Championships
April 16, Lincoln, Neb.

(Top three teams from each session advance to final)

Team Qualification: Session One
1. Georgia 197.450
2. Florida 196.375
3. LSU 196.300
4. Stanford 196.225
5. Penn State 196.100
6. Oklahoma 195.825

Team Qualification: Session Two
1. Alabama 197.025
2. Arkansas 196.950
3. Utah 196.625
3. UCLA 196.625
5. Oregon State 195.350
6. Illinois 195.050

All-Around (top 15)
1. Courtney Kupets (Georgia) 39.800
2. Kristina Baskett (Utah) 39.600
3. Vanessa Zamarripa (UCLA) 39.575
4. Ariana Berlin (UCLA) 39.525
6. Tiffany Tolnay (Georgia) 39.500
7. Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs (UCLA) 39.475
8. Ricki Lebegern (Alabama) 39.450
8. Ashley Priess (Alabama) 39.450
8. Maranda Smith (Florida) 39.450
11. Susan Jackson (LSU) 39.400
11. Mandi Rodriguez (Oregon State) 39.400
11. Daria Bijak (Utah) 39.400
11. Nina Kim (Utah) 39.400
15. Jaime Pisani (Arkansas) 39.375

Written by Amanda Turner    Thursday, 16 April 2009 21:15    PDF Print
Stanford Leads Qualifying at Men's NCAA Championships
(4 votes, average 4.25 out of 5)

Stanford posted the highest qualifying score at the NCAA Men's Championships, which opened Thursday at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Casey Sandy (Penn State)

The top ranked teams finished in order, with No. 1 Stanford leading all the teams qualifying to Friday's final. Twelve teams competed in two subvisions, with the top three teams in each subdivision advancing to the final.

In the first session, Stanford (361.100) topped Michigan (358.300) and California (357.550). Penn State (352.150), Nebraska (346.800) and Navy (327.000) rounded out the afternoon session.

"We were pleased with how we performed," Stanford head coach Thom Glielmi said. "Our guys were pretty relaxed. We wanted to come in and get the first meet under our belt and we did that. We have room to improve and plan to keep getting better as we continue in this competition."

Defending champion Oklahoma took the top score in the evening session, (360.950) followed by Illinois (359.300) and Ohio State (354.300).

"It feels good to advance, and we're happy with it," Oklahoma head coach Mark Williams said. "Most of our guys have been to the team finals before; today was kind of a warm up. We have to get on a roll tomorrow. I know we’re a capable team, and we can compete with any of the other ones that are here. It's going to come down to who has the better night."

Host Minnesota finished fourth in the session (351.050), missing the cutoff to advance to finals. Illinois-Chicago (337.650) and Iowa (337.350) finished fifth and sixth, respectively.

On Wednesday night, Penn State's Casey Sandy won the Nissen-Emery Award, given annually to the top senior.

"It is a great honor for Casey," Penn State head coach Randy Jepson said. "There are so many complimentary things I can say about him but there is one thing that epitomizes his success at Penn State. He is the only athlete I have ever had who has never uttered a complaint or spoke an ill word about anything we have done with our program. He has always been the consummate worker who brings out the best in those around him. I couldn't be happier for his success."

Live scoring for the team and all-around final can be found online at ESPN2 will air the competition on April 23.

2009 Men's NCAA Championships
April 16, Minneapolis, Minn.

(Top three teams from each session advance to final)

Team Qualification: Session One
1. Stanford 361.100
2. Michigan 358.300
3. California 357.550
4. Penn State 352.150
5. Nebraska 346.800
6. U.S. Naval Academy 327.000

Team Qualification: Session Two
1. Oklahoma 360.950
2. Illinois 359.300
3. Ohio State University 354.300
4. Minnesota 351.050
5. Illinois-Chicago 337.650
6. Iowa 337.350

Written by John Crumlish    Sunday, 12 April 2009 17:26    PDF Print
Johnson Ready to Rumba on Monday's 'Dancing'
(188 votes, average 4.85 out of 5)

Rehearsing the rumba for ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" Monday, Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson told IG "the pressure is definitely rising" for the eight couples who remain in the competition.

Johnson and partner Mark Ballas avoided elimination on last Tuesday's results show, based on the judges' scores and audience votes they earned for their Viennese waltz on the April 6 show. Johnson said she and Ballas are never at ease awaiting the results, regardless of the scores they receive for their actual performances.

"Every week when you stand under the red lights, your heart races and you wonder, 'Did I do enough to please the crowd?'" Johnson said. "You just hope to hear your name called. The pressure is definitely rising. It gets more intense every week, and we're just hoping to raise the bar even more."

Johnson said she and Ballas have developed a strong rapport, but their pupil-mentor partnership is unique to the gymnast-coach relationship she has with her longtime gymnastics coach, Liang Chow. Chow and his wife, Liwen Zhuang, coached Johnson to the 2007 world all-around title and 2008 Olympic balance beam gold medal.

"It's totally different," Johnson said. "Chow was my coach, and like a parent. We had that discipline and the very professional coach-athlete relationship, whereas with Mark, we're really good friends or brother and sister. We're partners, and Chow is my coach, so it's different. You can't really have that really strict professional relationship with your partner, because you have to have that chemistry there, too."

Earlier in the season, Johnson and Ballas admitted that breaking some of Johnson's gymnastics habits was a challenge. Johnson said the couple is still in the process of adjusting her gymnastics techniques to the dances they perform, even after five weeks of competition.

"When you have 16 years of gymnastics habits, it's hard to break them within a few weeks," Johnson said. "For example, the arched back that we use when we salute. And when we land (in gymnastics), we land toe to heel, whereas in dance you have to go heel-toe. It's just a few things you have to do that I never would have thought of. It's been difficult, but Mark's been reminding me every day, and we're just working on it."

Viewers will have until 30 minutes after Monday's show to phone in their votes, and until noon Eastern time on Tuesday to vote online. The phone line for Johnson and Ballas is 800-868-3409. AT&T customers can text votes for Johnson and Ballas to 3409.

External Link: Dancing with the Stars


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