Cook and Stanton Advance to NCAA Championship
April 7, 2006
NORMAN, Okla. - Navy sophomore Brandon Cook (Longmont, Colo.) and freshman Adam Stanton (Centennial, Colo.) both qualified for the NCAA Championship on Friday during the NCAA Qualifying Meet on Thursday evening hosted by the University of Oklahoma in the Lloyd Noble Center. In addition to Cook and Stanton, six more Midshipmen gymnasts competed in the national qualifying meet.
The host Sooners won the evening session with 217.225 points, while Illinois' 214.775 points and California's 213.9 points qualified for the team championship on Friday.
In his first event of the evening, Cook earned a 9.1 from the judges in the floor exercise. Cook's effort was good enough for sixth overall and the highest mark by a competitor not affiliated with the top-three teams. The sophomore, who was ranked 19th in the national rankings coming into this weekend, will be making his second-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championship, as Cook served as Navy's lone representative in the national championship last year in the floor exercise. In addition to his efforts in the floor exercise, Cook just missed qualifying on the vault, scoring a 9.1 to finish in a tie for 10th place overall. With his 9.1 marks in the two events, Cook recorded a 9.0 or higher in both events during the same meet for the fifth time in 2006.
Stanton joined Cook as a national qualifier after ranking among the top-three gymnasts on the pommel horse not participating as an all-around competitor or on a qualifying team. Stanton registered an 8.45 performance on the pommel horse to finish in a tie for 10th among all gymnasts. The freshman's performance was his second-best tally on the year, as Stanton notched an 8.55 against William & Mary on March 5.
Two other Midshipmen placed among the overall top-20 in an event on Thursday. Junior Sean Blackman (Fayetteville, Ga.) landed in 13th place following an 8.7-point showing on the still rings. Blackman, who was ranked in the national top-20 all season, came into Thursday's action following his second-place effort on the still rings during the ECAC Championship two weeks ago.
Navy senior team captain Ben Peterman (Amherst, Mass.) finished in 16th place with 8.975 points on the vault. Peterman, the 19th-ranked gymnast in the nation on the vault, narrowly missed scoring a 9.0 or higher in the event for his fifth-consecutive meet.
Peterman also was one of three Navy gymnasts competing in the all-around on Thursday. The senior team captain recorded a 47.775 to place seventh overall, 25.825 of which were totaled in his final-three events. In addition to his 8.975-point showing on the vault, Peterman scored an 8.1 on the parallel bars and 8.75 on the high bar.
Sophomore Christopher Tam (Draper, Utah) led all Navy all-around gymnasts with a 48.575-point tally on Thursday to finish in sixth place. Tam, who entered the week ranked 12th in the country and placed second in the ECAC Championship, scored above an 8.1 in four of the six disciplines. The sophomore's highest-scoring performance came on the high bar, earning an 8.4 mark from the judges.
Senior Grant Regelin (Columbia, Md.) finished eighth in the all-around with a score of 46.95 points. Regelin recorded a 22nd-place showing of 8.75 points on the vault and scored an 8.0 in the floor exercise.
The NCAA Championship will take place on Friday in the Lloyd Noble Center, beginning at 7 p.m. The top-ten gymnasts in each event will advance to the individual event finals on Saturday, also starting at 7 p.m.