NORMAN, Okla. – Turning in its best performance of the year on Friday from the first NCAA Championships qualifying session, No. 1 Stanford registered a team score of 426.325 to clinch a spot in Saturday's national championship meet.
Stanford topped Nebraska (411.388), Illinois (406.691), Penn State (397.889), California (394.824) and Springfield College (380.523) in the session. Based on the results, the Cardinal will be joined by Nebraska and Illinois in Saturday's national championship meet.
Senior Curran Phillips won a pair of events, taking top honors on parallel bars (15.200) and horizontal bar (career-best 14.033).
Competing in his first national championship week, freshman Khoi Young posted a career-best 15.266 on pommel horse to easily outdistance the competition. He also shared the vault title with senior Brody Malone (season-best 14.800).
Colt Walker (14.733) and Thomas Lee (14.533) captured floor and still rings titles, respectively.
Stanford opened the meet on vault and earned four of the top six spots overall, with Malone and Young leading the way. Zach Martin took fourth with a vault score of 14.633 to help Stanford to a 73.266 as a team.
The top parallel bars team in the nation, Stanford managed a season-best 71.966 in the event. After Phillips's 15.200, senior Blake Sun posted a 14.600 to take second. Malone, the 2022 Nissen-Emery Award winner, claimed fourth at 14.366.
Stanford was just off its season high on floor exercise, posting a 71.731 and claiming the top three spots in the event. Walker led all competitors with his career-best 14.733, followed by Bryan Perla (14.466) and Blake Wilson (14.366). Junior Riley Loos took fifth with a score of 14.133.
Led by Young's huge pommel horse score, the Cardinal set a new season-best in the event at 69.799. Taylor Burkhart placed third with a career-high 13.833, while Sun and Ian Gunther tied for fifth with a 13.600.
Finishing the meet on still rings, the Cardinal turned in a score of 71.465 – led by Lee's 14.533 to win the title. Stanford took each of the top five spots in the event with Loos (14.466), Mark Berlaga (14.233), Ian Lasic-Ellis (14.133) and Burkhart (14.100) following in second through fifth.
Stanford will compete for its third consecutive national championship on Saturday. The meet is set to begin at 4 p.m. PT from the Lloyd Noble Center.