No. 4 Stanford men’s gymnastics (1-0, 1-0 MPSF) was victorious over the rival No. 8 California Golden Bears (0-1, 0-1 MPSF) Saturday night on the road at Haas Pavilion, starting off the 2015 season by clinching a 429.050-425.000 win. The women’s team (1-3-1, 0-1 Pac-12) also had a successful weekend at San Jose State, bringing home both the team and individual victories.
Not only did men’s gymnastics take five of the six events from Cal, four Cardinal gymnasts – sophomore Akash Modi, senior Brian Knott, senior Michael Levy and fifth-year senior Sean Senters – were awarded five individual event titles.
“We wanted to get as many guys in front of the judges as possible in the first meet and see how they handled the pressure,” Stanford head coach Thom Glielmi told GoStanford. “For the most part, they did well and it bodes well for the team’s tenacity and willingness to improve this season. A lot of guys showed up tonight and as we move forward picking the lineup will be difficult.”
Beginning with pommel horse, the Cardinal performed well, as all six Stanford gymnasts hit their routines. Junior Jonathan Deaton produced a 13.450, Knott provided a meet-best 14.500, and Modi scored a 14.400. Glielmi credited Deaton with setting the pace in his opening routine and easing the nerves of the rest of the lineup.
On floor, the Cardinal continued strong, as five of the gymnasts scored a 14.200 or higher. Placing in first, Modi produced a 15.150, and Senters followed with a 14.850 to tie for second.
As the night went on, it seemed as if Stanford would not falter. On vault, the men performed exceptionally. Senters claimed first with a score of 15.250, and the Cardinal produced a total of 73.900 on the event with significant contributions from sophomore Taylor Seaton with a 14.750, freshman Ryan Sheppard with a 14.700 and Modi with a 14.600. With the night only halfway over, Stanford was in the lead 216.900-210.600.
On rings, the Cardinal kept the momentum going, scoring a 72.700 with five of their gymnasts scoring a 14.300 or higher. Levy finished with a 14.800 to secure first, followed by junior Brandon Beckhardt, who tied for second with a 14.700. On high bar, which Stanford finished with a 71.00, Knott claimed second with a 14.600. He was followed by Neff with a 14.500 and Senters with a 14.450. In the final rotation, Stanford had a 360.700-354.550 advantage. Although the Cardinal struggled on parallel bars, that did not keep them from clinching the win.
On the final performance of the night, Modi, who scored a 15.300 on parallel bars and finished first on floor, claimed the all-around.
The Cardinal will contend against California and Washington next Saturday at the Stanford Open at 7 p.m.
On Friday at San Jose State, it seemed as if nothing could keep the Cardinal from claiming the well-deserved W. Conquering the Spartans 196.275-193.175, No. 10 Stanford women’s gymnastics (1-3-1, 0-1 Pac-12) came home with several individual event titles.
“The team did a great job and people really stepped up tonight,” head coach Kristen Smyth said. “We made a couple of mistakes but did a good job of covering for each other when we needed to.”
Elizabeth Price, Ivana Hong and Pauline Hanset played particularly crucial roles in the Cardinal’s first win of the season, claiming individual victories in all four events. Furthermore, Stanford either performed on par with or bettered each of its team scores from the season opener at the NorCal Classic.
Starting off strong on bars, the Cardinal produced a 49.175 in the event, as five of the gymnasts scored a 9.775 or higher. Becky Wing delivered a leadoff score of 9.850. She was followed by Nicolette McNair, who scored a 9.850, and Samantha Shapiro and Hong earned scores of 9.800 and 9.775, respectively. Price’s collegiate debut earned her a meet-best 9.925. Just as Glielmi praised Deaton for his contributions to the men’s performance, Smyth similarly attributed Wing with establishing the team’s tone and setting the groundwork for the rest of the events.
In addition to clenching individual event titles in each of her three performances this season, Price continued to lead Stanford on vault for the second consecutive meet with a meet-best of 9.850. Making her 2015 debut in the event, McNair placed second with a 9.825. Stanford earned a total of 48.725 on vault with significant contributions from Hanset (9.775) and Danielle McNair (9.725). Although Rachel Daum was a late addition to the lineup, her performance delivered a score of 9.550.
On floor, the Cardinal were powerful, as four of the gymnasts scored a 9.825 or higher. Hanset produced a meet-best 9.875 with her routine, and finishing second, Shapiro made her season debut on floor with a score of 9.850.
Stanford finished the meet with a 49.250 on beam – its highest event score of the year. Hong finished first with a 9.900, and Wing, Rice and Daum delivered a score of 9.850 to tie for second.
“The whole team is stepping up right now and the seniors are doing a nice job helping team stay focused and confident in their work,” Smyth said. “It’s great knowing there’s still room for improvement. To go over 196.000 provides confidence knowing we have the potential for so much more.”
The Cardinal will travel east to take on Penn and Bridgeport next Sunday at 10 a.m.
Contact Elizabeth Trinh at etrinh ‘at’ stanford.edu.