No. 2 Stanford men’s gymnastics (13-1, 5-1 MPSF) finally met its match this weekend, as the team’s seven-meet win streak was ended by No. 1 Oklahoma (10-0, 3-0 MPSF) on Saturday.
The Sooners, reigning NCAA champions and runner-ups from 2011-14, continued to cement their program’s legacy, coming up with a team total of 452.350 to cruise by Stanford’s 435.800. The Sooners’ score was the third-highest in NCAA history.
Oklahoma achieved this feat with top-notch performances on all events, winning five out of the six events on the night. Individual gymnasts also took five of the six first-place titles.
Stanford’s only team title came on the vault, where junior Gabe Flores led the charge, earning a career-high 15.250 to take first in the event followed by classmate Taylor Seaton in second with a 15.100. Sophomore Ryan Sheppard also did well, posting a season-high 14.750 to tie for fifth. The Cardinal earned an overall 74.200, their third-best score on the event this season.
Despite the loss, Stanford gymnasts had several notable individual accomplishments. Sheppard backed up his solid performance on vault with a career-high 14.900 on pommel horse, and junior Drew Willoughby tied his best with a 15.150, putting him in second place on the event.
Sophomore Jacob Barrus netted a career-best 13.650 on parallel bars, and senior All-American Dennis Zaremski came third place in the event with a 15.350.
Junior Jordan DeClerk tied his career-best 15.050 on the rings, notching a sixth-place finish. Zaremski continued yet another impressive performance for the night and earned a 15.450 on the event, coming in second.
Brian Knott, a fifth-year senior, added to the tally with a career-best 15.200 that put him in second place for the high bar.
Missing from Stanford’s lineup against the Sooners was junior Akash Modi. The absence of the No. 1 all-arounder in the country definitely contributed to Stanford’s difficultly keeping pace with Oklahoma. However, Modi will have another chance to face the Sooners later this year at the MPSF Championships. While the result was disappointing for Stanford, career-best scores from a myriad of Cardinal gymnasts were a positive takeaway from the meet.
The team will rest until the MPSF Championships in early April, which precede NCAA competition. The meet will feature top-15 foes Cal and Air Force, and will be a good indicator of Stanford’s form as the team prepares to compete for a sixth national championship.
Contact Laura Sussman at laura111 ‘at’ stanford.edu.