No. 16 men’s gymnastics vaults its way to victory over No. 15 Springfield

March 5, 2021, 8:42 p.m.

After a two-week hiatus, No. 16 Stanford men’s gymnastics (3-1, 1-0 MPSF) never missed a beat in its return to team competition. A dominant vault rotation and stuck landings across the six events propelled the Cardinal to earn over 400.000 as a team for the first time this season, defeating No. 15 Springfield (0-4, 0-2 ECAC) 403.500 – 368.150.

Stanford’s team score of 73.650 on the vault is the highest team score of the nation this season. Each Cardinal in this rotation scored a 14.650 or above with true freshman Brandon Nguyen squeaking out the event title with a 14.800.

Three-time MPSF Gymnast of the Week sophomore Riley Loos was unable to compete due to a mandatory quarantine period after competing at the Winter Cup in Indianapolis.

However, five Cardinal were available to compete in Loos’ absence: reigning MPSF Gymnast of the Year junior Brody Malone, reigning CGA Rookie of the Year Brandon Briones, five-time All-American junior Ian Gunther and true freshmen Jeremy Bischoff and Colt Walker. All made their marks on this meet in their first competition of the season.

“I was super pumped for my first competition,” Malone said. “It’s been almost a full year since I’ve competed for Stanford, and I was excited and a little nervous.”

“I haven’t felt that in so long, and it felt really, really good,” he added.

Malone, Gunther and Briones each earned their first event titles of the season. Malone broke the 14.000 barrier on the pommel horse to score a career-best 14.150. Gunther remained steady on the still rings to earn a 13.850. Briones swung his way to a 13.750 on the high bar.

Walker contributed a 14.650 to the Cardinal’s dominant vault lineup. He also finished in second on the parallel bars with a 14.100 behind senior Blake Sun’s 14.300. Sun has earned the event title on the parallel bars in all four meets this season. 

Bischoff finished tied for second on the floor exercise with Springfield sophomore Dominic Ramalho with a 12.650 behind Junior Blake Wilson. Wilson tumbled to a season-high 14.450 to claim the floor exercise title, earning the highest floor exercise score of the team this season.

The Cardinal will take a two-day break before competing in its fifth virtual meet of the season against Bay Area rival No. 10 Cal (4-1, 0-1 MPSF) for the second time. The last time these teams met, Stanford edged Cal by over 14 points.

Jordan John Lee is a staff writer for the Sports section and occasionally writes for the News section of The Daily. Fresh off graduating with majors in Biology and Classics, he is a second-year master's student in Epidemiology and Clinical Research. From the 626, he has grown up watching his Los Angeles teams, the Dodgers and Lakers. His dream is to watch tennis at all four Grand Slam tournaments. Contact him at jjlee 'at'

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