Season-high team score propels men’s gymnastics to victory over Cal

March 7, 2021, 8:23 p.m.

Eclipsing 400.000 as a team just two days ago, No. 16 Stanford men’s gymnastics (4-1, 2-0 MPSF) finally proved to the nation that it can defend its 2019 national championship. The Cardinal became just the fourth team in the nation — behind No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 2 Michigan and No. 3 Nebraska — to crack 410.000 as a team, defeating Cal (4-2, 0-2 MPSF) 412.500 – 386.100 on Sunday.

The team was lights-out in Burnham Pavilion as it set season highs on floor exercise, still rings and parallel bars en route to a season-high team total.

“All of the guys continue to get in better shape and improve on the routines not only in execution but also in difficulty,” head coach Thom Glielmi said in an email to The Daily. “With each competition and with each practice, we are seeing great improvement.”

Since completing a mandatory quarantine period, freshman Colt Walker has stepped up big time in the second meet of his career. The only Cardinal to compete in the all-around, Walker earned the event title, besting Cal junior Kyle Abe by seven points.

Junior Blake Wilson became the second Cardinal this season to earn four individual titles in the same event, scoring a career-best 14.600 on the floor exercise. Senior Blake Sun earned his fourth event title on the parallel bars on Friday.

Juniors Brody Malone and Ian Gunther claimed the top two spots on three events — pommel horse, parallel bars and still rings — this meet. 

Malone’s pommel horse title was his second consecutive in the event, earning a new career-high 14.500 after setting a career high just two days ago. Malone squeaked out his first individual title on the parallel bars by 0.150 over Gunther. The pair tied for the still rings title with a 14.100.

After earning a career high on the horizontal bar against Springfield, junior Curran Phillips backed up his performance with a solid 13.350, claiming his second individual title of the season.

Sustaining the team’s momentum on the vault from Friday, sophomore Brandon Briones led the Cardinal to its second-highest score of the season on this rotation with a 14.800, also claiming his second individual title of the season.

The competition for Stanford will not get any easier. The Cardinal will leave the Bay Area to take on No. 1 Oklahoma on March 13. The dual meet will begin at 1:00 p.m. PT.

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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