Bryant, Widner shine despite loss to San Jose State

March 10, 2021, 9:55 p.m.

It was round two for Stanford women’s gymnastics against San Jose State on Wednesday. Despite claiming all five individual event titles and raising its team score from its last meet, the Cardinal’s subpar performance on the uneven bars and balance beam proved costly in its 194.375 – 192.550 loss to the Spartans.

The two all-around competitors for the Cardinal — senior Kyla Bryant and reigning Pac-12 Coaches Choice of the Week sophomore Chloe Widner — shined in San Jose as they battled each other and San Jose State true freshman Lauren Macpherson to claim top honors this meet.

As the away team, the Cardinal started off the uneven bars. Bryant came up big as she scored a season-high 9.900 on the event, earning the first uneven bars title for the Cardinal this season. Fellow senior Grace Garcia and junior Madison Brunette also produced clean routines for scores of 9.775 and 9.825, respectively.

However, a couple of falls throughout the rotation and solid performances from the Spartans on the vault put the Cardinal at almost a one-point disadvantage while the teams switched apparatuses.

Stanford produced its best vault rotation of the season. With Bryant tying her career-best of 9.900 and Widner tying her season-best of 9.875, the Cardinal upped its performance by 0.350 from just three days ago with a team score of 48.650. Bryant’s second 9.900 earned her a second event title for the meet.

Again, San Jose State did not back down when it went to the uneven bars. The Spartans never scored anything below a 9.725 ending with a solid team score of 48.750, allowing them to increase their lead by a tenth despite the Cardinal’s surge.

While the first half of the meet belonged to Bryant, the second half belonged to Widner. On the Cardinal’s third rotation — the floor exercise — Widner tumbled her way to her an event title and a season-best 9.850.

True freshman Amanda Zeng was not far behind Widner with a career-best 9.800. Junior Morgan Hoang was just twenty-five thousandths behind Zeng.

The Cardinal’s prowess on the floor exercise shortened the gap to less than a point, but the Spartan’s lead was insurmountable once Stanford headed to the balance beam and San Jose State headed to the floor exercise.

Throughout this season, the Cardinal has had some struggles staying on the balance beam, and this meet was no different.

Although Widner tied her career-best of 9.925 to claim her second balance beam title of the season, Stanford had to count three performances of 9.425 or lower, putting the nail on the coffin for the Cardinal.

However, Bryant’s impressive 9.875 on the apparatus was enough to edge Widner by 0.050 to claim her first all-around title of the season.

“Kyla and Chloe continue to represent our team and university at the highest level,” head coach Tabitha Yim wrote in an email to The Daily. “Their ability to compete in the all-around is an inspiration to their teammates.”

The Cardinal head back home to compete against No. 24 Oregon State on Mar. 14 where the team will recognize its seniors Bryant, Garcia and Rachael Flam. You can watch the live stream of the meet here starting at 12 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' stanforddaily.com.

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