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Cal, defending champ Michigan come to Farm for Stanford Open

No. 4 Stanford will host No. 2 Michigan, No. 6 Cal and Washington’s club gymnastics team at Burnham Pavilion for Saturday’s Stanford Open, as the Cardinal will look to maintain the momentum it generated with two straight dual-meet victories against the Golden Bears to begin the season. Last weekend’s win extended Stanford’s win streak against its archrival to nine.

Stanford senior Chris Turner (above) has begun the season with two straight titles in the pommel horse. (SIMON WARBY/The Stanford Daily)

Stanford senior Chris Turner (above) has begun the season with two straight titles in the pommel horse. (SIMON WARBY/The Stanford Daily)

Cal (0-2) isn’t the only team at the meet with a notable recent history against Stanford. Last January, the Wolverines — the No. 3 team in the country at the time — knocked off the then-No. 2 Cardinal thanks in part to an NCAA record-setting score of 15.90 on the parallel bars by 2012 Olympian Syque Caesar.

Caesar is now in his third year as a Michigan captain as he leads his squad onto the Farm, and is not even the only Wolverine who made the trip to London; another Michigan standout, Sam Mikulak, placed fifth in the vault finals at the Olympics and competed for Team USA.

At last year’s Stanford Open, the Cardinal posted the highest team score in all six events as it finished ahead of a field of No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 6 Cal and No. 5 Nebraska. But Michigan, which won last year’s national championship, will likely present a tougher test.

Stanford’s early success in 2014 can be largely attributed to that of freshman sensation Akash Modi, who has now taken home two consecutive College Gymnastics Association National Gymnast of the Week awards. Last Saturday against Cal, Modi won the parallel bars, floor and all-around, nearly matching Caesar’s own personal best on the parallel bars with a score of 15.85.

The Cardinal has also benefited from a strong start to Chris Turner’s 2014 campaign, as the senior has won the pommel horse in consecutive meets.

Saturday’s meet begins at 7 p.m. in Burnham Pavilion.

Contact Joseph Beyda at jbeyda ‘at’ stanford.edu.

About Joseph Beyda

Joseph Beyda is the executive editor of The Stanford Daily. Previously he has worked as the football editor, a sports desk editor, the paper's summer managing editor and a beat reporter for football, baseball and women's soccer. He co-authored The Daily's recent football book, "Rags to Roses," and covered the soccer team's national title run for the New York Times. Joseph is a senior from Cupertino, Calif. majoring in Electrical Engineering. To contact him, please email jbeyda "at" stanford.edu.