Widgets Magazine

Men’s gymnastics takes second at MPSF Championships

An NCAA-record performance on the parallel bars helped No. 1 Oklahoma top No. 2 Stanford men’s gymnastics at Saturday’s MPSF Championships, 448.050-444.650.

All-Around Grant Beckenridge. Photo by Mike Kheir

Freshman Grant Breckenridge (above) put on a dominant performance on the high bar, winning the event with a score of 15.250. His points helped the Cardinal win the event, although the team fell short against No. 1 Oklahoma in the MPSF Championships. (MIKE KHEIR/The Stanford Daily)

In a highly competitive event that also featured No. 5 Cal (435.550) and No. 11 Air Force (429.200), the Cardinal put forth a number of remarkable performances but couldn’t find a way past the defending national champions, as they fell to the Sooners for the second time this season. Stanford led Oklahoma for much of the event and saw three of its gymnasts post the best score in individual competitions but ultimately couldn’t keep up with the Sooners’ depth as Oklahoma captured its fifth straight MPSF title.

Still, the Cardinal did experience a number of positive takeaways from the weekend. Junior Akash Modi was named MPSF gymnast of the year after the tournament’s conclusion for a third consecutive time, while the team as a whole proved much more competitive against the Sooners than when it had visited Norman. Stanford reduced the 16.550-point deficit it had achieved on March 5 to a much more manageable 3.400.

“We left things in doubt until we got to parallel bars,” Oklahoma head coach Mark Williams admitted. “It wasn’t like we were giving things away but we weren’t up to caliber in what we’ve been in the last three or four meets, just in execution. The guys hung in there and we knew it was a six-event kind of championship. I’m very proud of the fight and the effort they gave today.”

Stanford started strong on the vault and parallel bars, building an early lead with scores of 74.350 and a 75.450 respectively as its competitors struggled on other events. The team extended this advantage by posting a meet-best score of 74.000 on the high bar, with freshman Grant Breckenridge earning the individual win on the event (15.250) and junior Taylor Seaton following one spot behind (15.150).

The Cardinal brought this momentum onto the floor, with Modi landing the highest score of 15.650 and the team narrowly edging out Oklahoma 74.350-74.200 for their second event win on the day. Stanford couldn’t match the Sooners on the pommel horse, but it closed out reasonably strong on the rings as senior Dennis Zaremski became the third Cardinal gymnast to win an individual event with his score of 15.500.

In a bit of a surprise, Modi failed to secure first in the all-around for the first time this season, falling to Oklahoma’s Allan Bower. Modi led the field for most of the event, but a disappointing performance on the pommel horse for the junior helped Bower edge into the lead and earn a 90.100-89.800 victory.

The Cardinal have just one event remaining this season as they are scheduled to travel to Columbus, Ohio for the NCAA Championships on April 15-16.

 

Contact Andrew Mather at amather ‘at’ stanford.edu.

About Andrew Mather

Andrew Mather is a senior studying symbolic systems and economics. Growing up a devout Clippers and Iowa Hawkeyes fan in the suburbs of Los Angeles, Mather grew accustomed to watching his favorite programs snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. He brings this nihilistic pessimism to The Daily, where he occasionally feels a strong sense of déjà vu while covering basketball, football and golf.