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Men’s gymnastics dominates Stanford Invitational, women experience individual success
Senior Akash Modi delivered another dominant performance at the Stanford Invitational, claiming top spot in the all-around, floor, pommel horse, and parallel bars. (MIKE KHEIR/The Stanford Daily)

Men’s gymnastics dominates Stanford Invitational, women experience individual success

Stanford men’s and women’s gymnastics had a busy weekend as both teams competed at their respective meets. 

No. 2 Stanford men’s gymnastics (2-0, 2-0 MPSF) took down No. 8 Cal (0-1) and Washington (0-0) at home Saturday night with a season-high combined team score of 423.600, topping Cal’s 398.850 and Washington’s 375.650. Despite an impressive night from junior Elizabeth Price, Stanford women’s gymnastics (3-5) struggled with team consistency in a 196.150-194.150 defeat against Southern Utah (1-0) on Friday. 

After missing the most recent meet at UC Davis due to illness, Price came back with a vengeance, finishing first on vault (9.875) and bars (9.900) and placing second on floor (9.850) in her three events. Price’s contributions were only a few of many individual highlights by Cardinal gymnasts.

Senior Danielle McNair competed the all-around for the second time in her career, finishing the night tied for second on vault (9.850) and capturing fourth place on bars (9.775). Her twin sister Nicolette McNair led Stanford on beam with a 9.725, and sophomore Hailee Hoffman picked up a career-best 9.775 on floor.

The Cardinal once again had trouble remaining consistent throughout events, having to count missed routines in two of the four rotations. Still, the combined team score of 194.150 is Stanford’s highest this season, and the team has shown steady improvement in total score in each meet.      

Stanford ran into trouble midway through the first rotation. After quality routines from Danielle (9.775) and Nicolette McNair (9.725) and freshman Aleeza Yu (9.725), Stanford missed the next two routines. Price’s anchoring score regained momentum, but the Cardinal finished the rotation half a point behind Southern Utah.

Stanford rebounded on vault, counting five scores all 9.725 or higher. Danielle McNair and Price led the Cardinal with powerful vaulting, cutting the deficit to 0.375.

Two falls on floor put Stanford nearly two points behind Southern Utah going into the final rotation. The Cardinal showed resiliency on beam, with all six gymnasts hitting their routines. Nicolette McNair shined, confidently hitting her skills to lead the team. Freshman Ashley Tai performed well with her 9.800, and sophomore Taryn Fitzgerald delivered a steady 9.750. Although Stanford’s effort on beam was not enough to overcome its deficit, consistent improvement in team score and impressive individual efforts continue to highlight this early part of the season.

Stanford will have another opportunity to improve in its home opener next Sunday at 1 p.m against Arizona.

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While this season’s story of women’s gymnastics has been one of steady improvement, the story of Stanford men’s gymnastics has been one of dominance.

The Cardinal entertained a home crowd at the 25th annual Stanford Open while sweeping both team and individual titles. Senior Akash Modi claimed the all-around, floor, pommel horse and parallel bars honors as part of Stanford’s all-around sweep, with Modi in first (88.150) followed by junior Robert Neff (83.050) and sophomore Grant Breckenridge (81.650).

Stanford impressed with a team score of 72.500 on floor, claiming six of the top 10 scores. Modi’s season-best 15.000 led the way, Neff finished second with a score of 14.700, and junior Jacob Barrus, Breckenridge and senior Taylor Seaton finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

On pommel horse, Modi took the title with a controlled 14.800. Freshman Joey Ringer scored a personal-best 13.750 to take second, and consistent performances throughout the lineup helped Stanford take the event title by nearly five points.

Nearly every Cardinal gymnast improved his score on still rings. Sophomore Josiah Eng claimed his second consecutive event title with a 14.950, while Modi (14.750) and Neff (14.050) placed second and third.

Seaton’s outstanding 15.000 on vault helped the Cardinal run away with the event title. This was Seaton’s highest score on the apparatus since the NCAA Preliminaries last year. Also contributing on the event were Modi and Breckenridge, who claimed second and third to lock down a 72.400 team score.

On parallel bars, Modi showed why he is the defending NCAA parallel bars champion, winning the event with a 14.900. Stanford took first through fifth place and obtained a team score of 70.700 to become the only team to score above 70 points in an event, a feat it delivered in four of six rotations.

With the win all but assured, Stanford did not let up on high bar, earning top individual scores. David Jessen continued his impressive rookie season with a 14.250 — his first event title — while Modi and Neff tied for second place.

With marked improvement in both team and individual efforts, the Cardinal has hit the ground running this season, sweeping both competitions so far. Stanford will have two weeks to practice before taking on the Air Force Academy in Colorado on Feb. 4.

 

Contact Laura Anderson at lauraand ‘at’ stanford.edu.