After a tough loss to rival Cal last week, the men’s gymnastics team will look for redemption as it hosts the Golden Bears in “The Big Flipoff.”
When the teams squared off a week ago, Cal proved again why it is one of Stanford’s toughest West Coast rivals. The Golden Bears put up a big high bar score on its second-to-last event as the Cardinal fell twice on the parallel bars, enabling Cal to sneak past Stanford by .95 points.
According to senior captains Tim Gentry and Abhinav Ramani, the Cardinal had an intense training week. The team is doing a high-volume type of training in preparation–the focus is on getting comfortable with the routines by doing more reps and making small adjustments when necessary. The men also increased the level of difficultly in the skills they’re attempting this week, hoping to build on their confidence by improving endurance in more intricate routines. The detail work will probably start in mid-February, when the team prepares for conference and NCAA championships in the spring.
Of course, the team’s objective for every meet is to improve from the previous one.
“Last Friday, we had some uncharacteristic mistakes on parallel bars and pommel horse, and we will definitely be looking to not repeat those mistakes on Saturday,” Gentry said.
Besides the boost in preparation, the Card will get an extra benefit as some of its competitors return from the bench. The team wasn’t at full strength last week because of some minor injuries, including the loss of sophomore Eddie Penev, the 2010 NCAA champion on vault. He will be back for the meet tomorrow.
“We expect to compete the way we’ve been training in practice,” said redshirt senior Nick Noone. “Our goal is to show that our workouts directly reflect our competitive outcomes. We’re expecting Cal to put up some very big scores, and we expect to do the same.”
Stanford will take on Cal at Burnham Pavilion on Saturday at 7 p.m.