Behind individual NCAA titles by senior Akash Modi and junior Robert Neff, No. 2 Stanford men’s gymnastics placed fourth at the NCAA Championships on Saturday for the second time in program history with a team score of 421.500. The Cardinal finished behind No. 1 Oklahoma (431.950), No. 3 Ohio State (423.700) and No. 4 Illinois (422.100). No. 5 Minnesota (414.200) and No. 7 Nebraska (412.900) placed fifth and sixth, respectively.
Modi impressed in the final meet of his collegiate career. After receiving the Nissen-Emery Award — which is given annually to the nation’s most outstanding senior gymnast — on Thursday, Modi continued his hot streak over the weekend, claiming his second national all-around title with a score of 87.900 and his second event title on parallel bars (15.300).
“I do not think there is another student-athlete in this class that has achieved so highly on every front,” said head coach Thom Glielmi about Modi on Thursday. “I think it’s a very special award when it epitomizes the standard of what the NCAA wants to see in student-athletes.”
Neff racked up a 14.850 on high bar to claim his first-career individual NCAA title. A member of the U.S. National Team, Neff was a consistent performer on the high bar all season, and will surely be a crucial part of team leadership next season.
Departing senior Andrew Misiolek made the most of his final meet as a Cardinal, delivering an eighth-place finish on pommel horse with a score of 14.500. The performance earned Misiolek his first All-American honor, a well-deserved finish to a strong Stanford career.
The meet marks the end to an impressive Cardinal season. The team remained ranked No. 2 in the nation every week of the season, earning regular season victories in all but two matchups. Modi put up a record-breaking season of his own, racking up individual titles and awards throughout the season and finishing with a NCAA all-around win. With top talent graduating after this season, the Cardinal gymnasts have big shoes to fill looking towards next year. Neff will play a key leadership role, as will sophomores Josiah Eng and Grant Breckenridge. Eng has consistently been Stanford’s top performer on still rings this season, and Breckenridge was named to the U.S. National Team in February for his performance in the all-around at the U.S. Winter Cup Challenge.
With the NCAA Championships complete, Stanford bids farewell to senior gymnasts Modi, Misiolek, Jordan DeClerk, Taylor Seaton and Drew Willoughby. The talented group helped Stanford finish in the top five as a team in each NCAA Championship of their careers.
Contact Laura Anderson at lauraand ‘at’ stanford.edu.