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Men’s gymnastics places second at MPSF Championships

Senior gymnast Robert Neff (above) is ranked second in the nation on high bar, and earned a score of 14.250 at the MPSF Championships that awarded him second place. (CASEY VALENTINE/isiphotos.com)

In its first postseason event, No. 4 Stanford men’s gymnastics continued its strong year with a second place finish at the MPSF Championships on Saturday in Colorado Springs. Coming out ahead of No. 11 Air Force (392.550) and No.12 California (393.650) with a score of 404.150, the Cardinal finished just behind No. 1 Oklahoma (414.050) who claimed its seventh consecutive MPSF crown.

The championship served as a warm up for the upcoming NCAA championships. The team had just returned from a ten-day trip to Italy for its first international competition since 2013, in which the Cardinal bested Italy 319.400 to 307.500.

Although the team failed to secure what would have been its fifth overall win at the MPSF championships, stellar performances by senior Robert Neff, junior Grant Breckinridge, sophomore David Jessen and freshman Blake Sun all demonstrated the team’s national top-ten status across all six events.

Neff, ranked second in the nation on high bar, earned a score of 14.250 to tie Jessen for second in the event. On parallel bars, Sun’s 14.300 and Breckenridge’s 14.200 landed the pair second and third place respectively.

Breckenridge also scored a career best on still rings (14.150) to secure a clean second place. On pommel, Sun (13.500) in second and Jessen (13.100) in fourth continued to put the Cardinal on the scoreboard. The team also delivered an impressive overall 70.600 on vault, and a 65.300 on floor.

This was the Cardinal’s second encounter with Oklahoma this season, as Stanford lost to the Sooners (and bested Nebraska) at an away meet on Feb. 3. This competitive exposure to the No. 1 team in the nation and three-time NCAA champion, as well as Stanford’s loss to No. 3 Ohio State on March 10th, may aid the Cardinal when they face off against the top teams in the nation later this month.

The Cardinal will next compete at the NCAA Championships in Chicago, Illinois. Qualifiers will be held on April 20 with the finals to commence on April 21. The schedule and pairings will be released by Tuesday.

Contact Sylvie Ashford at sylviash “at” stanford.edu

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