The No. 2 Stanford men’s gymnastics (2-0) will travel to the arid home of the Sun Devils in Tempe, Arizona this weekend to compete in the Pac-12 invitational. This weekend the Cardinal will be competing against No. 11 Cal for the fourth time, as well as No. 14 Arizona State and No. 17 Washington.
Last Sunday against Cal, Stanford obliterated Cal, proving why the Cardinal are ranked so highly by the NCAA. Specifically the last meet saw a career best from sophomore Blake Sun who scored a 14.500 on the parallel bars. Freshman Brody Malone also made a splash with his performance at the last meet. He captured the all-around title with a score of 84.550. This was the second best all-around score in the nation this year.
The Men’s Gymnastics team has an incredibly deep team. Not only are there veterans like senior Grant Breckenridge who helped sweep the podium in vault with an impressive 14.600. There are also the fresh-faced younger members of the team like Malone, with his electric all-around performance.
The Pac-12 invitational will admittedly not be very difficult for the Cardinal, so as a result, the team will probably focus more on improving the overall team score instead of individual events.
The exciting part about the men’s gymnastics team this year is how close to their grasp a championship season really is. Last year the cardinal was only able to pull off a fourth-place finish for the season. This year the Cardinal has had fairly consistent and quite strong performances. In addition, the strength of this new powerhouse team is partially due to the fact that Stanford brought in the No. 1 recruiting class this year.
This weekend in Arizona will be the first true road test for the Cardinal. So far, all of their meets have been at home or at Cal, which is only about 45 minutes away.
Contact Nandini Naidu at nnaidu ‘at’ stanford.edu.