By Amita Gondi
Last Saturday at Berkeley, the No. 2 Stanford men’s gymnastics team recorded a convincing 415.800-404.00 win over No. 9 California, with the highlight of the event coming when the Cardinal recorded the best pommel horse score in the nation this year (69.000) despite being ranked eighth in the category.
The team will look to continue their fine form at the Winter Cup held in Las Vegas this weekend, with all the top ranked teams and their respective gymnasts in the fray. As the Cardinal men take a break from NCAA action this week, select gymnasts will represent Stanford as they vie for positions on the U.S. Senior National Team in anticipation of representing the U.S. in future competitions.
The weekend-long meet begin today and runs through Sunday, with the Cardinal sending Andrew Bitner, Grant Breckenridge, Ian Gunther, Bailey Perez, Curran Phillips and alumni Akash Modi, Robert Neff and Eddie Penev to represent Stanford. The start list for day one will feature freshman Curran Phillips on the floor, while the likes of senior Grant Breckenridge and sophomore Andrew Bitner will hit the high bar.
Following the Winter Cup, Stanford’s team competition will reopen on Feb. 23 when the Cardinal host the International Collegiate Open, alongside Olympic champion Japan and Cal, at 4 p.m. at Burnham Pavilion.
Thousands of miles away from the deserts of Las Vegas, the No. 26 Stanford women’s gymnastics team will seek to put a halt to their losing streak at the Mardi Gras Invitational in St. Charles, MO, later today.
The invitational will feature the Cardinal alongside LSU, Missouri and Utah. The Cardinal women were last seen at the Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, AZ against host No. 19 Arizona State, where Stanford lost in a close meet settled in the final rotation. The meet featured up and down performances across the events, with season-bests in the uneven bars and floor exercise but a steep struggle on the beam.
While one can notice the stronger performances on the gymnastics front through the season bests, head coach Tabitha Yim said, “Our mental toughness is not where it needs to be. We will continue to focus on our culture and learning lessons that will help us build the character we need to handle big moments.”
Sophomore Kyla Bryant will be one to watch out for after she collected her fifth consecutive all-around title of the season, matching her career high on floor with 9.925. She has won 13 events this season and 16 during her two-year career. Bryant ranks No. 16 in all-around, averaging 39.340.
The Mardi Gras Invitational begins today at 4:30 p.m. PT and live scoring will be available on GoStanford.com.
Contact Amita Gondi at agondi ‘at’ stanford.edu.