An Air Force invasion of Burnham Pavilion fell flat on Friday, as the No. 2 Cardinal men’s gymnastics squad bombarded the No. 13 Falcons in a 415.750-392.500 victory.
Stanford swept the individual events, with a different Cardinal gymnast nabbing each title.
Sophomore Blake Sun leapt up the national rankings in the parallel bars, recording the second-best score of the season with a career-high 14.950 points. Sun’s event-winning performance led the Cardinal to their most dominant victory of the day, grounding the Falcons in a 71.050-64.300 event win.
For reference, the closest-flying Falcon to Sun was sophomore Allen Shadan, whose score of 13.400 was lower than that of all but one Cardinal gymnast on the parallel bars.
The rings followed in similar suit, as Stanford senior Josiah Eng snatched the event title with his season-high 14.900 score, good for the nation’s third-highest performance. The highest Air Force score was Frankie Valentin (14.100), as the Cardinal prevailed 70.800-66.300 in the event.
Junior Connor Lewis stole the show in the closest event of the day — the vault — as his 14.700 points placed him well ahead of an Air Force pack that averaged 13.650. Lewis’ effort proved to be a major factor in a 70.250-68.250 event win for the Cardinal.
Stanford’s margin of victory was just a bit bigger on the high bar, as the Cardinal triumphed 65.650-63.550 with the help of junior David Jessen’s title-winning performance (14.100).
The competitions’ other two events were less than close, as Stanford marched to a 70.700-67.700 victory on the floor and a 67.300-63.400 victory on the pommel horse. Sophomore Bryan Perla notched 14.700 for the floor title, while junior Joey Ringer’s 13.650 was just enough to win the pommel title over junior teammate David Jessen (13.600).
After some rest and rehabilitation, Stanford will look to defend Burnham again when Cal comes to town for the regular season closer on March 30.
Watch for the Cardinal troops to come out guns blazing against a Cal squad that Stanford has already bested twice this season, including a 415.800-404.000 duel victory at Berkeley on Feb. 9.
Contact Holden Foreman hs4man21 ‘at’ stanford.edu.