In a one-of-a-kind competition, Stanford men’s gymnastics will host Olympians and premiere world talents in Burnham Pavilion on Saturday for the International Collegiate Open. In their second of three home meets this season, the Cardinal will welcome reigning Olympic Champion Japan, Team Norway, world all-stars and the University of California.
“This weekend is a great opportunity for the guys to see how they stack off against the international level,” said Stanford head coach Thom Glielmi. “Japan is the reigning Olympic champions, and they brought a great team, as always.”
With the 2020 Summer Olympics just a few months away, Saturday’s meet will feature athletes in the midst of qualifying for the Olympics, including Stanford’s own sophomore Brody Malone, Akash Modi ’17 and Grant Breckenridge ’19. The trio of all-arounders qualified for the U.S. Senior National Team last weekend after competing at the Winter Cup in Las Vegas. They will head to Stuttgart, Germany in March to represent the United States in one of four All-Around World Cups.
Stanford also sent sophomore Ian Gunther and freshmen Brandon Briones and Riley Loos to Las Vegas. Given the short one-week turnaround and some illnesses and minor injuries, Glielmi said Briones, Loos and Malone, who make up three of the top seven all-arounders in the country, will “probably be on a couple events, but I’m not sure if they’ll go on all six.”
Unlike traditional NCAA meets, the International Collegiate Open will use a 5-up-5-count format — each team will have five gymnasts competing in an event, with all five scores counting. The traditional format allows for a sixth gymnast to compete and drops the lowest score in calculating the final team score.
Additionally, those who do not make the 15-man roster will be allowed to compete in the exhibition circuit. Thus, all routine-ready gymnasts on Stanford’s roster will be able to compete in front of a judge on Saturday.
“The most challenging thing is figuring out what the best lineups are going to be, because they are deep,” Glielmi said. “It’s a good problem to have, and I’m excited for the team because I think that they see that. If you’re not fired in that week, you probably need to rest anyways, and you won’t be in the lineup.”
“When the seventh guy is pushing the sixth guy who is pushing the fifth guy and all the way down to the top guy, it makes for a much better, competitive team,” Glielmi added.