Sports

Stanford men have high goals again in gymnastics

 

Stanford enters the 2015 season as one of the nation's elite men's gymnastics programs and hoping to challenge for its sixth national title.

The Cardinal begins its season Saturday at California at 7 p.m. It will be the first of five guaranteed meetings between Stanford and the Golden Bears this season. The Cardinal's home slate begins Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Stanford Open, where it will take on California and Washington.


Stanford finished third at the 2014 NCAA Championships, registering its eighth NCAA top-three finish in the past nine years. It was the team's 16th consecutive NCAA Championships appearance and 31st overall. Five Cardinal gymnasts combined for eight All-America honors.

Stanford compiled a 15-7 record in 2014 with each win coming against a top-10 opponent, including six victories against teams ranked in the top five.

The goal remains the same for the Cardinal in 2015 with its sights set on building throughout the season and peaking at the NCAA Championships.

"We're focused on the team's progress and each guy doing what they're capable of doing," said head coach Thom Glielmi. "When we focus on that, we have good results."

The fourth-ranked Cardinal returns 15 letterwinners, including All-Americans Akash Modi, Sean Senters, Michael Levy, Dennis Zaremski and Brian Knott. The Cardinal retains 24 of 30 routines from last year's NCAA Championships.

Modi delivered a remarkable freshman campaign that included All-America honors in the all-around, parallel bars and pommel horse. He was named the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Gymnast of the Year and led the nation with four Collegiate Gymnastics Association Gymnast of the Week awards.

Seniors Senters, Knott and Levy will provide leadership and a wealth of experience for a young Cardinal team that consists of primarily of underclassmen. Each gymnast held regular lineup spots on at least three events during the 2014 season and competed at last year's NCAA Championships.

Along with the returning All-Americans, Stanford boasts a healthy mix of gymnasts who challenge each other every day in practice to improve and compete for lineup spots. Glielmi believes the competitive atmosphere in practice will produce quality results during the season.

"The guys embrace the team concept and challenging each other so that they're prepared and excited about the opportunity to compete," said Glielmi.

— Stanford Athletics

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