Solid performance gives Stanford men opening win over Cal


The fourth-ranked Stanford men's gymnastics team trailed after the first rotation and Akash Modi trailed in the all-around competition entering the final event.

The Cardinal came back to take the lead after two rotations and Modi rallied to win the all-around title as Stanford beat host Cal, 429.050-425.000, in the season and Mountain Pacific Sports Federation opener on Saturday.

Akash Modi
Stanford outscored the Golden Bears in five of six events and four gymnasts claimed five individual event titles.

Modi won the all-around on the final performance of the night, a 15.300 effort on parallel bars to complement his first-place finish on floor. Brian Knott, Michael Levy and Sean Senters also claimed individual event victories.

"We wanted to get as many guys in front of the judges as possible in the first meet and see how they handled the pressure," said Stanford coach Thom Glielmi. "For the most part, they did well and it bodes well for the team's tenacity and willingness to improve this season. A lot of guys showed up tonight and as we move forward picking the lineup will be difficult."

Stanford started well on pommel horse with all six gymnasts hitting their routines. Jonathan Deaton got the Cardinal going with a smooth performance to score 13.450. Knott scored a meet-best 14.500, followed by Modi with a 14.400.

"Jon Deaton set the pace for us with his opening routine," said Glielmi. "It was good to see how he handled that situation and the pace. He put the rest of the lineup at ease."

The Cardinal kept the momentum going on floor with five gymnasts scoring 14.200 or higher. Modi produced a 15.150 to place first and was followed by Senters with a 14.850 to tie for second.

Robert Neff provided a 14.750, while Deaton and Levy produced solid routines to score 14.450 and 14.200, respectively.

Stanford exploded on vault with a series of strong performances, capped by a 15.250 from Senters to place first. Taylor Seaton contributed a 14.750 to finish third, while Ryan Sheppard earned a 14.700. Levy and Modi registered scores of 14.600. The Cardinal went 73.900 on the event and held a 216.900-210.600 lead at the midway mark.

The Cardinal continued to roll on rings, posting a 72.700 with five gymnasts scoring 14.300 or higher. Levy finished first with a 14.800 and was followed by Brandon Beckhardt who tied for second with a 14.700. Jordan DeClerk registered a 14.500 and was followed by Modi (14.400) and Sheppard (14.300).

Knott led Stanford on high bar with a 14.600 to finish second and was followed by Neff (14.500) and Senters (14.450). Stanford finished with a 71.100 in the event and held a 360.700-354.550 advantage heading into the final rotation.

The Cardinal faced some difficulty on parallel bars but remained focused to secure the victory. DeClerk produced a 14.300 in the leadoff position to tie for third, while Sheppard earned a 14.050.

Stanford will look to keep its momentum going when it sees California and Washington on Saturday at the Stanford Open at 7 p.m.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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