Modi helps Stanford men win gymnastics home opener


No. 4 Stanford defeated No. 8 California for the second time in as many weeks, earning a 435.500-427.900 victory Saturday night in Burnham Pavilion.

Competing in front of a capacity crowd, the Cardinal outscored the Golden Bears in five of six events and six Stanford gymnasts combined for 13 top-three finishes. Washington finished third in the competition with a 386.700.

"It was a great meet for the West coast," said Stanford coach Thom Glielmi. "All three teams had really solid guys doing good gymnastics. Our guys definitely appreciate the energy the crowd gives them."

Akash Modi had a big night, earning individual event victories in five events. The reigning College Gymnastics Association National Gymnast of the Week registered wins in the all-around (89.300), parallel bars (15.800), rings (15.050), high bar (14.950) and pommel horse (14.550).

Sean Senters continued to excel on vault delivering a 15.300 to claim the individual victory for the second consecutive week. Senters tied for second on floor (14.950) and placed third on pommel horse (13.950).

The Cardinal got off to a fast start on floor with a 73.200. Matching Senters' 14.950 was teammate Michael Levy, who did well as a late substitution in the event. Jonathan Deaton contributed a 14.600, while Robert Neff (14.500) and Modi (14.200) also posted good routines.

Modi led Stanford on pommel horse with a 14.550 and was followed by Senters with a 13.950.

Brandon Beckhardt earned a 14.950 on rings in the final position to place second behind Modi (15.050). Levy (14.700), Jordan DeClerk (14.600) and Ryan Sheppard (14.450) also had strong showings in the event, helping the Cardinal post a 73.750 and hold a 215.600-212.050 lead at the halfway mark of the meet.

Stanford had some difficulties on vault but a powerful performance by Senters in the final position helped balance the lineup. Modi and Levy had solid showings to score 14.750 and 14.400, respectively.

The Cardinal swept the top three spots on parallel bars with each gymnast scoring 15.150 or higher. Modi led the team with a 15.800, followed by Brian Knott (15.250) and DeClerk (15.150). Stanford posted a 74.100 in the event and produced significant momentum heading into the final rotation.

The Cardinal got stronger in each performance on high bar, punctuated by a meet-best 14.950 by Modi. Knott registered a 14.850 to finish second and was followed by Neff (14.550) and Senters (14.700). Stanford earned a 73.500 in the event to secure the victory.

"The issue for us right now is we have to find the balance between consistency and difficulty," said Glielmi. "We have some upgrades that will go into routines for us to be in a position to challenge for a title."

Stanford and California will see each other for a third consecutive week next Saturday when the Cardinal plays host to the Golden Bears, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

— Stanford Athletics

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