PALO ALTO, Calif. - The No. 6 California Golden Bears took second place at the Stanford Open on Saturday night in Palo Alto, earning Associate Head Coach Brett McClure his first career win in the process. Last year’s national champion, No. 2 Michigan won the meet with a total score of 433.050, while Cal posted a season-high 430.300, besting their rival No. 4 Stanford, who finished with 429.900. This marks the first win by the Bears over the Stanford Cardinal since the NCAA Team Finals on April 20, 2012. Since then, Stanford had won the last nine meetings between the two Bay Area rivals. The University of Washington club squad placed fourth at the meet with a total score of 363.650. The Bears were led by redshirt senior Donothan Bailey, who had his best night of the season, posting a score of 88.900 as an all-around gymnast and Kyle Zemeir, who finished with four career-best routines (pommel horse, still rings, parallel bars and floor exercise).
“We had a great start tonight on pommel horse,” said Associate Head Coach Brett McClure following the meet on Saturday. “That was kind of redemption for the last go-around. The guys really attacked it and it really carried some momentum through the following events. We did have a couple of mistakes in some places, but it keeps getting better every week.”
Cal rebounded in a big way on the pommel horse after last week saw them struggle on the apparatus and they scored a 72.700 on Saturday night. Bailey was the event’s individual winner with a score of 15.400 and sophomore Takahiro Kawada tied his career-best with a 15.250. Michigan took the event with a solid score of 72.750, carried by consistency, as no one scored lower than a 14.300 on the apparatus.
Stanford (74.500) earned the victory on the still rings, as they edged Michigan (73.850) and Cal (73.100). Stanford’s Dennis Zaremski earned the individual title with a career-best 15.950 routine. Redshirt senior Jeffrey Langenstein finished third for Cal with a 15.150.
Vault was dominated by the Michigan Wolverines, who tallied a total of 73.900 and were paced by junior Adrian De Los Angeles’ 15.300. Zemeir was the Bears’ high scorer on the apparatus, posting a 14.550, while Stanford’s freshman Akash Modi scored a 14.900 to lead the Cardinal.
Stanford’s Zaremski was the individual winner on parallel bars as well, with an incredible routine that earned him a score of 15.350. The Cardinal came out on top in the event with a total score of 72.100, besting Michigan (72.000) and the Golden Bears (71.600).
California claimed the victory on high bar with a total of 67.600, thanks in large part to Bailey’s second consecutive 14.950 routine at Burnham Pavilion, which won him the individual event.
On the floor exercise, Michigan impressed with a total score of 76.200, including three routines over 15.450. Freshman Tristian Perez-Rivera won the individual title with a 15.550 routine, wowing the 1,210 fans in attendance. California placed second in the event, scoring a 74.250 and were led by sophomores Zemeir and Kevin Wolting, who each scored 15.150.
Michigan improved to 7-0 this season, after winning the Windy City Invitational last week and the Stanford Open tonight, while Cal improved to 1-3, and extended their series advantage of 128-83-2 over their Bay Area neighbors. Stanford is now 2-2 on the young season.
“It’s awesome, these guys really deserve it and they have been working so hard,” McClure added when asked about his first career victory. “To be able to show finally what they’ve been working on and come out of their shell was really exciting to see and the best part of it is that there is still room for improvement.”
California is off next week, but return to action on Saturday, Feb. 8 at Haas Pavilion, hosting Arizona State. The meet will begin at 2 p.m. PT in Berkeley.