PALO ALTO, Calif. - The No. 5 California Golden Bears were defeated by the No. 2 Stanford Cardinal for the second straight week, this time at Burnham Pavilion in Palo Alto on Saturday evening by a score of 435.200-426.350. Cal received another standout performance from co-captain Donothan Bailey, who finished second in the all-around competition, with a score of 87.350. Stanford freshman Akash Modi, last week’s Division I College Gymnastics Association Gymnast of the Week, scored an incredible 90.100. Cal also saw the collegiate debuts of freshmen Nico Del Junco (floor exercise), Michael Diliberto (still rings) and Adam Young (high bar).
“For our first away meet this was really an awesome environment,” said Associate Head Coach Brett McClure following the meet on Saturday. “Stanford has a really loud crowd and they are very close to the apparatus, which makes for a very nerve-racking atmosphere, so it was definitely a good test for us. On the first event, the pommel horse, we struggled, but it was an opportunity for our team to figure out how to handle a situation like that.”
Cal opened with a 66.150 on the pommel horse, led by Bailey’s score of 14.550. Stanford took the event with a solid score of 72.250, carried by senior Chris Turner’s routine that earned him a 15.100 and the individual event win on the apparatus.
“The team really stepped up on the second event on floor exercise,” McClure added. “It really started to carry the momentum through the end of the meet. We didn’t finish as well as we wanted to on parallel bars, but it was a fight all the way to the end, so they did a good job.”
On the floor exercise, Cal came out on top, outscoring Stanford 72.100-71.050 and were paced by sophomore Ryan Patterson’s career-best mark of 15.250 and redshirt senior Jeffrey Langenstein’s 15.100.
Stanford edged out a narrow victory on the still rings, as they bested Cal by the slimmest of margins, 72.750-72.600. Stanford’s Modi and junior Michael Levy each earned 15.100 scores, respectively. Cal’s Bailey (15.200) and sophomore Kyle Zemeir’s career-best mark of 14.900 kept the Golden Bears close through the rotation.
For the second consecutive week, the vault was key for California, though they were beaten closely this week by the Cardinal 73.900-73.750. Stanford freshman Taylor Seaton posted a 15.300 routine, which earned him first place on the apparatus. Cal redshirt senior Christian Monteclaro finished with a team-best 15.100, while Patterson posted another career-best, with a score of 14.850 and fellow sophomore Kevin Wolting equaled Patterson’s effort.
The Golden Bears came out with the close victory on high bar 72.200-72.150, thanks largely in part to Bailey’s 14.950 routine, which tied for the individual event win with Stanford’s Turner.
Stanford’s Modi stole the show on parallel bars with an eye-popping routine that netted him a score of 15.850. The Cardinal closed out that apparatus with a 73.100-69.550 victory over California. Stanford improved to 2-0 this season, while Cal dropped to 0-2, having now been defeated nine consecutive times by the Cardinal, though they still hold a pretty healthy series advantage 127-83-2.
California again travels to Palo Alto next Saturday, this time for the Stanford Open against the Cardinal, last year’s NCAA national champion No. 3 Michigan and Washington. The meet will begin at 7 p.m. PT at Burnham Pavilion.