STANFORD, Calif. – Saturday was Senior Day for the Stanford men’s gymnastics team, the final home meet of the year with No. 4 Ohio State, No. 10 California and Arizona State in town.
With emotions running high for the four seniors and two top-10 opponents in the building, the meet did not get off to a good start for the Cardinal. They started off with the floor exercise and scored 73.2, but a 71.9 on pommel horse in the second rotation put them behind Ohio State. The performance was not how the Stanford seniors saw their final home meet playing out.
“Floor and horse weren’t the best, but Paul (Hichwa) and I circled the guys up and said ‘our house, our meet, time to compete’ and the next four events were lights out, the best we have had all year,” said Robinson.
The pep talk proved to be a shot in the arm for the Stanford team as they went on to score over 75 points on the rings, vault and parallel bar before ending with a 74.95 on the high bar. The 75.65 on vault is the top score in the country this season while the 75.7 on parallel bars is the second best. The fantastic finish ended up leading to Stanford scoring a season-best 446.45.
“We put up a season high score so I couldn’t ask for a better final home meet in Burnham,” said Robinson.
Robinson did not start the meet off well with the team’s low score on the floor, but he quickly put it behind him to rally the team. He ended up posting two good scores on parallel bars and high bar to cap off the regular season.
Turner also started off slow with a score below his expectations on pommel horse. Like Robinson he would go on to excel in the final two events, including a 15.35 to lead the team on high bar.
“I was pretty nervous,” said Turner. “With it being my last time in Burnham I wanted to show everybody the best I could do. After horse it was smooth sailing and an awesome way to finish up.”
By the time Hichwa got around to competing, he and Robinson had sparked Stanford to some high scores. Hichwa was the final man to compete for the Cardinal, making his 14.8 on high bar extra special.
“I am very happy to be a part of this team,” said Hichwa. “Every year has been a different experience. We are a brotherhood. Having my last meet here and being the last man to compete in the last event was pretty fun.”
Senters, who has one year of eligibility remaining, helped kickstart the success. He was key to the nation’s top vault score with his team-best 15.5.
Ohio State finished second with a score of 442.40, four points back of Stanford. Cal took third with a 432.45 and Arizona State posted a 406.10 for fourth.
Sophomore Dennis Zaremski may have had the best day with his two high scores on rings and parallel bars. He scored the highest total of the day for Stanford with a 15.75 on rings. He followed that up with a 15.45 on parallel bars.
Junior Mike Levy had a good all-around day in his practice for next year’s senior day. Levy had the top score in floor with a 15.1, scored a 15.55 on rings and finishing up with a 14.7 on vault.
Freshman Akash Modi continued his success. He was the only Stanford gymnast to post over a 15.0 on pommel horse with a 15.35. He also had a 15.35 on vault, a team-high 15.65 on parallel bars and a 15.1 on high bar.
Stanford will have three weeks until its next competition. The Cardinal will be in Norman, Okla. for the MPSF Conference Championships March 29. They will compete against Oklahoma, California and Air Force.