Feb. 16, 2007
No. 6 Stanford men's gymnastics defeated No. 9 Cal 214.45 - 210.55 in the annual "Big Flip Off" tonight at Burnham Pavilion in Stanford, Calif. Though the Cardinal was at a disadvantage, using only 11 gymnasts instead of the normal 12, they were able to earn victories in five of the six events contested, with individual gymnasts posting high scores on three events.
Junior Eli Alcaraz turned in the top score on the floor exercise for either team, earning a 9.3. Stanford recorded a total score of 36.1 in the event to take an early lead over Cal, who scored a 34.4 on their opening pommel horse exercise.
The Cardinal then moved to the pommel horse, where Junior David Sender recorded a team high score 9.05. Stanford slightly lengthened their lead, as they combined to score a 34.9, while Cal recorded a 34.6 on the floor exercise.
Next up for Stanford was arguably their strongest event, the still rings. The team did not disappoint as all four athletes score above a 9.0, with senior Peter Derman and sophomore Bryant Hadden recording team best scores of 9.4. Also, senior Josh Goldman hit one of the biggest sets in his career as he stuck the landing to earn a 9.15. As expected, the Cardinal widened the gap between themselves and Cal, outscoring them 37.3 - 34.1 on that rotation.
Stanford then took to the vault, where once again Sender shined, recording an apparatus high score of 9.2. The Golden Bears made up some ground on the rotation after all the scores were totaled, outscoring the Cardinal 37.05 - 34.75.
With Stanford once again counting all four gymnast's scores on the parallel bars, the withstood the pressure to tally a 35.6, gaining more ground on Cal who scored a 34.2 on the rotation. Sender was solid as always, turning in another team high score for the parallel bars with a 9.2.
Going into the final rotation, the score was close and the Cardinal knew anything could happen when having to count all four gymnast's scores. Thriving under pressure once again, the team sealed the deal with another phenomenal routine from Sender with a 9.4 to lead all gymnasts on the event. Defending NCAA high bar champion Dylan Carney also turned in a strong performance as he recorded a 9.3.
"As a team we did really well," commented Sender. "Its tough only putting 11 guys out on the floor, but we held it together and pushed each other forward."
Stanford recorded a final team score of 214.45, while Cal totaled a 210.55. The Cardinal improved to 3-0 on the season and will be back in action February 24 (7:30pm) as they travel to Oakland, Calif. for the Pacific Coast Classic.