- The No. 5 Stanford men's gymnastics team opened its season Saturday afternoon with a victory at No. 6 California, outscoring the Bears 425.000-411.150.
Stanford recorded the highest team score on five-of-six events and saw six different Cardinal gymnasts earn individual first-place finishes.
Despite the victory and spread of individual honors, the Cardinal had difficulty getting going early. Head coach Thom Glielmi felt the team started slow and expects his team to perform better mentally in future meets.
"We definitely started slow," Glielmi said. "Being the first meet, that's understandable to some extent but we really have to work on our mental approach a bit more."
The Cardinal began its season on pommel horse and was led by All-Americans junior Chris Turner and senior John Martin with scores of 14.400. Energized by the second of the back-to-back meet high routines, the entire Cardinal team left its bench to congratulate Martin after his performance.
The Cardinal had difficulty on floor with just two athletes hitting their routines. Stanford was led by 2012 NCAA floor champion and Eddie Penev who anchored the Cardinal with a meet high score of 15.650. It was just what Stanford needed to get the momentum moving in its favor heading to vault.
Stanford began to find its rhythm with a series of consistent vault performances capped by All-American Sean Senters' team high vault of 15.050. Freshman Kevin Baker, making his collegiate debut at the meet, also delivered on vault, sticking his landing clean and recording a score of 14.600.
On rings, Senior James Fosco led the way with a delivering an impressive performance in which he was in complete control throughout the duration of the routine and scored a meet high 15.300. Senior Jordan Nolff finished second and was the only other gymnast in the meet to record at least a 15.000.
Baker continued to impress on vault, delivering a solid performance and scoring 14.200.
Stanford started strong on high bar with a clean routine from sophomore Brian Knott scoring a meet high 14.450. Senior Paul Hichwa finished second with strong performance recording a 14.300. Knott and Hichwa were the only gymnasts to score above 14.000 in the meet.
The Cardinal finished on a high note, recording three consecutive scores of 14.700 on parallel bars by Knott, Penev and Cameron Foreman.
Glielmi was happy with how his team overcame the slow start and finished the meet on a strong note.
"Finishing up on [parallel bars] with four solid sets from Foreman, Penev, Knott and Turner was one of today's highlights," Glielmi said. "The last event can be a bit of a lull but they brought the focus up and did a nice job."
Penev and Senters finished first and second in the all-around with scores of 85.200 and 80.200, respectively.
The Cardinal returns to The Farm next week for its first home meet of the season, hosting No. 6 California, No. 9 Nebraska and No. 3 Oklahoma.