Feb. 18, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford men's gymnastics took third in its fifth meet of the season Saturday night, posting a score of 343.600 and finishing behind the Japanese All-Stars (354.700) and California (344.900). The Golden Bears captured the season series 3-2 in the last regular season matchup between the long-time rivals.
Japan's junior national team dominated the meet, winning five of the six team events and taking individual honors on high bar, still rings and floor. Chihiro Yoshioka captured the all-around with a score of 87.400 along with the parallel bars title. Takuya Nagano finished first on rings and Masahiro Endo took floor exercise.
The shorthanded Cardinal were without both gymnasts who have competed in the all-around this season. Eddie Penev took a week off after participating in every event this year and Brian Knott had surgery last week to repair a torn bicep.
Despite their place on the scoreboard, head coach Thom Glielmi was please with the way his squad performed.
"Our strategy is to make sure we're within striking distance of a national championship," said Glielim. "We have two or three guys in every event who are pushing to do routines with a high degree of difficulty and we saw them come through today on rings and pommel horse in particular. The team saw the strategy start to pan out tonight and that was a very positive experience. Overall I was pleased."
Sean Senters set season-highs on floor (14.900) and vault (15.500), tying Penev for the best vault in the country this season. Cale Robinson nailed the vault right before Senters and that gave the redshirt freshman plenty of adrenaline for his performance.
"Vault was really exciting," said Senters. "The guys in front of me set me up so well. Cale was able to get that 15.000 with 9.800 execution and I got this feeling that I was going to blast it, I knew I was going to hit it. I just let loose and did what I knew I could do. That's definitely the best vault of my life."
In addition to Senters' individual title the Cardinal finished 1-2 on pommel horse with John Martin's 15.300 and Gabriel Alvarado's career-high 15.200.
Glielmi was happy to continue the tradition of competing against the Japanese College All-Stars.
"Hosting the Japanese team is great. They're peaking for this meet. This is a big deal for that team and the coaches want them to have this experience because it's so different from traditional Japanese meets where the crowd waits for a routine to end before applauding. They don't have fans cheering and screaming during events and all the craziness that goes on during collegiate meets. They really like it and we're glad they come back every year, they do great gymnastics."
The men compete again next Sunday at 2 p.m. when they host Michigan at the Stanford Showdown at Burnham Pavilion.