The second installment of the seven-part California and Stanford regular season series is here, and NorCal United will be joining the fun today too. Stanford had a huge season opening meet last weekend, taking a win over California in Berkley and posting the top score in the country.
The Cardinal will be looking to post another big score at home to try and maintain its No. 1 ranking. Senior Grant Breckenridge led the way last week with an all around performance that has him ranked second in the country, and a trio of freshmen—Ian Gunther, Brody Malone and Blake Wilson—all shined in their freshman debuts. Junior Connor Lewis is also the NCAA’s top floor worker coming into week three. Stanford is ranked first on floor and top four on every event except pommel horse, so watch for horse as a place where Stanford can improve on its opening meet total.
While California scored nearly two points higher last weekend than its 2018 season opening score, it will be looking to increase its score this weekend to stay in contention with the other top teams. Senior Aaron Mah’s high bar routine was California’s highlight from week one while his fellow Canadian teammate, Darren Wong, impressed in the all around in his Golden Bear’s debut. Like Stanford, California’s lowest scoring event last weekend was pommel horse. Look for both teams to push for hit sets and cleaner execution on that event tonight.
NorCal United had a strong start to its second season as a program two weeks ago. Will Ryan led the team of four gymnasts to a strong first meet, with Ryan competing the all around and the team putting up at least two routines on each event except vault, an improvement from last season. Two of the gymnasts on the team are new to the program, so hopefully we will see more routines out of them to help increase NorCal’s team score.
This meet is just one session of the Stanford Open, which includes multiple competitions with different levels of J.O. meets all weekend. On the schedule it says this session includes other elite and “qualifying level 10s” in addition to the NCAA programs, so hopefully we’ll get to see some routines from future collegiate stars on the stream as well!
Rotation 1: Stanford Floor, California Parallel Bars
Joining midway through the rotation due to some issues with the video stream… But I’m good to go now!
BITNER (Stan): front full to double full stuck, double front small slide back, back 2.5 to punch layout very floaty, solid through the handstands, double full stuck chest down a tad though, triple full dismount a little short on the twists but gets the green flag for the stick bonus
Malone (Stan): double front, double double and puts his hands down, front double full to front full and sits it down, 2.5 to rudi small step to the side, nice wide arm handstand, 1.5 to layout half side pass stuck, dismounts with a high triple full and a step back. Two falls early but rebounded well to finish.
Akash Modi on Vault: kaz 1.5 small step forward. Glad we get to see him compete tonight!
Wang (Cal): many hand adjustments on a handstand, cuts to floor…
Perla (Stan): nice double double, 2.5 to rudi stuck, 1.5 to front full tiny hop, stuck double full side pass, stuck triple full dismount. Good routine to get the Cardinal back on track
Malone scored a 12.000 on floor. I’ll update you all with scores as I get them since the live scores aren’t working for me currently…
Perez (Stan): mounts with a whip half to nice double full, front full to double front small hop, stuck back 2.5 to rudi, double arabian half out stuck but chest low, nice handstand work, side pass is a stuck double full, manwipes to gain some energy, another stuck triple full. Stanford’s got those triple full dismounts down!
Perla 14.700, Bitner, 14.100, Breckenridge 12.550. Live scores are working!
Mah (Cal): we catch the end of his routine. Nice double front dismount that is stuck and fires up his team!
Lewis (Stan): double front pike small hop, 1.5 twisting double back and sits it, front double full to front full small adjustment on the landing, stuck double full side pass, wide arm handstand with some tiny wobbling, 1.5 to stuck front half, stuck 2.5 dismount. Not the triple full but another stuck dismount.
Sadighi (Cal): nice healy, small hand adjustments throughout, slight leg separation on a pirouette, cuts away to show the crowd… we get to see his double pike dismount with a small shuffle back
Gunther (Stan): cuts to the middle of his routine and some good flair work, 1.5 to front layout a little wonky, dismounts with a 2.5 and a large lunge to the side. I believe this is just a routine for his all around score and won’t count towards the floor total
Perez 14.600, Lewis 13.600, Mah 14.100
Looks like we’ll be seeing mostly Stanford on the stream with a sprinkling of Cal when Stanford routines aren’t going. With Oklahoma putting up some huge scores in Norman, Stanford is going to kill it from here on out with those few mistakes counting on floor.
Hopefully we’ll get to see NorCal at some point.
After 1: Stanford 69.550, Cal 66.750, NorCal 34.400
Rotation 2: Stanford Pommel Horse, California High Bar
Bitner (Stan): decent scissor work, swinging well, slight form in the press up to handstand but a solid routine
Allins (Cal): nice layout tkatchev, straddle tkatchev slightly has to work through the giant, nice weiler kip, dismounts with a full twisting double layout small hop forward
Jessen (Stan): nice swinging work, presses and does some pirouetting and falls, remounts and we cut to Modi on parallel bars
Modi: nice bhavsar, beautiful tippelt, full twisting double tuck dismount with a hop forward
Malone (Stan): cleanly through the scissors to swings, some slight leg separations, nice handstand into the dismount
Bitner 12.400, Jessen 12.550
Gunther (Stan): slight hesitation up to handstand, tiny pike in the hips in the swings, clips his leg on the horse and comes off, cut away and we didn’t get to see the finish
Sun (Stan): clean scissors to start, better line in the swinging elements, loses his legs and gets out of rhythm and falls off, remounts and hits a good dismount to finish
Rickard (Cal): dismounts high bar with a full twisting double layout with a small hop
Ringer (Stan): stars off with some scissor to swinging like the rest of the Cardinal, really good extension, falls trying to press to dismount
Crigger (Cal): nice tkatchev, slight form breaks on some pirouetting work, tiny hop back on a full twisting double layout
Breckenridge (Stan): this is for his AA not the team total, starting with swinging, nice extension in the hips, misplaces a hand and comes off, does a few swings into some scissor work, quick press to handstand
Malone 13.550, Gunther 12.550, Sun 12.400, Ringer 12.350
Perez (Stan): AA performance, good travels in his swings, slight leg break before moving into scissors, had to work to press to handstand dismount
Huge cheers in the background for Mah’s high bar routine. Would’ve been nice to see it…
After 2: Stanford 133.000, California 130.500, NorCal 90.200
Scoring only a 63.450 on pommel horse is going to bring down Stanford’s score big time. It was the event it struggled most on last week and it looks like it might be the same story this weekend.
In more positive updates, NorCal put up five scores on floor! Huge for that program!
Rotation 3: Stanford Rings, California Floor
Modi on high bar. Three tkatchevs in a row! And a fourth! Double twisting double layout dismount with a hop forward. Exciting routine!
Wong (Cal): midway through, stuck double full side pass, dismounts with a 2.5 tiny hop
Bitner (Stan): nice straddle planche, tucked yamawaki to piked to straddle sit, wobbly in the handstands, 1.5 twisting double back just a cross step to the side
(Cal): double arabian step forward, 1.5 to stuck double full, 2.5 to tucked front full, cuts to someone falling off high bar on a tkatchev… in the background I see him dismount with a stuck triple full
Malone (Stan): front giant super sturdy, 1.5 twisting double tuck over rotated and flys forward and puts his hands down
Former Cardinal Neff on high bar. Former NCAA champ on the event. Huge yamawaki to geinger, two tkatchev combo, layout tkatchev to mixed grip looks really easy, late on the tak half, small hop on the double twisting double layout dismount
Gunther (Stan): gorgeous straddle planche, super clean lines, nice front and back giants, hop back on the full twisting double layout dismount, easily my favorite event of his
Crigger (Cal): double double a bit low chest on landing, front full to double full some crazy steps at end, super high half in half out, 1.5 to rudi small shuffle, stuck double full side pass with some arm circles, a few arm bends on the press handstand, dismounts with a 2.5 and two steps forward, solid hit routine
Breckenridge (Stan): straddle planche, L-sit, tucked and piked yamawakis, slow press to handstand, tiniest of wobbles in the handstands, 1.5 twisting double tuck dismount small hop
Stanford seems to be getting back on track on rings
Mah (Cal): legs buckled on a double full punch into something and he musters around a front tuck, rebounds with a nice 1.5 to rudi, wide arm handstand done nicely, stuck double full, manwipes for strength, tiny hop on the 2.5 dismount
Lee (Stan): nice straight body planche, follows with an equally nice straddle planche, moves into an L-sit to handstand, slightest movements in the handstands, stuck full twisting double layout dismount, Stanford needed that
Gunther 14.000, Breckenridge 13.850, Bitner 13.500, Malone 12.700, Mah 13.750, Wong 14.300, Crigger 13.100
(Stan): AA performance, slightly crooked straddle planche, piked and tucked yamawakis, L-sit held solidly, stuck double double dismount
After 3: Stanford 202.100, Cal 198.600, NorCal 115.900
That was a big routine for Breckenridge to get back into a groove after two misses in his first two routines. As the senior leader for this team, if he’s hitting the team will likely follow, as demonstrated by those two hit routines on rings after his.
Cal put together a solid performance on floor. Even with the Mah’s slight mistake he still got a decent score and they were able to hit a 68.100 on the event.
Rotation 4: Stanford Vault, California Pommel Horse
Weiss (Stan): nice kaz full with a hop back
Breckenridge (Stan): yurchenko double, clean in the air just a hop back
Lewis (Stan): kaz 1.5, a little bit of knees in the air and just a hop forward, good hits so far for Stanford
Breckenridge 13.950, Weiss 13.900
Modi on floor. Double front pike, 2.5 to front full, front double full to layout half, he’s moving so so so quickly.
Malone (Stan): another kaz 1.5, hop to the side but just stays inside the lines
Modi double full side pass stuck, triple full dismount with a slide back.
Wong (Cal): beautiful pirouette and dismount on horse, looks super pleased
Perez (Stan): kaz 1.5, near stick just a tiny hop forward, slight legs in the air
Malone 14.550, Lewis 14.500
Perla (Stan): kaz 1.5 again, crooked on the takeoff and steps OOB on the landing, a bit of bent knees in the flight as well
Gunther (Stan): AA performance, kaz full, good form in the air, short on the landing and the mat moves a bit and causes an extra hop or two
Perez 14.200, Perla 14.100, Wong 13.650
Bitner (Stan): AA performance, kaz full, chest low on landing with a small adjustment
Stanford puts up a 71.300 on vault, a much improved performance than the first three rotations. A stuck landing or two would’ve been nice though and just elevated that score to the next level.
After 4: Stanford 273.400, California 261.200, NorCal 167.950
Wong was the highlight for the Golden Bears on horse but the 62.600 total on that event hurts.
NorCal put up five gymnasts on rings!
Rotation 5: Stanford Parallel Bars, California Rings
Malone (Stan): short on peach to handstand, slow uprise on the tippelt, nice healy, nice pirouettes, small hop on the double pike, solid hit first routine
Gunther (Stan): quick tippelt, cuts to Modi dismounting pommel horse, Gunther dismounts with a half-in double back out with a small hop, I like the unique dismount, much more interesting than the typical double pike
Bitner (Stan): nice swinging to open, off on the healy and hits his leg on the bar, regroups, slight bobble on the tippelt, double pike small hop, rebounded well from the early mistake
Gunther, 13.900, Bitner 12.350
Breckenridge (Stan): slightly short on the opening handstand, clean healy, short on the next handstand, swings through nicely to a L-sit, tiny hop on the double pike, looks like he knows he should’ve stuck that
Lee (Stan): muscles through the healy after being off direction, does two of the inbar back somersaults and does them well, double pike dismount and landed a bit on his heels and takes a big hop back
Breckenridge 14.200, Lee 13.300
Sun (Stan): beautiful healy, misses his hand on a pirouette and comes off just as the commentators praise him for being such a good parallel bars worker, the broadcasters jinx at its finest, repeats the skill, smooth work after, sticks the double pike, probably will be disappointed with that set
I guess we’re completely ignoring Cal on the stream now…
Perez (Stan): AA performance, nice pirouette into a Suarez, nice peach, another half in double back out dismount, chest a little low but bonus points from me for uniqueness
After 5: Stanford 341.950, California 327.850, NorCal 226.600
Five vaults from NorCal!
Plate comes up big for California breaking the 14.000 barrier for an otherwise average rotation.
If Stanford can get close to a 70.000 in this last rotation, beating its score from last week could happen. Unfortunately high bar isn’t known for its high scoring, but hopefully the gymnasts prove me wrong!
Rotation 6: Stanford High Bar, California Vault
Jessen (Stan): we cut to the routine in the middle of a full twising Kovacs which goes well, hitting most of his handstands, falls short on the full twisting double layout, not enough rotation
Bitner (Stan): good yamawaki, layout tkatchev, straddle tkatchev, both one nicely, clean stalder and endo work, dismounts with a stuck full twisting double layout, great routine to bounce back from Jessen’s fall
Gunther (Stan): opens with a front giant full, straddle tkatchev done well, repeats but catches in mixed grip, a few endos done well, stumbles back on his full twisting double layout dismount
Bitner 13.150, Jessen 12.350, Gunther 12.900
Perez (Stan): yamawaki to geinger combo to open, great one armed giant, straddle tkatchev caught a tad close, endo hits the handstand, double twisting double layout dismount with a small hop, he twists so fast
Malone (Stan): classic yamawaki to open, full twisting Kovacs done great but then falls on a layout tkatchev, too far from the bar, repeats it and is too far again and misses, doesn’t try a third time, good endo, good tak half, double twisting double layout dismount just a small hop
Breckenridge (Stan): giant yamawaki to geinger combo to open, layout tkatchev, straddle tkatchev caught in mixed grip, tak full and actually hits the handstand, legs separate on the tak half, full twisting double layout dismount, small hop, also a decent amount of piking
Barrett (Stan): exhibition performance, tak half and missed handstand, falls on a layout full twisting Kovacs, caught too close, continues to lay down and the staff goes over to tend to him, all the other events were finished so all the attention was on him, gets up and is chalking so I think we’ll get to see him finish, thankful he’s not injured! Does the tucked version and catches great, beautiful pirouetting work and sticks the full twisting double layout dismount. So great to see him not only healthy after that fall but also put together an impressive second half of that set!
Final Scores: Stanford 406.300, California 395.750, NorCal United 284.400
Surely not the performance Stanford wanted today, but showed how the guys will need to rebound after the inevitable missed routines. With the giant 418+ Oklahoma put up earlier today, Stanford will certainly lose its No. 1 ranking, but once Stanford is fully healthy and has all its guys back in the lineup the Cardinal will contend to be that team to upset the Sooners.
Having not gotten to watch much of California, especially the entire second half of its meet (live stream problems, sigh), I can’t fully comment on its season prospects. But, from the routines I did see it looked like mistakes were holding them back from getting the high scores. The talent is there. Once they start cleaning everything up as the season progresses, California’s scores will surely build.
Unfortunately we didn’t get to see any NorCal, but from the live scores I am very impressed! The team was able to put up almost a full meet of routines, which is a big improvement from not only two weeks ago but I’d bet it’s the most routines the program has ever put up. I’ll have to double check that last fact though, I’m possibly just a little hyped for NorCal United.
Thanks for staying up late with me!
The live scores aren’t working right now (of course), so to see full results including event winners, click here!
Live blog by Brandis Heffner
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