MPSF Men’s Gymnastics Week 5 Recap: Stanford fends off Cal, Oklahoma breaks attendance record

By Aidan Giusti | February 7, 2024
Stanford's Nicolas Kuebler on high bar at the 2023 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships.
© Amy Sanderson/Gymnastics Now

In Week 5 of MPSF men’s gymnastics, Stanford struggled but held off California at home. Oklahoma hosted Cleveland night and broke its program attendance record while handedly defeating Ohio State and Arizona State University. Air Force was off this weekend in preparation for All-Academy Championships.

#10 California @ #1 Stanford

Final score: Stanford: 392.850 – California: 391.850

Stanford

This was not the Stanford we are used to seeing. The Cardinal have broken 70 on multiple events in multiple competitions, but their highest event score this weekend was a 66.5 on parallel bars, led by Luke McFarland’s solid 14.35. Taylor Burkhart returned to a few lineups for the Cardinal, scoring a 13.45 and 13.75 on pommel horse and high bar, respectively. Standouts Asher Hong, Khoi Young, and Colt Walker rested this weekend ahead of the Cottbus World Cup on February 22-25 in Germany. Their absence left some gaps in the Stanford lineups, and the Cardinal squad struggled at times to make up the difference. The Cardinal dropped 8.6 points on vault, putting up a 63.55 compared to their 72.15 from the week before. Stanford had a lower event score on every apparatus with the exception of high bar, where they increased 0.15 to score a 63.8, led by Burkhart’s 13.75.

Brandon Nguyen won the all-around title with a 79.7 and took home the floor title with a 13.95. J.R. Chou took home the pommel horse title with a 14.1, Mark Berlaga won rings with a 14.55, and McFarland won parallel bars with a 14.35. Reece Landsperger and Toma Murakawa made their debuts for the Cardinal; Landsperger put up a 13.0 on rings and 13.35 on parallel bars while Murakawa scored a 13.2 on floor, 11.9 on rings, and 13.75 on vault.

Stanford returns to Burnham Pavilion on Saturday, February 10, where they will host Team USA.

California

The Bears came close to defeating Stanford in Palo Alto, but a handful of mistakes in the second half cost them the competition. The Bear’s 391.850 was not what they were looking for. Similar to Stanford, the Bears only improved on one event from last weekend, jumping 0.55 on floor to score a 64.7.

Cal had a lot of great routines this weekend, including Jasper Smith-Gordon, who returned to vault and took home the event title with a 14.7; Khalen Curry followed closely behind with a 14.65 for his Kas 1.5. The Bears saw two 14s on high bar: Theodor Roald Gadderud took home the high bar title with a 14.15, and Darren Wong claimed second with a 14. Also returning to the floor for Cal was Collin Cunane, who claimed a 12.7 on his first high bar routine of the season. 

In addition to Smith-Gordon and Gadderud’s event titles, the top scores for the Bears were Tyler Shimizu on floor (13.55), Noah Newfeld on pommel horse (13.7), Gadderud on rings (13.1), and Wong on parallel bars (13.75).

Despite the ups and downs, last weekend showed promise, namely that if Cal can put together multiple events and avoid any major errors, breaking that 400 mark seems more than feasible.

The Bears travel to Oklahoma next weekend to take on the Sooners in McCasland Field House on Saturday, February 10. 

Arizona State (GymACT) & #6 Ohio State @ #2 Oklahoma

Final score: Oklahoma: 411.500, Ohio State: 400.600, ASU: 379.000

Oklahoma

The Sooners were joined by Cleveland Elementary school for Safari Night in McCasland Field House. An exotic petting zoo accompanied a record-shattering attendance of 2,111.

The atmosphere was unmatched in Oklahoma as the Sooners continued their winning streak at home with a 411.500 team score and the win over Ohio State University. The Sooners improved on three apparatuses – most notably increasing 6.55 points on parallel bars with their 69.9, led by Colin Flores’s event-title winning 14.2 and followed by a pair of 14.15s from Fuzzy Benas and Emre Dodanli. Also claiming event titles for the Sooners were Dodanli on floor (14.5), Ignacio Yockers on pommel horse (14.7), Adriel Perales on rings (13.75), and Flores was the only all-arounder (80.30).

The Sooners’ only 70+ event score from the meet was their 72.2 on vault, although they came close with a 69.9 on parallel bars. We know the Sooners are capable of breaking the 70 mark on multiple events (floor, pommel horse, vault, and parallel bars) as well as hitting 100% of their routines after a strong 30/30 showing at Air Force earlier this season. While they may not have had the highest team score this weekend, the Sooners consistency and seemingly unmatched energy continues to solidify their status as a top team in the NCAA this season.

The Sooners return to McCasland Field House on Saturday, February 10, when they host the Cal Bears.

Note: Oklahoma’s first meet of the season against Air Force has been nullified. Read more here.

Air Force

The Falcons have taken the last two weeks off from competition but return to the floor on Saturday, February 10, when they take on Navy and Army at the All-Academy Championships.