In a season where No. 2 Stanford only had its sights set on one team, the No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners, it is somewhat disappointing to note that two other teams managed to slip in and widen that margin.
This past weekend, Stanford closed off its men’s gymnastics season by finishing 4th at the NCAA Championships hosted by West Point, behind Oklahoma, Ohio State, and Illinois. This is the Cardinal’s first time being just one spot off the podium since 1989, and only the second time in the history of the program.
Despite coming up short of expectations, there were certainly some positives that cannot go overlooked. Competing in his last collegiate meet, senior Akash Modi went out with a bang, taking his second all-around title (87.900) and second parallel bars title (15.300). He also earned All-American honors on the all-around, pommel horse, vault, parallel bars, and high bar.
This performance came on the heels of being named the recipient of the Nissen-Emery Award, the most coveted award in collegiate gymnastics, rewarding gymnastic achievement, sportsmanship, and academic excellence. Modi is the 5th Stanford gymnast to ever take home the award, with the most recent being Eddie Penev in 2013. His Stanford career will end with 17 All-American honors, 2 NCAA All-Around crowns, and a trip to Rio as an alternate for the US Men’s Olympic team.
Teammate Robert Neff also had an impressive showing, taking the high bar title with a 14.850 and claiming All-American honors in the all-around, parallel bars, and high bar. Andrew Misiolek also earned an All-American title, his being on the pommel horse.
The Cardinal will go out with a final record of 22-6, extending their streak of making the NCAA Finals to 12 straight years.