Li Lands On Top-Three List
STANFORD – In their second appearance at Stanford's Burnham Pavilion this season, Cal men's gymnastics recorded 10 new personal records and a new appearance on one of the program's Top-3 lists en route to finishing with a total of 391.300 points at The Big Flip Open on Sunday afternoon.
In the Bears' first event, the pommel horse, sophomore Aidan Li stole the show by posting a score of 13.900, good for second in the competition and third in modern school history. Following that event, three Cal gymnasts – sophomore Chris Scales, freshman Tyler Shimizu and freshman Landon Wu – all reached personal bests on the still rings. Shimizu went on to post another personal record in the floor exercise, finishing with a score of 13.850 and led on the team only by senior Yu-Chen Lee's 13.950.
On the parallel bars, sophomore Noah Newfeld tied his personal-best score of 13.950 for the first time this season, while junior Aidan Giusti smashed his personal record with a mark of 13.600. Finally, the Bears concluded with a solid showing on the vault, with sophomore Jelani Sweet topping 14.000 points for the first time with his total of 14.150 and trailing only senior Caleb Rickard's 14.350 on the team. Sophomore Seth Ornelas also reached a new personal best of his own with a score of 13.600.
"The sophomores really stepped it up this week," said head coach J.T. Okada. "Aidan (Li) brought it to another level today, and Jelani (Sweet) took advantage of his opportunities today – did a great job.
"This second-year class is a big group, and they first came in under full COVID protocols, with virtual meets and everything," he continued. "They're really starting to settle in now, solidifying their roles on the squad now that we've hit the halfway point of the season. Some of them even debuted new routines today. It was a really good learning experience for all of us – coaches included."
No. 1 Stanford ended the meet with a score of 415.350.
The Bears will return to Haas Pavilion on Sunday, Feb. 20 for a dual meet against Air Force.