No. 8 Cal Compete for National Title in Norman
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  04/17/2012

April 17, 2012

Thursday, April 19
5 p.m. PT - No. 3 California at Team Qualifier
Lloyd Noble Center - Norman, Okla.
Coverage: Live Webcast on, Live Stats on

Friday, April 20
5 p.m. PT - Team Championships
Lloyd Noble Center - Norman, Okla.
Coverage: Live Webcast on, Live Stats on

Saturday, April 21
5 p.m. PT - Individual Championships
Lloyd Noble Center - Norman, Okla.
Coverage: Live Webcast on, Live Stats on

BERKELEY - The No. 8 California men's gymnastics team is set for the NCAA Championships, held April 19-21 at the University of Oklahoma's Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla. The Golden Bears will compete in the evening session of the NCAA Qualifier on April 19 against No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 4 Illinois, No. 5 Minnesota, No. 9 Temple and No. 12 Air Force at 5 p.m. PT. The first session, set for noon PT, features No. 2 Penn State, No. 3 Stanford, No. 6 Michigan, No. 7 Ohio State, No. 10 Nebraska and No. 11 Iowa. The top three teams from each session qualify for the team finals on April 20 at 5 p.m. PT.

About the NCAA Championships
Competition begins Thursday, April 19, with two pre-qualifying sessions starting at noon and at 5 p.m., PT, with Cal competing in the latter. The top three teams from each session, along with the top three individuals in each of the six team events not part of a qualifying team or as an all-arounder, advance to the team and all-around finals Friday evening to vie for the national title. The top 10 gymnasts in each of the six team events Friday evening advance to Saturday's NCAA Championship individual event finals, which begin at 5 p.m. PT, where the top eight finishers on each of the six events will be awarded All-America status.

Ticket Information
All session tickets to the NCAA Championships ($25 Adult, $15 Youth and OU Students) are on sale now and can be purchased at or by calling the OU Athletics Ticket Office at (800) 456 - GoOU. Single-session tickets will go on sale the first day of competition at the Lloyd Noble Center at least an hour prior to competition beginning. All tickets are general admission. The NCAA Championships run from April 19-21 at the Sooner's Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla.

Briefly on the Bears
-Cal is 6-5 overall, facing top-10 teams in all but one meet this season
-The gymnasts had a break from competition after finishing third at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships on April 7
-The Bears are 2-0 in their most recent regular-season meets, beating Stanford on Feb. 18 and trumping UIC on March 24
-Glen Ishino was named to the U.S. Senior National Team after the men's program committee selected him after the Winter Cup, at which he won pommel horse
-Three Bears - Glen Ishino (Feb. 7), Donothan Bailey (Feb. 14), Dennis Mannhart (Feb. 21) - have earned MPSF Gymnast of the Week honors this season

Cal Tradition at NCAAs
The Bears have a rich history at the NCAA Championships with 209 individual top-10 finishers since 1948, including 29 individual national champions. Cal has finished in the top five at NCAAs 20 times since 1959, including seven times last decade with 2010's fifth-place finish. The Bears boast four team national championships - 1968, '75, '97 and '98. Cal has 29 individual national championship titles. The most recent national champion was crowned in 2009, when Evan Roth won rings. In 2008, Tim McNeill added two more to that list when he took top honors on pommel horse and parallel bars, bringing his career total to five. Since their back-to-back NCAA titles in `97 and `98, the Bears' best finish in the NCAA Championships was third, which they accomplished in 2001 and 2002. Since 1996, Cal has qualified for the NCAA Championships every year except one (1999).

Where the Bears Rank
Team - 9
Donothan Bailey - 10

Pommel Horse
Team - 5
Glen Ishino - 3
Donothan Bailey - 12
Matthew del Junco - T18

Still Rings
Team - 10
Steven Lacombe - T18

Team - 9

Parallel Bars
Team - 9
Donothan Bialey - T16

High Bar
Team - 8

Team - 8
Donothan Bailey - 6

Recently in the Gym - MPSF Championships
Cal took third Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships on April 7. The Golden Bears merited a 345.950, behind first-place finisher Oklahoma's 355.600 and second-place Stanford's 352.100. Air Force was fourth with a 335.950. Donothan Bailey won pommel horse with a 14.900 and finished third in the all-around. Dennis Mannhart was fifth in the all-around. Steven Lacombe earned bronze with a 15.20 on rings.

Flashback: 2011 NCAA Championships
The Bear squad closed its campaign in fourth place in the 2011 NCAA Team Championships. Cal had six different Bears win All-America titles - Christian Monteclaro, Kyle Bunthuwong, Bryan del Castillo, Glen Ishino, Donothan Bailey, Steven Lacombe. Of the seven Bears on the All-Academic team, del Castillo and Bailey also earned All-America status. At the Conference Championships, Cal finished third with del Castillo taking third on high bar and Bailey finishing sixth in the all-around.

Bailey Named Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week
Junior Donothan Bailey began the 2012 campaign for the national title with a bang, taking home two event titles and second in the all-around to power the Bears to an upset win over No. 4 Stanford, making him this week's California Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week. Thanks to Bailey's consistency on every event, the Golden Bears posted nearly a six-point victory over the rival Cardinal on Jan. 13 at Haas Pavilion. Bailey tied Stanford's Paul Hichwa for first on floor, both scoring 15.000. On parallel bars, he shared gold with teammate Dennis Mannhart with the ursine duo tallying a pair of 14.800s.

Glen Ishino Makes National Team, Is MPSF Gymnast of the Week
Competing with the best gymnasts in the United States at the Winter Cup Challenge, California senior Glen Ishino not only proved that he can compete with them but that he can beat them. On one of the biggest stages in all of domestic gymnastics, Ishino earned himself a spot on the U.S. senior team. The men's program committee selected Ishino while other gymnasts landed spots based on all-around scores or team points. Ishino won pommel horse with a two-night total of 31.450, finishing well ahead of his nearest competitor in second place with a 30.650.

Donothan Bailey is MPSF Gymnast of the Week
Junior Donothan Bailey took home his first all-around title of the season with a score of 87.300, making him the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Gymnast of the Week for the week of Feb. 14. Bailey, ranked third nationally in the all-around, topped both Oklahoma's No.1-ranked Jake Dalton and Stanford's No. 2-ranked Eddie Penev en route to the title. In addition to the all-around, Bailey also finished first on parallel bars with a 15.000. This is Bailey's second Gymnast of the Week honor of the 2012 campaign.

MPSF Selects Mannhart as Gymnast of the Week
The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation elected Dennis Mannhart as the recipient of the Feb. 21 Gymnast of the Week award.Mannhart performed exceptionally well on every event to power the Golden Bears to a key upset over rival No. 4 Stanford on Feb. 18. He won parallel bars with a 15.200, .500 of a point ahead of the nearest collegiate competitor. His score on parallel bars also topped four Japanese All-Stars, who occupied second through fifth places. Mannhart was first amongst the domestic gymnasts on high bar with a 14.500 for fifth place overall. Mannhart's scores on parallel bars and high bar were crucial to Cal victories on both events as well as the meet. This is Mannhart's first MPSF Gymnast of the Week honor.

International Golden Bears
This winter, three members of the Cal men's gymnastics squad returned to Berkeley with new worldwide experience under their belt. Jean and Christian Monteclaro traveled to the World Championships in October as representatives of the Philippines. Donothan Bailey donned the Red, White and Blue of the U.S. at the Pan American Games during the fall. Both Bailey and Ishino were named to the U.S. senior national team in August.

What Happened Last Year?
The Bear squad closed its 2012 campaign in fourth place in the NCAA Team Championships. Six Bears - Christian Monteclaro, Kyle Bunthuwong, Bryan del Castillo, Glen Ishino, Donothan Bailey, Steven Lacombe - earned All-American status. At the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships, Cal finished third with del Castillo taking third on high bar and Bailey finishing sixth in the all-around. Additionally garnering conference honors, seven Bears made the MPSF All-Academic Team for Cal to place second amongst all programs.

Bears Begin 2012 Ranked Fifth
In the preseason poll, Cal earned a No. 4 national ranking. The Bears finished fourth at the 2010 NCAA Championships and No. 4 in the final 2011 rankings. Oklahoma topped the preseason rankings with Illinois and Michigan filling out the medal stand at second and third, respectively. Just ahead of Cal is Stanford in fourth.

About Tim McNeill
Head coach Tim McNeill is in his second year at the helm of the Cal program. McNeill, who graduated from Cal in 2008 as a five-time NCAA champion, spent the 2009 season as a graduate intern with the Bears before training full-time with the U.S. National team this past year. McNeill, a native of Falls Church, Va., lettered at Cal from 2005-08, earning All-America honors each year. He captured his first NCAA title as a sophomore in 2006 on the pommel horse before claiming the national crown on both the pommel horse and parallel bars in 2007. McNeill then repeated his crown on the two events as a senior in 2008. He received the Pac-10 Medal in '08 as Cal's outstanding senior male student-athlete.

Profiling the Assistant
Joining McNeill in the gym as a second-year coach is former Cal standout Colin Christ. In his four years at Cal, Christ earned All-America accolades four times. In each year he was eligible, Christ was honored as a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation scholar student-athlete. The Palm Harbor, Fla., native graduated with a degree in mathematics in 2008. At the 2008 NCAA Championships, Christ's final meet as a student-athlete, he finished eighth in the country on parallel bars with a 14.275. The 2007 individual championships saw him finish second on parallel bars after leading for the majority of the meet. Christ was one of 15 gymnasts invited to a U.S. National team camp for a week of training with Olympic athletes and top coaches in the country in the fall of 2005.