No. 6 California Heads to MPSF Conference Championships
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  03/25/2005

March 25, 2005

WHAT'S ON TAP:The No. 6 California men's gymnastics team (7-3 overall, 5-2 MPSF) travels to Norman, OK, for the MPSF Conference Championships. The team competition, featuring Cal, Oklahoma, Stanford, Nebraska and Air Force will begin Friday, March 25 at 7 p.m. and will be followed by the individual competiton Saturday, March 26 at 1 p.m.

LOOKING BACK AT PREVIOUS ACTION: The No. 6 Golden Bears tallied a season-high score en route to defeating No. 14 Temple, 220.95-210.425, on March 11. The score of 220.95 is a season high for California, eclipsing their previous high of 219.775 recorded March 6 against Stanford. Senior co-captain and two-time NCAA Champion (floor exercise and vault) Graham Ackerman had another stellar performance for the Bears, placing first in both the floor exercise (9.85) and vault (9.7). Ackerman's 9.85 on the floor is a career best. Fellow senior Jay Yee was equally impressive in what will be the final regular season home appearance for both seniors. Yee finished first on rings (9.8), second on pommel (9.15) and third on vault (9.35). Freshman Colin Christ continues to be a major force for Cal, finishing first on pommel (9.6), parallel bars (9.35) and tying for first on the high bar (9.1).

THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: The Mountain Pacific Sports Conference is full of talent in 2005, featuring four teams ranked in the Top 10 in the nation. No. 6 California (219.958) is joined by No. 2 Oklahoma (223.483), No. 8 Stanford (217.900), No. 9 Nebraska (216.708) and No. 18 Air Force (195.900). The Bears are 5-2 in MPSF Conference meets this year.

CAREER MILESTONE:Head coach Barry Weiner attained his 200th career victory this year at the Nakamori Invitational. Weiner, having amassed a 204-51-1 record during his 14-year tenure, is second on the all-time win list only to Hal Frey (230 wins, 25 years).

2005 BREAKDOWN: Cal's overall average of 219.958 in 2005 is good for No. 6 in the nation. The Bears are No. 1 in the nation on floor exercise (37.325), No. 4 on parallel bars (36.492), No. 6 on still rings (37.867), No. 7 on high bar (36.608), No. 8 on pommel horse (36.300), No. 7 on the high bar (36.267) and No. 11 on the vault (36.917).

HEAD COACH Barry Weiner: Largely credited with developing the University of California men's gymnastics program into one of the nation's finest, Barry Weiner (14th year, 201-51-1) led the Golden Bears to national championships in 1997 and 1998, a total of six Top 5 national finishes and seven NCAA individual champions in his fourteen seasons at Cal. Weiner was named National Coach of the Year in 1997 and 1998, as well as being a four-time MPSF Coach of the Year honoree, most recently in 2004.

ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH Kip Simons: Kip Simons is in his fifth year as an assistant with the Golden Bears. Simons had a successful collegiate career at Ohio State University, where he was honored as the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, team captain his senior season, a Nissen Award Recipient and the 1994 OSU Male Athlete of the Year. His crowning achievement came when he represented America while competing in the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga.