Jan. 21, 2003
WHAT'S ON TAP: The fifth-ranked California men's gymnastics team kicks off the 2003 campaign at the Cardinal Open, Saturday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. at Burnham Pavilion. The Golden Bears and the Cardinal make their season debut in the first of four scheduled meets of this year.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS: Coming off its second straight third place NCAA finish and a second place Mountain Pacific Sports Federation conference showing (14-3), the Golden Bears return six letterwinners while gaining seven newcomers in 2003. Highlighting the returnees is five-time All-American and 2002 parallel bar National Champion, senior Cody Moore. Last season Moore finished with a team-high 9.725 on pommel horse and 9.525 on parallel bars. Adding depth in the all-around are All-Americans Graham Ackerman, David Eaton and Michael Ashe, a two-time high bar National Champion.
A LOOK AT STANFORD: The Cardinal, ranked No. 9 in the coaches' preseason poll, graduated six gymnasts after the 2002 season, featuring nine eligible gymnasts on the current roster. Senior Marshall Erwin will try to defend his NCAA title on the rings for Stanford who placed sixth at the NCAAs last season. The Cardinal's strongest event of the year is expected to be the pommel horse, highlighted by seniors Matt McLean, Cade Raggio and Erwin. The Bears are 108-35-2 all-time against the Cardinal, defeating them six times in 2002.
LAST YEAR AT THE CARDINAL OPEN: California defeated Stanford at the 2002 Cardinal Open, 211.975-206.950. Graham Ackerman posted a team season high 9.775 on the floor, leading to a season high 36.175 in the event for the Bears.
BEARS TABBED 5TH IN PRESEASON POLL: California was picked to finish fifth in the nation in the preseason coaches poll, receiving three votes for a first-place finish. The 2002 Bears completed the season ranked No. 6 after taking third place at the NCAA Championships.
Team (1st Place Votes)
1. Oklahoma (7) 2. Ohio State (3) 3. Illinois 4. Penn State 5. California (3) 6. Michigan (2) 7. Iowa 8. Minnesota 9. Stanford 10. Temple 11. Nebraska 12. William & Mary 13. Illinois-Chicago 14. Army 15. Air Force
DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER: Starting this season, you can catch your favorite Cal gymnastics action for free. There will be no admission charged for any men's/women's gymnastics events this year.