March 23, 1999
BAY AREA RIVALS MEET IN SEASON FINALE: The California women's gymnastics team (6-20 overall), closes out its 1999 regular season schedule with a dual meet at cross-bay foe, Stanford. The meet, which is the Golden Bears final chance to raise its regional qualifying score and enhance their chance at qualifying for an NCAA Regional, takes place at Stanford, beginning at 7:00 p.m.
THE SERIES: The Bears and Cardinal have met 34 times in the sport of women's gymnastics, including twice already this year, with Stanford holding a 19-15 edge in the all-time series. Stanford has taken the last nine head-to-head competitions between the two schools, including both meetings this season. Cal has not knocked off the Cardinal since March 29, 1996, when the Bears defeated Stanford, 194.100-193.050. That was also the Bears last win over a Pac-10 opponent.
MOST RECENTLY: Cal tied its season high team score with a 192.475 at the Pacific-10 Conference Championships last weekend in Corvallis, Ore. And though that was the Bears second-best score ever at the Pac-10s, it still wasn't enough to keep Cal from finishing seventh. Helne Kenny finished 14th in the all-around with a career-high 38.525 to led the Bears. Also having a strong meet for the Bears were Leila Khoury, career-highs on floor (9.900/t11th) and vault (9.825/t16th), and Pari Olver, career-highs on vault (9.650), bars (9.800) and beam (9.725). Khoury's 9.900 on floor is the second-best score ever in that event.
TEAM TOTALS CONTINUE TO RISE: With its 192.475 at the Pac-10 Championships, Cal's average team total took another jump in the right direction. The Bears, who scored an average of 188.622 during last season's 8-9 campaign, are now averaging 189.314, an increase of .692 per meet. Through 11 meets this season, Cal has also topped the 190-point plateau six times, including team highs of 192.475 versus Washington and at the Pac-10 Championships. Last year, Cal scored 190 points or better only three times.
WELCOME BACK: Junior Jennie Kang, who was expected to be an all-around force for the Bears this season prior to suffering a knee injury in December, made her first appearance of the season for the Bears at last week's Pac-10 Championships. And though she only competed in two events, she did register counting scores on both with a 9.275 on bars and a 9.575 on beam.
KENNY'S TURN TO SHINE: Until this season, Helne Kenny has been primarily known as a bar specialist. But at last week's Pac-10 Championships, she showed some pretty solid all-around skills, finishing first among Cal competitors and 14th overall with a career-best 38.525 points. That score included a career high on vault (9.550) and a 14th place finish on bars (9.850).
THE COACHES: Head coach Trina Tinti is in her second season with the Golden Bears and has a career record of 14-29. Prior to coming to Cal, Tinti was the assistant women's gymnastics coach at the University of Minnesota for five years. Joining the Cal staff for his first season is Peter Doyle, who for the previous five seasons was an assistant at George Washington University. After suffering a career-ending injury during the off-season, former Cal gymnast, Jennifer Bialosky joins Tinti's staff as a student assistant coach for 1999.