April 7, 2003
WHAT'S ON TAP: Returning to his hometown of Philadelphia where he was once a Temple All-American, head coach Barry Weiner and the fourth-ranked California men's gymnastics team make their fourth consecutive NCAA Championship appearance. Weiner, who has led Cal to six Top 5 finishes in the last seven years, has two national championship titles (1997, '98) under his belt while at the helm for the Golden Bears. The three-day event, hosted by Temple University, is staged at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, PA., April 11-13, featuring the elite gymnasts from across the country.
THE FIELD: The Top 12 teams in the nation, based on qualifying scores, advanced to the 2003 Men's Gymnastics Championships. Joining the Bears' score of 214.550 will be: No. 1 Oklahoma (221.058), No. 2 Penn State (219.017), No. 3 Ohio State (217.958), No. 5 Michigan (214.008), No. 6 Iowa (213.975), No. 7 Minnesota (213.617), No. 8 Illinois (213.092, 212.895 tie-breaker score), No. 9 Stanford (213.092, 212.575 tie-breaker score), No. 10 Nebraska (212.125), No. 11 Temple (210.217) and No. 12 William and Mary (210.075). In addition to the Top 12 teams, others participating in the qualifiers are the Top 12 all-around competitors and Top 12 individuals per event who are not members of a selected team.
NCAA DETAILS: The national qualifier, which consists of two pre-qualifying sessions at 1 p.m. (ET) and 7 p.m. (ET), will be conducted April 11. Three teams and the Top 3 all-around competitors not on one of the qualifying teams, plus the Top 3 individuals in each event not already qualified on a team (or an all-around competitor), will advance from each pre-qualifying session to the finals session, April 12-13. Team finals, all-around finals and qualifying for event finals will begin at 4 p.m. (ET) on April 12. Session IV, the event finals, begins at 2 p.m. (ET) on April 13.
TWO WEEKS AGO AT THE MPSF CHAMPIONSHIPS: With its fourth best score of the season (216.025), Cal placed second at the MPSF Championships for the fourth consecutive season, while setting nine season best scores. At the event finals, Graham Ackerman came away with two first place titles out of the three he competed in, including a season best 9.700 mark on the floor and a 9.450 on the vault. He also placed fifth on the parallel bars (8.850). Senior Aaron Floyd tied for second on the high bar (9.300) after setting a season best 9.350 on the apparatus the night before at the team championships. Also at the team championships, eight-time All-American Cody Moore claimed first place on the pommel horse with a season best 9.650 mark. Junior David Eaton finished fourth in the all-around (52.650), setting a season best 9.150 on the floor for a sixth place showing.
MOORE NAMED NISSEN-EMERY FINALIST: Senior Cody Moore has been named one of eight finalists for the Nissen-Emery Award, which is presented annually to the nation's most outstanding senior male collegiate gymnast. A two-time MPSF Gymnast of the Year ('01,'02), Moore holds three personal marks that are the third-best in school history: parallel bars (9.850), floor (9.850) and pommel horse (9.900). Other individual career bests for Moore include rings (9.550), vault (9.550), high bar (9.750) and all-around (57.700). Last season he was selected to the U.S. National team following an outstanding 52.850 all-around performance at the Winter Cup Challenge.
SEASON HIGHS: Cal's team score of 218.175 against Stanford Feb. 14 was the school's best since the 2000 season. Last year, the season high was 217.650, performed on the last day of the NCAA Championships. Against Stanford, Cal claimed first place in four of the six events as well as the all-around. Cody Moore, the defending national parallel bar champion, carded an eye-popping 9.850 to claim first place on the same event. The near-perfect score is also a school best on the apparatus since rules changed the scoring system prior to the 2001 season. Moore won the all-around (54.875), followed by teammate David Eaton (54.100). Graham Ackerman won both the floor (9.550) and horizontal bar (9.475) titles and sophomore transfer Jay Yee won his first title as a Golden Bear with a 9.350 vault mark.
CAL IN THE RANKINGS: With a NCAA qualifying average of 214.550, Cal remains ranked No. 4 for the seventh consecutive week and has seven individuals ranked in the Top 20 in the nation on various events. After a season low 7.950 at the MPSF team finals, Cody Moore drops from the nation' lead on parallel bars to eighth place (8.967) in the event. Moore is also 14th in the all-around (52.392). Graham Ackerman moves up from seventh to third place on the floor (9.550), from 12th to 10th on parallel bars (8.925) and has the fourth-best score in the nation on the vault (9.383). Aaron Floyd is 12th on rings (9.425) and 11th on high bar (9.167). David Eaton is 12th in the all-around (52.683), 13th on p-bars (8.875) and tied for 14th on the high bar (9.083). Michael Ashe is ranked 19th on p-horse (9.100).
The Bears are in the Top nine in each of the six events, paced by a fourth place standing on parallel bars (35.442). Cal is No. 5 on floor (35.967), No. 6 on high bar (35.417), No. 7 on p-horse (35.600) and rings (36.250), and No. 9 on vault (36.525)
CURRENT BEARS' PAST PERFORMANCES AT NCAA EVENT FINALS:
2001 Michael Ashe Horizontal Bar 1st 9.512 Pommel Horse 4th 9.100 Cody Moore Floor Exercise 9th 8.900 Parallel Bars 8th 7.950 Horizontal Bar 8th 8.075 David Eaton Pommel Horse 6th 8.500 Horizontal Bar 9th 7.950