No. 7 California Hosts Nakamori Invitational
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  02/08/2005

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Feb. 8, 2005

WHAT'S ON TAP: The No. 7 California men's gymnastics team (2-1) will compete in the Nakamori Invitational, this Saturday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. in Haas Pavilion. The Invitational pits the Golden Bears against No. 1 Ohio State and No. 8 Stanford.

LOOKING BACK AT LAST WEEK'S ACTION: Cal sent four gymnasts to compete in Las Vegas' Winter Cup. Seniors Graham Ackerman and Jay Yee, along with freshman standouts Tim McNeill and Colin Christ all competed against many of the nation's top gymnasts. Ackerman and Yee both qualified for the event finals, after posting top-10 finishes in the opening rounds of competition. Ackerman, a two-time national champion (floor event and vault) in 2004 finished in third place on floor exercises (8.900). Yee, also a 2004 NCAA finalist, posted an 8.975, good for sixth place in the still rings event finals.

THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: The Bears are 1-1 against No. 8 Stanford this season. Stanford will expect big results from their strong freshman class, highlighted by David Sender (2005 Winter Cup vault champion) and Sho Nakamori. Stanford is coached by Thom Glielmi (2nd year)...No. 1 Ohio State is returning three All-Americans and eight gymnasts total from a 2004 squad that compiled an 8-5 overall record, to finish fourth at the NCAA Championships. The Buckeye's, who drew even in their last meet with No. 2 Illinois, 223.4-223.4, are led by a pair of top-20 gymnasts in senior Randy Monahan (No. 17) and junior Ronald Ferris (No. 16). Ohio State is coached by Miles Avery (72-22, 7th year).

FRESHMAN SENSATION: Freshman Tim McNeill, touted as one of the best gymnastic prospects to come through Berkeley, has made an immediate impact within the Cal program. The Falls Church, VA, native figures in the top-20 for individual season averages in four events. McNeill is ranked No. 2 nationally in both pommel horse (9.425) and parallel bars (9.450), No. 14 in the high bar (9.050) and No. 20 in the still rings (9.425).

CAREER MILESTONES: Head coach Barry Weiner is one win shy of his 200th career victory. Weiner, having amassed a 199-50-1 record during his 14-year tenure, is second on the all-time win list only to Hal Frey (230 wins, 25 years). Weiner will have an opportunity to pick up No. 200 at the Nakamori Invitational.

2005 BREAKDOWN: Cal's overall average of 214.912 in 2005 is good for No. 7 in the nation (No. 2 MPSF Conference). The Bears are No. 4 in the nation on the still rings (37.500), No. 5 on pommel horse (35.750) and No. 7 in floor exercise (36.275), parallel bars (34.987) and high bar (35.200).

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, 199-50-1) 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.