March 25, 2005
March 26, Pac-10 Conference Championships Berkeley, CA (Haas Pavilion), 3:00 p.m.
WHAT'S ON TAP: For the first time since 1990, the California women's gymnastics program will host the Pac-10 Conference Championships. Some of the nation's top collegiate and individual gymnasts will converge at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley beginning at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 26.
THE PAC-10 FIELD: Perhaps the most power-packed conference in the nation, the Pac-10 has five of its seven member schools ranked in this week's Top 25. Two-time defending national team champion UCLA, with its 196.930 regional qualifying score, leads the pack at No. 3, followed by No. 12 Oregon State (195.575), No. 19 Arizona (195.070), No. 23 Washington (194.875) and No. 25 Arizona State (194.850). With a 194.660 RQS, Stanford is T-29th while Cal has an RQS of 191.550.
CAL AT THE 2004 PAC-10s (TUCSON, Ariz.): Senior My-Lan Dodd became Cal's first and only conference balance beam champion as her 9.950 tied four other competitors for first. Cal finished seventh at the meet, but the Bears' 195.625 score was one of their highest marks of the season.
CAL, HISTORICALLY, AT THE PAC-10s: While the Bears have never finished higher than fifth (1990, 2000) at the Pac-10 Championships, they have enjoyed some individual success. Cindy Tom (1990-94) became Cal's first Pac-10 individual champion in 1992, posting a 9.900 on bars. Three years later, Lisa Washington (1993-96) scored a 9.950 on floor to win that event title. The last Cal champion prior to Dodd was Mindy Ornellas (1994-97), who snared the 1997 floor exercise title with a 9.900.
CAL'S SEASON IN BRIEF: Over the course of the year, injuries have eroded away the Bears' lineup to the point where Cal is expected to have just six healthy competitors at Saturday's Pac-10 Championships. Even before the season began, the Bears weren't at full strength. Senior Miho Maeda, who had been Cal's top scorer through the first four meets, suffered a career-ending injury following Cal's loss to Arizona Feb. 4. A week later, junior Britani Pittullo and sophomore Keiko Nakamura were sidelined for the remainder of the season. Most recently, Dodd, who was showing a form in the second half of the season that made her one of the most accomplished gymnasts in Cal history, suffered a career-ending injury March 19 at San Jose State. The emergence, however, of a trio of talented freshman, has helped buoy the Bears' scores. Siobhan Luce has been Cal's highest-scoring newcomer, setting three personal bests in Cal's March 4 meet at Utah. Nicki Wells, the 2003 New Zealand all-around national champion, posted a 38.600 all-around mark March 7 that included career highs on vault, bars and floor. In her first collegiate meet Jan. 14, Alli Szutu posted career-best scores on bars and beam and an all-around score of 38.700 - the top mark by a first-year Bear.