Nov. 17, 2008
BERKELEY - The California women's gymnastics team has signed six recruits for next season, as announced by head coach Cari DuBois. The signees will join the Golden Bears in the fall of 2009. Five of the six signees are from California, while the other comes to Berkeley from Illinois.
DuBois' six newcomers are Nicolette Lew (Chino Hills, Calif.), Stina Olivere (Naperville, Ill.), Arla Rosenzweig (Los Altos, Calif.), Chelsea Spomer (Forestville, Calif.), Madisyn O'Brien (Sebastopol, Calif.) and Mariesah Pierce (Aptos, Calif.).
"We have had our eye on these ladies for quite some time," DuBois said. "All six of these ladies are strong all-arounders. Not only are they talented, but they are also brillant and have great personalities. Their energy and their passion for the sport are contagious. This is definitely my largest scholarship recruiting class ever and we are looking forward to having a couple more walk-ons to help build this program.
Lew was a Level 10 national and regional qualifier in 2008 and 2007. As a national qualifier, she took sixth on vault in 2008 and placed 19th in the all-around in 2007. As a regional qualifier she finished fourth in the all-around in 2007, including second on vault and floor and third on beam. Lew was also a two-time state champion on bars and in the all-around and also won the championship on bars in 2008 and floor in 2007.
"I really liked the character of the campus, its academic reputation, the coaches and the members of the team," Lew said. "Cal will have a young team with six of us entering in 2009. I want to be a part of building Cal's team and see where we are by my senior year."
Olivere was a four-time Level 10 state/regional qualifier and a three-time Level 9 state/regional qualifier, including a championship on bars at nationals.
Rosenzweig won the state championship on floor last year and was a regional qualifier. In 2006, she was the all-around state champion and the regional bars champion.
"I chose Cal because it was a great fit for me for both academically and for gymnastics," Rosenzweig said. "I loved the campus and the team and it really was just everything I was looking for in a school."
Spomer was a three-time level 10 regional qualifier and a 2008 first alternate for nationals. She placed third in the all around at the state championships in 2008. Spomer was also the Level 8 regional vault champion.
O'Brien was a 2008 Level 10 national qualifier and a three-time Level 10 regional qualifier, including taking fourth in the all-around and second on bars in 2008.
"Cal has always been my number one choice for college and gymnastics and I'm very excited and proud to be a Golden Bear," O'Brien said. "The team and coaches are enthusiastic and driven by success, and I've felt comfortable and welcome since the first time I met the team. The University is extremely diverse and academically acclaimed. The unique aspects of Berkeley remind me of my hometown, only 10 times bigger."
Pierce took third on floor at national last year, and competed at nationals throughout her high school career. She also took second in the all-around at regionals in 2007 and 2008.
Spomer and O'Brien both compete for Rohnert Park Gymnastics, while Pierce and Rosenzweig were members of Airborne Gymnastics. Senior Jessica Kelley and sophomores Avery Gee and Stefanie Cheng also came from Airborne.
The 2009 campaign kicks off for the Bears on Sunday, Jan. 11, when Cal hosts UC Davis and Sacramento State at 2 p.m. at Haas Pavilion.