Feb. 14, 2003
BERKELEY - The University of California men's gymnastics team (1-1) recovered from their first loss to Stanford in several years, dropping the visiting Cardinal (1-1), 218.175-210.850, Friday night at Haas Pavilion.
"Some seniors hadn't been on a team that had lost to Stanford," said head coach Barry Weiner. "(The Cardinal) got ready early, and caught us by surprise. Our team has worked hard and shown great improvement over the last three weeks to get ready for this match."
Visiting club team Arizona State (1-0 club, 0-4 NCAA) also competed, notching a 189.700 score.
The Bears were buoyed by great performances from All-Around workhorses Cody Moore and David Eaton, who scored 54.875 and 54.100 respectively. Moore, the national parallel bar champion, established a new personal best on the same event, turning in a world-class 9.850 Friday night. The near-perfect score is also a team best on the parallel bar since rules changed the scoring prior to the 2001 season.
Sophomore Graham Ackerman also turned out a strong performance for the Bears, leading all contenders on the floor with a 9.550, and establishing a new personal best (9.475) on the horizontal bar.
While Weiner and the Bears are certainly happy with the win, the team hopes that the 218.175, the Bear best since 2001, will vault them into to their first NCAA title since 1998.
"Our goal is to be one of six teams competing on the last day, and compete for the national championship, " said Weiner.
Upperclassmen led the way for the Cardinal, with Dan Gill and Matt McLean turning in strong performances, finishing third and fourth in the all-around, respectively, with scores of 53.950 and 50.075. Cade Raggio led the competition with a 9.650 on the pommel horse, while Marshall Erwin scored the same on the rings.
Arizona State had three all-arounders contribute, with junior Paris Gianola-Bland notching a 49.300 score. Seniors Brian Rowe and Sam Shaw had good showings as well, each scoring a 47.575 in the all-around.
California's recent absence from the national rankings is due to a technicality. Starting this week, the ranking is averaged by the two highest scores, allowing only one home meet score. Since the Bears have competed in only one meet, they are not applicable to the rankings. Cal was ranked fifth in the preseason poll, followed by a sixth rating once the season started, then after taking a week off, the Bears fell to No. 8.
Next up for the Bears will be Air Force, who will invade Berkeley on Sunday, February 23.
FRIDAY NIGHT'S TOP PERFORMERS