No. 7 California Competes at Winter Cup
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  02/01/2005

Feb. 1, 2005

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WHAT'S ON TAP: The No. 7 California men's gymnastics team (2-1) travels to Las Vegas Friday and Saturday, Feb. 4-5, to compete in the 2005 Winter Cup. Seniors Jay Yee and Graham Ackerman, as well as freshman Tim McNeill, will compete for the Golden Bears.

LOOKING BACK AT LAST WEEK'S ACTION: The Bears rebounded from their season opening loss to Stanford to finish first at the Cardinal Open. Cal topped the collegiate field with a score of 215.625, while No. 5 Stanford finished second with a total of 213.525. The Cardinal Open All-Star team finished in third place with 204.025, besting No. 15 Air Force (185.6) and Washington (179.475). Co-captain Ackerman, the 2004 National Champion in floor exercise, finished first in the event at the Open, scoring a 9.600. Senior Jay Yee, an NCAA finalist on rings last season, took the title with a career-best 9.750. Cal's freshman class continued to impress, with standout Tim McNeill capturing both the pommel horse title (9.45) and high bar crown (9.15). The Bears swept the top three positions on high bar to secure the victory. Behind McNeill was Ackerman (9.1) and sophomore Jason Pierce (9.1).

A LOOK AT THE WINTER CUP: Las Vegas' Winter Cup highlights the nation's premier gymnastic talents. Six gymnasts will be named to the 2005 U.S. National Team based on performances in Friday's all-around and Saturday's event finals sessions, and will become eligible to represent the United States in international competitions.

FRESHMAN SENSATION: Freshman Tim McNeill, touted as one of the best gymnastic prospects to come through Berkeley, has made an immediate impact on 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, hosted by Cal in Berkeley's Haas Pavilion, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m.

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.