Bears Travel to Pac-10 Championships
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  06/21/1999

March 16, 1999

California will be out to snap a string of five-straight seventh place finishes when the Golden Bears travel to Corvallis, Ore., to compete in the 1998 Pacific-10 Conference Women's Gymnastics Championships Saturday, March 20. The championships, which are being hosted by Oregon State, begin at 2:00 p.m. and feature the seven Pac-10 schools which sponsor women's gymnastics: California, Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA and Washington.

The 1999 Pac-10 women's gymnastics championship will be telecast on a tape-delay basis by Fox Sports Net on Wednesday, March 24 at 1:00 p.m.

Last year at UCLA, Cal scored a combined 189.200 points to finish seventh. Stanford captured its first team title with a final score of 195.275, with Oregon State (194.950) and Arizona State (194.900), rounding out the Top 3. UCLA's Stella Umeh took home the event titles on balance beam (9.925) and floor exercise (9.950) en route to the individual all-around championship (39.600). UCLA's Lena Degteva took the top spot on vault (9.925), while Oregon State's Deanne Droegemueller finished first on uneven bars (9.975). Cal's Leila Khoury finished seventh in the all-around (38.650) for the Bears only Top 10 finish of the day.

California has never won a Pac-10 team title and captured its only conference championship in 1985, when the Bears scored 183.90 points to win the then six-team NorPac. Since the start of Pac-10 competition in 1987, Cal has finished in seventh in nine of 12 championships, with a best-ever fifth place finish in 1990.

The Bears are still looking for their first victory over a conference opponent this season and enter the Pac-10 Championships 0-7 versus the field. Cal had its best chance at tasting victory at home versus Washington on Feb. 19, when the Bears posted their team season-best score and actually led after the first two rotations. However, the Huskies finished strong and had just enough to outdistance the Bears, 193.600-192.475. In fact you have to go all the way back to March 29, 1996 when Cal defeated Stanford, 194.100-193.050, to find the Bears last victory over a Pac-10 foe.

Cal's bid to engineer its first sweep since the season opener came up just short a the Hard Rock Invitational in Sacramento last week, as the Bears (190.225) garnered victories over both UC Davis (188.075) and Air Force (187.150) but were edged by Sacramento State (190.575). Individually, Cal had one of its best meets of the season, sweeping the Top 3 spots in the all-around as well as capturing all four event titles. Leila Khoury won her third all-around title (38.675) of the season and finished first on vault (9.775) and floor exercise (9.875) to lead the way. Helene Kenny took the top spot on uneven parallel bars with a career-best tying 9.875 and Emily Bails finished first on balance beam (9.650). Dawn Suksanong also had a strong meet Cal, posting career-bests scores of 9.700 on floor and 9.150 on vault.

Though it is difficult to discern from Cal's overall 1999 record, the Bears are actually having a better season that they did during last year's 8-9 campaign. Cal's average team score of 188.998 is up .376 on average from last season when the Bears averaged 188.622. Through nine regular season meets. Cal has also topped the 190-point plateau in 5-of-10 times, with a team-high 192.475 points on Feb. 19 versus Washington. Last season, Cal score 190 points or better on only three occasions and had a season-best score of 190.675.

Cal's combined team score of 192.475 versus Washington is the fourth-best total ever posted by the Golden Bears. Additionally, the Bears registered the school's third-best bars score (48.650) against the Huskies and its fourth best floor score (48.725) at Sacramento State. Individually, Cal gymnasts have posted three scores that rank among the school's Top 5. On bars, Helene Kenny moved into the No. 3 position all-time at Cal with her 9.875 at ASU Feb. 26. On beam, current record-holder Emily Bails put up Cal's second-best-ever score with a 9.875 versus Arizona Feb. 6. And just last week on floor, Leila Khoury posted a career-best 9.875, tying the record for the second-best score at Cal on that event.

Excluding freshmen, every gymnast to compete for Cal during the 1999 season has posted at least one new career-high score, including Paula Chang and Helene Kenny who set new personal bests on all four events and in all-around. Emily Bails set a new career high on vault (9.475), while Leila Khoury posted new bests on vault (9.800), bars (9.800) and floor (9.875). Pari Olver also notched career best on vault (9.600), bars (9.800) and beam (9.725).

A huge factor in Cal's 6-14 overall record have been injuries and the team's resulting loss of depth. While every team experiences some injuries during the course of a season, the Bears have been so decimated that for the majority of the season, they have had just seven healthy gymnasts competing. In all, Cal has lost four potential starters in Jennifer Bialosky, co-captains Elizabeth Berlin and Angela Mapa, and Jennie Kang to injury. Bialosky suffered a career-ending back injury during summer training and helped coach the Bears this season. Berlin and Mapa sustained a season-ending knee injury in November and January, respectively, and did not compete. Kang, who went down shortly after Berlin, also with a knee injury, has the best shot of making it back in '99, but has yet to test the knee in competition. Cal's numbers were also cut short by the loss of Elizabeth Alden and Lindsay Garrett, who each left the team prior to the season for personal reasons.

Cal's top gymnast for the third-consecutive year continues to be junior Leila Khoury. Khoury competed all-around in eight of Cal's ten meets this year (only competed three events at ASU and sat out at Nebraska with groin injury), winning three all-around titles (1/15, 2/12, and 3/12). She also holds Cal's season-best scores on both vault (9.800), floor (9.875) and all-around (38.750) as well as the Bears highest average score on those events.

Cal's freshman class of Lindsay Baker, Kristine Kaibara and Dawn Suksanong has paid big dividends for the Bears. Baker, who has competed all-around in every competition this season, ranks second on the team in AA average, second on vault and fourth on floor. Kaibara has competed on both bars and beam in every meet, while Suksanong, who missed the Bears first five meets with a stress fracture in her left wrist, has come on strong of late and has evolved into a three-event contributor (vault, beam, floor).

Senior Emily Bails has been one of Cal's most consistent gymnasts this season. Bails, who has been a steady three-event performer in 1999, has scored 9.600 or better on beam in 9-of-10 meets and 9.700 or better on floor in eight times. Her average beam score of 9.598 is tops on the Bears, while her average floor total of 9.713 ranks second.

With Cal's lack of depth, four gymnasts have been forced to compete all-around for the majority of the season. Freshman Lindsay Baker leads the way with 10 all-around performances, followed by Leila Khoury and Helene Kenny (8) and Paula Chang (5).

Head coach Trina Tinti is in her second season with the Golden Bears and enters the 1999 Pac-10 Championships with a 14-23 record. Prior to coming to Cal, Tinti was the assistant women's gymnastics coach at the University of Minnesota for five years. Joining the Cal staff for his first season with the Bears is Peter Doyle, who for the previous five seasons was an assistant at George Washington University. After suffering a career-ending injury during the off season, former Cal gymnast Jennifer Bialosky joins Tinti's staff as a student assistant coach for 1999.


6-14 Overall, 0-7 Pac-10

Date        Opponent              Time/Result
Jan. 15     UCSB                  W 188.35-161.425
            UC Davis              W 188.35-182.375
Jan. 22     STANFORD              L 188.35-193.775
Jan. 29     at Utah St.           L 180.425-192.95
Feb.  6     Arizona               L 190.200-192.05
Feb. 12     at Oregon St.         L 190.025-193.60
Feb. 19     WASH.                 L 192.475-193.600
            SJSU                  W 192.475-189.075
Feb. 26     at Ariz. St.          L 189.550-195.875
            vs. Denver            L 189.550-193.475
            vs. Ill. St.          W 189.550-187.825 
Feb. 28     at Nebraska           L 188.850-195.725
            vs. Ariz. St.         L 188.850-195.250
            vs. Maryland          L 188.850-195.20
Mar.  7     at UCLA               L 191.525-196.50
            vs. Mich. St.         L 191.525-193.05
            vs. Kentucky          L 191.525-191.95
Mar. 12     at Sac. St.           L 190.225-190.575
            vs. Air Force         W 190.225-187.15
            vs. UCDavis           W 190.225-188.075
            Pac-10 Championships
Mar. 20     at Oregon St.           2:00 p.m.
Mar. 26     at Stanford             7:30 p.m.
            NCAA Western Regionals
Apr. 10     at Oregon St.           7:00 p.m.
            NCAA Championships
Apr. 22-24  at Utah                 TBA
Home Meets in CAPS
All times local and subject to change.

A wealth of information regarding Golden Bear athletics is available via the internet. All Cal team releases, results, statistics, schedules as well as coach and player information can be found at Stats and results are updated after each contest or as soon as they become available.


     TEAM                RQ AVERAGE
  1. Oregon State        194.4500
  2. UCLA                194.2875
  3. Stanford            194.1500
  4. Washington          193.3437
  5. Boise State         193.1875
  6. California          190.3250
  7. San Jose State      189.1187
  8. Sacramento State    188.7000
  9. UC Davis            188.4812
 10. Cal State-Fullerton 187.9875
 11. Seattle Pacific     187.7187
 12. UC Santa Barbara    185.2187
 13. Alaska              184.4375


1. Leila Khoury      38.750  2/6
2. Leila Khoury      38.675  3/12
3. Leila Khoury      38.625  2/12
4. Leila Khoury      38.550  2/19
5. Lindsay Baker     38.475  2/19
1. Leila Khoury       9.800  2/19
1. Lindsay Baker      9.800  2/19
3. Leila Khoury (2X)  9.775  3/12, 2/6
4. Lindsay Baker      9.750  2/26
5. Lindsay Baker      9.725  2/6
5. Leila Khoury       9.725  1/15
1. Helene Kenny (2X)  9.875  3/12, 2/26
2. Helene Kenny       9.850  2/19
3. Helene Kenny       9.800  3/7
3. Pari Olver         9.800  2/26
3. Leila Khoury       9.800  2/19
1. Emily Bails        9.875  2/6
2. Emily Bails (2X)   9.775  3/7, 1/15
3. Pari Olver         9.725  2/28
3. Emily Bails        9.725  2/12
5. Pari Olver         9.700  3/7
5. Kristine Kaibara   9.700  1/29
5. Emily Bails        9.700  2/29
1. Liela Khoury (2X)  9.875  3/12, 3/7
2. Liela Khoury (2X)  9.800  2/19, 1/29
3. Helene Kenny       9.775  3/12
3. Emily Bails (2X)   9.775  2/28, 2/6
3. Lindsay Baker      9.775  2/28
3. Liela Khoury (2X)  9.775  2/12, 2/6
Team Score  2/19  Washington    192.475
Vault       2/6   Arizona        48.025
Bars        2/19  Washington     48.650
Beam        1/29  at Utah State  48.075
Floor       3/12  at Sac. State  48.725