1996 Season Review

High Individuals Marks, But Bad Timing Hurts Bears In Late Season

Cal capped off a successful 16-6 dual meet record with its third-consecutive trip to NCAA Regionals, where the Bears finished seventh with a score of 191.25.

Cal set a total of eight school records during the course of the year, including marks of 49.025 on vault and 48.875 on beam. On floor the Bears set an all-time mark of 48.875 at UCLA before breaking it later in the season with a 48.900. In all-round competition, Cal twice set new standards before breaking the school record for a third time against Stanford with a score of 194.10.

"Our results as a team last year were confusing," said head coach Alfie Mitchell. "We finished the season with a strong overall record and set some marks that were the best in the history of gymnastics at Cal, but we were the victim of bad timing. Unfortunately, we had a bad meet at NCAA Regionals at the time when we could least afford a setback."

Cal individuals reached new heights in 1996. Candice Kwok and Emily Bails each equaled the Cal record of 9.90 on beam while Mindy Ornellas scored a 9.925 on floor, improving the all-time mark of 9.875 she set in 1994. Interesting to note, this mark, now the second-highest score in school history, was equaled by two freshmen, Angela Mapa and Emily Bails, which bodes well for the future.

On vault senior Lisa Washington had another strong year, twice scoring 9.925, falling just short of her Cal record (9.95). Another senior, Heather Schneider, buoyed the Bears by posting the third-best scores in Cal history on vault, bars and in the all-around.

"We knew we had the talent to succeed last season," said Mitchell. "We have always had the pieces; it was just a matter of things falling into place. While it was disappointing not to meet our goal of going to nationals, we beat a lot of teams many people didn't think we would beat-- namely Washington and Stanford. Overall, I'd say we had a good season. There was a lot to be proud of."