BERKELEY – Though they didn’t come away with medals or placement on the 2013 World Championships team, senior Donothan Bailey and Cal grad assistant Steven Lacombe return to Berkeley with valuable experience from the P&G Championships. Bailey and Lacombe were among the nation’s elite men’s and women’s gymnasts competing in Hartford, Conn. for the Aug. 15-18 event.
“We were extremely honored to help provide the opportunity for Don and Steve to pursue their personal dreams of making the national team, and although we fell short this time, we have come away with valuable lessons moving forward,” associate head coach Brett McClure said.
A pair of fifth place finishes highlighted Cal’s competition at the championships. Bailey finished tied for fifth in the pommel horse event with a two-day total of 28.400, while Lacombe also claimed fifth on the rings with a 30.050 total.
Bailey finished with a two-day total of 163.200, and Lacombe earned an 83.550 total after sitting out the pommel and both bars events.
The competition got off to a fast start on day one as the Golden Bears debuted on the rings. Lacombe produced a strong routine with an impressive stuck tuck double double finish to add .1 points back to his start value. The routine was not met without drama, however, as the judges failed to account for the .1 addition – to which McClure completed his first successful inquiry at the event. Aside from a few hiccups in the routines, the Bears were able to get back into rhythm to put up solid scores in their events.
The pair returned for day two with some fatigue but overall made noticeable improvements with several adjustments to their routines. Despite the soreness, Bailey improved his floor score from 13.05 in the first day of competition to 13.30, along with a 1.65 improvement on the rings from 13.5 to 13.65.
“It was great for the guys to see that even if you had the highest start value, the final score was based off the importance of a solid routine,” McClure said. “The quality of gymnastics was outstanding and with steep competition we were able to learn a lot to bring back and share with the team.”