Meet Notes: Cal vs. UCLA
Date: Friday, Jan. 31
Time: 6 p.m. PT
Location: Berkeley, Calif.
Venue: Haas Pavilion
Live Stats: CalBears.com
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Series History: UCLA leads 72-3
Promotions: Poster-making station; First 200 fans receive Cal sunglasses
BERKELEY -- The No. 22 Golden Bears (3-4, 0-3 Pac-12) will once again host a key Pac-12 meet in Berkeley as the No. 9 Bruins (1-2, 1-1 Pac-12) come to town Friday. Meet time is set for 6 p.m. PT in Haas Pavilion, and the meet will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks. The first 200 fans will receive free Cal sunglasses, and there will also be a poster-making station so fans can cheer on their Bears live on television.
Live stats will be available at CalBears.com, as well as score updates and commentary on both the @CalWGym Twitter and Cal Women’s Gymnastics Facebook.
Last Friday, Cal claimed four titles in a 196.0-195.350 loss to Arizona State, posting its highest score on the road since 2007. The Bears posted team totals of 49.0 or higher in three of the four events and led the Sun Devils through three rotations before dropping beam with a 48.225. Charlie Owens claimed the all-around with a career-high 39.175, while Serena Leong, Alicia Asturias and Jessica Howe also claimed event titles.
In its most recent performance, then-No. 8 UCLA posted a 195.875 against No. 4 Utah’s 197.125 in Salt Lake City, breaking an eight-meet winning streak over the Utes. The Bruins rank in the nation’s top 10 for three of the four events - vault (No. 7), bars (10) and floor (3), and rank No. 15 on beam.
• UCLA leads Cal 72-3 in all-time meetings between the two programs, and 59-1 in the regular season. Aside from the Pac-12 Championships, the teams last met in a quad meet hosted by UCLA in 2013, where the Bruins claimed a 197.075-194.925 victory.
• UCLA is the fifth of eight preseason-ranked teams Cal faces in 2014. Against other ranked teams, Cal lost to No. 9 Stanford, No. 18 Denver, No. 4 Utah and No. 23 ASU.
• Against ASU last Friday, Cal posted its highest road score since 2007 with a 195.350. In 2007, the Bears posted a 196.500 in a quad meet at UC Davis.
• Cal owns 11 event titles to date. In 2013, the Bears finished with 15 for the season.
The Bears face one more opponent before a two-week break as they head to Corvallis, Ore. to face Oregon State. Cal’s meet vs. the Beavers is set for 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8.
NO SOPHOMORE SLUMP
The 2013 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Serena Leong has yet to show any signs of a sophomore slump, claiming event titles at both the NorCal Meet season opener and at Arizona State. The consistency has also continued from other upperclassmen including leading all-arounder Alicia Asturias and specialists Dallas Crawford and Maddie Kratzke.
The Cal squad has benefited immensely from from the addition of eight newcomers to the Golden Bear roster as freshmen have filled holes in the lineup for every single event. Charlie Owens leads the rookies as the only freshman all-arounder, but is joined by specialists Jessica Howe, Emily Richardson and Desiree Palomares as freshmen who have entered the competitive lineup.
SHE’S GOT THE KNOW-HOWE
Freshman Jessica Howe has claimed two consecutive balance beam titles in the past two weeks, first with a career-high 9.875 against Utah on Jan. 17 and again at Arizona State last Friday.
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ASTURIAS, OWENS CLAIM PAC-12 WEEKLY HONORS
A pair of Golden Bears earned weekly Pac-12 honors for the week of Jan. 7 - the program’s first weekly honors since 2003. Alicia Asturias nabbed the Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week award after claiming three event titles at the NorCal Meet. She becomes the first Cal gymnast since My-Lan Dodd in 2003 to earn a weekly honor. Newcomer Charlie Owens is the program’s first-ever Freshman of the Week since the introduction of the award last season.
POWER IN THE PAC-12
The Bears are scheduled to face eight teams ranked in GymInfo’s preaseason top 25 during the 2014 regular season, including three top 10 opponents in UCLA (No. 4), Utah (6) and Stanford (9). Three other Pac-12 schools made the cut – Oregon State (12), Washington (20) and Arizona State (25). Cal’s non-conference matchups include jaunts against No. 18 Denver and No. 21 Kentucky.
BEARS PICKED TO FINISH SEVENTH
Pac-12 coaches projected the Golden Bears to finish seventh in the conference in this year’s preseason coaches poll. Cal finished seventh last year ahead of Arizona State and has never finished higher than fifth (2008, 2000).
PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIPS RETURN TO BERKELEY
The Pac-12 Gymnastics Championships will return to Berkeley for the first time since 2005 as the Bears are set to host all eight Pac-12 schools on Saturday, March 22 in Haas Pavilion.
THREE MEETS TELEVISED IN 2014
Three meets featuring the Cal women’s gymnastics team will air on the Pac-12 Networks this season. Those meets are:
• Friday, Jan. 31 vs. UCLA (Pac-12 Bay Area & LA)
• Monday, March 3 at Stanford
• Saturday, March 22 Pac-12 Championships
GET YOUR GOLDEN TICKET
All regular-season Cal women’s gymnastics home meets will be ticketed this season. Tickets for all home meets will be available for purchase at the ticket office on Spieker Plaza the day of the meet, beginning approximately 1.5 hours before the start of each meet and through the end of the second rotation. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth (12th grade and under) and seniors (age 65 and above). Membership for the popular Cub Club season-pass program, which allows youth special perks such as an exclusive seating area and a member t-shirt, is also available for purchase for $30 (cash or check only) for the season.
This season, Cal has three veterans to look to for leadership. Seniors Alicia Asturias and Dallas Crawford and junior Maddie Kratzke have been named captains for 2014. Along with the captains, five more letterwinners return - Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Serena Leong, Kristi Heymann, Jordan Widener, Crystal Paz and Leilani Alferos. All eight of Cal’s returning members combined for a total of 35 top 3 finishes in 2013.
EIGHT NEWCOMERS ADD DEPTH
Newcomers comprise exactly half of Cal’s 16-Bear roster this season as head coach Justin Howell added eight freshmen who are expected to make an immediate impact in the lineup. Cal’’s eight new faces include: international elite gymnast Jessica Howe, 2013 state vault champion and regional beam, floor and all-around champion Charlie Owens, Amber Takara, 2011 Junior Olympic National Team member Isabelle Castillo, 2013 Region 3 beam champion Dana Ho, Zoe Draghi, 2013 Region 1 all-around and beam champion Desiree Palomares and WOGA standout Emily Richardson.
TWO FOR 2015
The Bears will get another major boost of talent next year, as Toni-Ann Williams and Alicia Gallarzo commited to Cal in the early signing period to join Cal starting in 2014-15. An international elite gymnast, Williams (Randallstown, Md./United Gymnastix) is a two-time World Championships competitor and Jamaica National Team member, while Gallarzo (Burbank, Calif./Wallers’ GymJam) was California’s 2012 Level 10 uneven bars champion and finished ninth on beam at the 2013 Junior Olympic Nationals.