April 19, 2013
STATE COLLEGE, Penn. -
In a heartbreaking decision at the NCAA Championships, the California men's gymnastics team placed fourth in session II of the NCAA Championships Qualifier with a 426.450, failing to advance to Saturday's team final at Penn State in State College, Penn. Though the Golden Bears will not advance as a team, six gymnasts qualified for individual event qualifiers on Saturday.
The top three teams in session I and session II earned spots in the team competition. Cal finished the meet tied with Iowa, but after an inquiry by the Hawkeyes, Iowa secured the third and final spot in the team finals when its score was recalculated to 426.550. Also advancing from session II are Penn State (436.900) and Stanford (435.850). Ohio State (421.950) and Temple (407.800) finished behind Cal. Session I's qualifiers include Michigan (443.850), Oklahoma (433.850) and Illinois (426.900).
This is the first time since 1999 that Cal failed to advance as a team to the team final.
The Bears posted scores of 71.250 or better in four of the six events, but the young squad could not overcome a 68.800 in pommel and 69.150 on the h bar to give the team a final edge. Still, at least one Golden Bear advanced to the individual qualifier in each event.
The night's big winner was senior Steven Lacombe, who qualified for the floor (sixth with 14.900), rings (first with 15.500) and vault (sixth with 14.800) championship events. Junior Jeffrey Langenstein also qualified for the floor event with a 15.150 performance that tied for third in the session.
Freshman Takahiro Kawada, a rock in the pommel event for most of the season, posted a 14.950 to claim second place. On the parallel bars, freshman Kyle Zemeir tied for fifth with a 14.700 while fellow freshman Jonathan Liu also advanced with a ninth-place 14.550 score. TJ Bzoskie rounded out the qualifying freshmen with a 14.400 performance on the h bars for an eighth-place finish.
The individual qualifiers return to competition Saturday for a chance to compete in Sunday's individual event finals.