BERKELEY – No. 6 California takes to the road for the second straight week this weekend, traveling to No. 4 Stanford to battle the Cardinal and No. 2 Michigan Wolverines at the Stanford Open on Saturday at Burnham Pavilion at 7 p.m. PT. The Golden Bears have dropped two consecutive meets to rival Stanford to open the season, but improved on their total score last weekend. The two meet again this weekend in Palo Alto, in addition to a matchup against last year’s national champions, Michigan.
Poll Position 2014 GymInfo Poll 1. Oklahoma 9. Nebraska 2. Michigan 10. Iowa 3. Ohio State 11. Air Force 4. Stanford 12. William & Mary 5. Penn State 13. Army 6. California 14. Arizona State (club) 7. Minnesota 15. Navy 8. Illinois * Rankings by Total Event Average Log On Fans are encouraged to follow along live on Twitter @CalMensGym, or look for updates and photos on Facebook at Facebook.com/CalMGym, and log on to CalBears.com for a full meet recap. Next Up The Bears will be off next week, and then return home to host No. 14 Arizona State on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 2:00 p.m. PT at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley.
2014 Team Captains Redshirt senior Donothan Bailey and junior Jonathan Liu have been selected as California’s captains for the 2014 season.
Bay Area Rivalry The California Golden Bears and Stanford Cardinal meet up for the third time this season in one of the most storied rivalries in collegiate men’s gymnastics. Despite falling narrowly in Berkeley two weeks ago and again last week in Palo Alto last week and posting an 0-7 record against Stanford in 2013, the Bears hold a 127-83-2 record all-time in the series. Both teams are currently ranked among the country’s best, with Stanford coming in at number four nationally, and Cal ranking sixth in the 2014 GymInfo Poll.
Familiar Faces Cal Associate Head Coach Brett McClure is in his first season in charge of the Golden Bears’ program in 2014, but definitely will see some familiar faces in red this weekend. McClure was an assistant coach for the past three seasons under current Stanford Head Coach Thom Glielmi. Many of the student-athletes on the Stanford side were coached by McClure, so he definitely knows what to expect this weekend from the visitors. In addition, Stanford assistant Karl Ziehn is a former Cal gymnast, having competed for the Blue and Gold from 1999-2003
MPSF Strength Though last season’s national champion hailed from the Big Ten (one of this weekend’s opponent Michigan), the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation boasts four of the top teams in the country, and are poised to produce national contenders again this season. Oklahoma finished as runners up last year, and come in ranked first in the GymInfo poll, while, Stanford is right behind them at second. Cal ranks fifth and Air Force is tenth. The Golden Bears finished third in the MPSF in 2013, and are looking for their first conference championship since 2004.
Youth Movement The 2014 edition of the California Golden Bears has one common theme throughout the composition of the roster, youth. Outside of captain Donothan Bailey (redshirt senior), Jeffrey Langenstein (redshirt senior), Christian Monteclaro (redshirt senior) and captain Jonathan Liu (junior), the Bears’ roster is made up of 14 sophomores and freshman (ten sophomores and four freshman). This young and dynamic group is poised to return to the NCAA Championships after missing the team finals for just the first time since the 1999 campaign. Three freshman made their Cal debuts this past week, as Nico del Junco scored a 12.950 on floor exercise, Michael Diliberto posted a 12.850 on still rings and Adam Young scored a 13.200 on high bar.
Dynamic Donothan Redshirt senior and team co-captain Donothan Bailey hot start to 2014 as an all-arounder, and posted the second highest total score two weeks in a row against Stanford (87.800 on 1/11 and 87.350 on 1/18), behind two-time Division I CGA Gymnast of the Week Akash Modi (Stanford). Last week, Bailey put up a 15.200 on the still rings, a 14.800 on parallel bars and a 14.950 on high bar.
Career Highs Sophomore Ryan Patterson set two career-best marks on Saturday against Stanford with a 15.250 on floor exercise and a 14.850 vault.