BERKELEY -- The Golden Bears (3-2, 0-1 Pac-12) are back in Berkeley for the first time this season to host No. 4 Utah (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12) in Cal’s home opener, set for 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17 at Haas Pavilion. The Utes lead the Bears 11-0 in all-time meetings between the teams.
Follow the action online with live stats available on CalBears.com, as well as score updates and in-meet tweets on the @CalWGym Twitter.
Cal is coming off its second loss of the season after falling short of upsetting then-No. 18 Denver in Pioneer territory on Saturday. The Blue and Gold posted a 193.225 while Denver posted a 195.200 to open its season with a win. Despite the loss, Cal claimed four top three finishes as Alicia Asturias was crowned bars and all-around champion, also claiming third on vault, and Charlie Owens claimed second in the all-around.
The Utes are 3-0 after a winning 196.650 performance against Boise State, BYU and Southern Utah, despite losing Kassandra Lopez to a season-ending injury during warmups. Utah swept four of the five event titles, finishing in second only on the beam.
• Utah leads Cal 11-0 in all-time meetings between the teams. The Utes and Golden Bears last met on Feb. 9 last season in Salt Lake City, with the Utes claiming a 197.050-192.750 victory.
• Utah is the third of eight preseason-ranked teams Cal faces in 2014. Cal lost to both No. 9 Stanford and No. 18 Denver in its two previous weekends.
• Cal has claimed six event titles in 2014 through two meets. Last season, the Bears claimed 15 total.
Cal heads to Tempe, Ariz. to face its third Pac-12 opponent of the season in Arizona State at 4 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 24 at the Wells Fargo Arena.
ASTURIAS, OWENS CLAIM 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.
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.
ALL-ACCESS PASS Join Cal Women’s Gymnastics in the social media realm for behind-the-scenes access to the Bears. Follow Cal on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for meet scores, practice updates, exclusive photos, videos and more. Find Cal at: • Twitter: @CalWGym • Facebook: Facebook.com/CalWomensGymnastics • Instagram: @CalWGym