WALNUT CREEK, Calif. – A California freshman gymnast is the Pac-12’s Freshman of the Week for the third time this season, as Jessica Howe was voted this week’s honoree, the conference announced Tuesday. With the award, Cal now leads the conference along with UCLA in Freshman of the Week honors with three apiece.
UCLA's Sydney Sawa is the Gymnast of the Week and Oregon State's Madeline Gardner is the Specialist of the Week.
Howe tallied career-high scores on three of the four events and the all-around in Cal’s dominating win over Sacramento State and San Jose State in Sacramento, Calif. on Friday. The freshman beat out seven other all-arounders, including freshman teammate Charlie Owens and veteran all-arounder Alicia Asturias, to claim the crown with an impressive 39.325. She was helped by two runner-up finishes on vault (9.875) and bars (9.85), both of which were new career-highs. Howe finished in the top 10 in every event, finishing seventh on beam with a 9.75 and fourth on floor with a career-best 9.85.
The Bears finished their triangular meet in Sacramento by sweeping every event with the program’s highest road score in history (196.725) and second-highest score in team history.
This is Howe’s first Freshman of the Week honor and the third all-time for the Cal program. Teammate Owens earned Cal’s first-ever honor on Jan. 7 and repeated on Jan. 28.
Cal is home at Haas this weekend for a “Pretty in Pink” meet featuring Washington and Sacramento State on Saturday at 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness, and meet promotions include a pink ribbon station, pink nail polish station, poster-making and Pac-12 Championships tickets giveaway.
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