Date: Friday, March 7
Time: 4 p.m. PT
Location: Lexington, Ky.
Venue: Memorial Coliseum
Live Stats: UKAthletics.com
Live Video: UKAthletics.com
BERKELEY -- No. 22 California (7-6, 1-5 Pac-12) wraps up a two-meet road trip with its final away meet of the season, taking on Kentucky and Centenary College in Lexington, Ky. on Friday at 4 p.m. PT. Meet time is set for 4 p.m. PT, with live stats and live video available on UKAthletics.com
The Golden Bears are facing a quick turnaround from Monday’s meet at Stanford, where the Bears posted a 196.025 in the loss to the Cardinal (196.750), making it Cal’s fourth score of 196 or better this season for the first time in program history. Freshman Charlie Owens claimed her first beam title.
The Wildcats are coming off an upset of then-No. 11 Auburn last Friday at Memorial Coliseum, where Kentucky recorded its fifth-highest score in program history to win 196.275-194.825. The team also registered a program-record 49.650 on floor. Besides Auburn, Kentucky has also posted victories against Penn State, West Virginia, Ball State and Missouri.
Centenary most recently posted a season-best 190.425 to finish third at the Texas Women’s University (194.300) Tri-Meet with Southeast Missouri State (193.825). Robyn Price led the team in the all-around, finishing second with a score of 38.275. Centenary also posted a season-best 47.875 on vault.
• Cal is 1-1 all-time against Kentucky, last meeting the Wildcats in 2013’s season opener at home in Berkeley. The Golden Bears posted a 195.425 to down Arizona, Auburn and Kentucky.
• Prior to last season, Cal and Kentucky met just once before on March 7, 1999 at the Bruin Classic hosted by UCLA. Cal lost to all three teams - UCLA, Michigan and Kentucky - as the Wildcats outscored the Bears 191.95-191.525.
• Freshman Jessica Howe competed in the all-around at Stanford on a broken toe, still managing to post a 38.150 total for her four events.
Cal returns home for its regular-season finale against UC Davis. The women’s gymnastics team will host a co-ed meet in conjunction with Cal’s men’s gymnastics team, who is hosting Washington. Seniors Leilani Alferos, Alicia Asturias and Dallas Crawford will all be honored as part of the team’s senior night celebration.
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The Bears swept every event, including the all-around, in two consecutive meets - first at Sacramento State in a tri-meet with San Jose State on Feb. 14, and again in a home triangular with then-No. 24 Washington and Sac State on Feb. 22. Between the two events, Alicia Asturias and Serena Leong combined to claim eight event titles.
ASTURIAS NAMED AAI AWARD FINALIST
Alicia Asturias is one of 17 finalists for the prestigious AAI Award, sponsored by the American Athletic, Inc. The senior all-arounder is just one of four Pac-12 finalists, joining gymnasts from UCLA, Utah and Stanford.
CAL’S WEEKLY PAC-12 HONORS CONTINUE FLOWING IN
February 18th’s Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honor for Jessica Howe made three Golden Bears who have combined for four Pac-12 weekly gymnastics honors for Cal this season. Senior Alicia Asturias and freshman Charlie Owens claimed the weekly Pac-12 honors for the week of Jan. 7 - the program’s first weekly honors since 2003. Asturias nabbed the Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week award after claiming three event titles at the NorCal Meet, becoming the first Cal gymnast since My-Lan Dodd in 2003 to earn a weekly honor. Newcomer Charlie Owens was the program’s first-ever Freshman of the Week since the introduction of the award last season. Owens repeated with another Freshman of the Week award for the week of January 28.
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.