Date: Saturday, March 15
Time: 7 p.m. PT
Venue: Haas Pavilion
Live Stats: CalBears.com
BERKELEY -- Just one meet remains for the California women’s gymnastics squad before the championship season begins as the No. 19 Golden Bears (8-7, 1-5 Pac-12) play host to UC Davis Saturday at 7 p.m. in Haas Pavilion. The Bears will honor seniors Leilani Alferos, Alicia Asturias and Dallas Crawford for Senior Night, as well as visiting alumni in honor of Alumni Appreciation Night. In addition, the Cal men’s gymnastics team will also be competing, hosting Washington as part of the Cal gymnastics annual Coed Meet.
Cal claimed second in a triangular meet at Kentucky last Friday, defeating Centenary College 196.075-189.625 but falling to Kentucky’s 196.150. The Bears claimed a stake in the top three in every event, with Asturias claiming the vault and floor titles and Alferos claiming her first uneven parallel bars title.
Though Cal and UC Davis have already met once this season, the Aggies make their first trip to Berkeley since Feb. 5, 2012, ranked 31st in the GymInfo poll with a 195.205 regional qualifying score (RQS). Senior Anna Shumaker leads UC Davis after breaking the 39-point barrier in the all-around for the fourth straight meet, scoring a 39.075, last Friday in a tri meet at Sacramento State. The Aggies have posted a season-high 196.425.
• The Golden Bears are 42-8 all-time against the Aggies. The pair last met in the 2014 season opener, a five-team meet at Sacramento State also featuring Stanford and San Jose State. Cal finished second with a 194.650, while UC Davis finished last in fifth place with a 193.325.
• In 2013, Cal posted a season-high 196.525 on Senior Night against Nebraska in Haas Pavilion on March 16. At the time, the score was good for the third-highest score in program history. It was also the first time since March 2007 that the Bears topped the 196 mark.
The Golden Bears are gearing up to host the Pac-12 Championships next Saturday, March 22 in Berkeley. The championship event will be composed of two sesssions featuring all eight Pac-12 women’s gymnastics teams. Tickets are available now at (800) GO-BEARS and CalBears.com
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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.