Feb. 21, 1998
California Gymnasts defeated Stanford Cardinals 226.50 to 212.350. The Cal Bears won a lopsided victory over a weakened Stanford team. The Bears won First place on every event except Parallel Bars which they tied. Cal won the team totals on every event quite handily.
The Bears lineup did not include Oleg Kosiak and Evgenii Zherebchevskiy. Coach Barry Weiner was experimenting with different lineups and on the surface it appeared to be a much weaker lineup. The final team result is still much higher than the majority of teams competing this season.
The Bears had some outstanding performances by Josh Birkelbaw, Alex Chansky, and Alex Nissen. All competed in at least four events and all had scores in the high nines. The judges noted that Andrew Hampy had the most impressive single performance in the vault event. He attempted a handspring layout front (double front) salto with one and one half twists. He over-rotated it and did not have a perfect landing. The judges were simply awed by the height, distance, and difficulty of the vault.
There were some excellent performances by many of the other Cal Gymnasts. Tal Moskowitz is slowly rounding into shape and is posting some fine scores on pommel horse and parallel bars. Gwin Sincharoen had four very good routines on his events and will be a dominating force for California this season. His routines always have high difficulty and he has improved consideraly in form and execution.
Freshman Jason Furr has been recovering from shoulder surgery and is slowly recuperating into competiton form. He competed on two events and scored a 9.5 on the vault. Josh Landau competed on five events and posted a fine 9 plus score on four of the five events. He is improving with each competiton. Jeff Stein had a sparkling 9.8 on horizontal bar and a strong 9.4 on still rings. He will be even better in the future. Alan Fusilero was heading for a 9.8 score on floor exercise when he sprained his ankle on his last turn and had to settle for a 9.3
The Bears need to be challenged b stiffer competition and this will be happening at the Peter Vidmar Invitational in Los Angeles on Feb. 26 at UCLA. Coach WEiner believes he had another outstanding team but they need to be tested. It appears that the Cal Bears have much depth and they need more competition to raise their performances to a higer level and to help determine final lineups for NCAA Regionals and NCAA Championships.