April 16, 2009
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The No. 5 California men's gymnastics team took third in the team qualifying session to advance to the NCAA Championships Final on Friday at the University of Minnesota. The Golden Bears (15-5 overall) earned 357.550 points to place ahead of No. 8 Penn State (fourth - 352.150), No. 9 Nebraska (fifth - 346.800) and No. 12 Navy (sixth - 327.000). Cal, No. 1 Stanford, which took first in the team qualifier (361.100), and No. 4 Michigan, which was second (358.300), will all compete in the finals.
"I was most happy about how hard my team fought," Cal head coach Barry Weiner said. "There were some routines that were a little off, but nobody gave up, and they battled all the way through." The second qualifier of gets under way at 7 p.m. (CDT) and will feature Oklahoma, Illinois, Ohio State, Minnesota, Illinois-Chicago and Iowa. The top three teams will face off against Cal, Stanford and Michigan tomorrow evening in Minneapolis. "I'll tell them to stay in the moment, be focused, have a good time, and we've already won," Weiner said when asked what he's going to tell the Golden Bears about how to prepare for Friday night's final. Cal's team score of 357.550 was a season high, passing the 356.450 the Bears earned at the Stanford Open on Jan. 24, 2009. Freshman Glen Ishino won pommel horse (15.300) and Kyson Bunthuwong won parallel bars (15.350).
The Bears won parallel bars, an even on which they are ranked first in the nation, with a 58.900. Kyson Bunthuwong won the event with a 15.350. Freshman Jim Kerry tied for fourth in his first NCAA championships with a 14.750. Ishino took seventh (14.550) and Kyle Bunthuwong tied for 11th (14.250).
Cal took second on pommel horse (58.500), where they are ranked sixth in the country. Freshman Glen Ishino won the event with a 15.300. Sophomore Kyle Bunthuwong took ninth (14.800), junior Daniel Geri earned a 14.450 for 12th, and freshman Nic Blair tied for 15th (13.950).
Cal finished third on rings (60.200). Senior co-captain Evan Roth was first amongst the Bears with a 15.250, which placed him in a tie for third overall. Kyle Brady tied for fifth (15.050) and Ishino tied for eighth (15.050). Kyle and Kyson Bunthuwong were two of four to tie for 17th at 14.750 and freshman Michael Salipante rounded out the Golden Bear line-up with a 14.700 (21st).
The Bears were just shy of their 2009 best on vault, where they earned a collective 62.650 for third place. Ishino was the top Cal scorer with a 15.800 to tie for fifth while Geri tied for eighth (15.700) and Roth was in a three-way tie for 11th (15.650).
Cal closed the meet with a 58.600 for third on horizontal bar. Kyson Bunthuwong led the Bears with a 15.250 for second place overall while Ishino tied for fourth 15.000. Kyle Bunthuwong finished with a 14.200 (13th) and del Castillo had a 14.150 (16th).