April 17, 1998
UNIVERSITY PARK-- The California men's gymnastics team recorded 231.200 points at the NCAA team championship tonight at Penn State to win its second straight NCAA title. No. 3 Iowa and No. 10 Illinois totaled 229.675 and 228.000 points for second and third place, respectively.
The NCAA crown caps a phenomenal year for the No. 1 Bears, a squad predominately made up of walk-ons and international gymnasts. Cal completed a perfect 23-0 regular season and won the MPSF conference championship and NCAA West Regional crown in addition to the NCAA title to complete its first-ever wire-to-wire undefeated season. Cal head coach and MPSF Co-Coach of the Year, Barry Weiner, now has an astonishing 143-33-1(81.3) record after seven seasons at the helm of the program.
The Bears took first place as a team on the floor (38.475), horse (38.700), rings (38.725) and vault (38.550) en route to its fourth best score of the year. Oleg Kosyak recorded the meet's top scores on the floor (9.700) and rings (season-high 9.800). Other first place finishers were Josh Birckelbaw on the horse (9.800) and Dave Eskildsen on the high bar (9.700).
"I am very proud of my team," said Weiner. "There was a tremendous amount of pressure on these guys to repeat as champions and they definitely rose to the occasion. Anytime we got into a little bit of trouble, someone would step up and put in a good routine and that's why we were able to win."
Kosyak, the nation's No. 3 all-arounder, took second place in the individual all-around championships on Thursday night. He totaled 58.075 points, to fall just behind winner Travis Romagnoli of Illinois, who recorded 58.225 points.
Tomorrow night, seven Bears will compete in the NCAA Individual Event finals which features the top eight gymnasts from Thursday night's preliminaries. Cal has never had so many team members compete in the individuals. Looking for individual event titles and All American honors will be: Kosyak on the floor, high bar, parallel bars, vault and rings. Andrew Hampy on floor, Evgenni Zherebchevskiy on p-bars and rings, Josh Birckelbaw on vault and horse, Tal Moscovitz on horse, and Alex Chansky and Dave Eskildsen on h-bar.
Sportscast Productions is providing a phone service of taped interviews from each day of the NCAA championships for members of the media. To access the interviews, call (402) 220-6222. Tonight's NCAA team championship was taped by ESPN and will be shown on Tues, April 21 at 9:30 p.m. PST.
NCAA TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL RESULTS
Team FX PH SR V PB HB Total California 38.475 38.700 38.725 38.550 38.050 38.700 231.200 Iowa 38.175 38.050 38.425 38.275 38.450 38.300 229.675 Illinois 38.100 37.400 37.000 38.475 38.300 38.725 228.000
Floor: 1. Oleg Kosyak (Cal)-9.700, 2. Andrew Hampy (Cal) and Travis Romagnoli (Ill)-9.650. Horse: 1. Josh Birckelbaw (Cal)and Todd Strada (Iowa)-9.800, 3. Tal Moscovitz (Cal)-9.700. Rings: 1. Kosyak (Cal)-9.800, 2. Evgenni Zherebchevskiy (Cal)-9.725, 3. Chris Camiscioli (Iowa)-9.700. Vault: 1. Romagnoli (Ill)-9.750, 2. Kosyak (Cal)-9.725, 3. Hampy (Cal)-9.700. P-bars: 1. Strada (Iowa)-9.750, 2. Romagnoli (Ill)-9.725, 3. Lou Datilio (Iowa)-9.700. H-bar: 1. Romagnoli (Ill)-9.825, 2. Zherebchevski (Cal) and Jon Corbitt (Ill)-9.800.