Jan. 8, 2013
BERKELEY - The California women's gymnastics team travels to Davis, Calif. on Friday at 7 p.m. inside the Pavilion to compete in their first dual meet of the season. The meet will also mark the first action outside of Haas Pavilion for the Golden Bears.
Cal began the season with a bang, defeating No. 13 Auburn, No. 19 Arizona, and No. 25 in a quad meet in Berkeley on Sunday. The Bears scored a 195.425 on the day, which was the 6th highest team score in the naiton over the weekend. Cal looks to continue the momentum against the Aggies.
"Our motto for this year is to get one day better," said head coach Justin Howell, who earned his first career victories on Sunday. "I think we fed off the energy and excitement in Haas last weekend, but we don't want to let it get to our heads. We're getting back to the grind, and I think the girls are excited to show what they can do at Davis. The great thing is that we're not traveling too far outside the bay, so many people who are tied to Davis also have ties to Cal. We have a great following on the road outside the Bay Area and we're excited to perform for those fans."
Cal had three all arounders perform in the meet on Sunday. Senior Madisyn O'Brien led the way for the Bears, and scored a 39.125 to post a new personal best. Her number was buoyed by a 9.900 earned on bars. The mark also set a new personal best for her, and tied her for third on Cal's all-time list on the apparatus. Senior Mariesah Pierce and junior Alicia Asturias also competed in all four event Sunday. Pierce tied her career best on beam, while Asturias set a new all around best.
Also making their mark on the team are freshmen Kristina Heymann and Serena Leong. Both saw their first action as collegiate athletes on Sunday. Leong impressed judges on the floor exercise, and paced the Bears with a mark of 9.850 to place fourth overall in the event. Heymann's vault score of 9.850 also paced the Bears on the event.
A Look at Cal
The Golden Bears, under the direction of first-year head coach Justin Howell are currently sixth nationally, posting the score of 195.425 in their opening event. The score bested their top mark of last season when they scored 194.725 in a loss against Stanford. The Bears beat UC Davis twice last season, defeating them in Davis, 191.700-191.650, and besting them again at home, 193.275-190.625.
Cal posted their best even scores in their first meet on beam and vault with scores of 48.950. The Bears also scored a 48.775 on the flloor and a 48.750 on the bars.
The Golden Bears had three gymnasts post marks of 9.825 on the beam to tie for third at the meet and pace the team in the event. Pierce, Asturias and O'Brien led the way for Cal's best showing on beam since 2007 when they scored a 48.175 at UC Davis.