Feb. 8, 2013
BERKELEY - The No. 23 Golden Bears (6-3, 1-3 Pac-12) head to Salt Lake City this weekend to face perennial gymnastics powerhouse No. 7 Utah (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12). The meet is set for Saturday at 6 p.m. PT in Utah's Huntsman Center.
Free live video streaming of the meet will be available at http://pac-12.com/live/utahutes.aspx.
With Utah's 10 national championships, the program always draws large crowds, and Golden Bears head coach Justin Howell is relishing the opportunity for his team to compete in front of such high numbers.
"We're really excited to compete in front of 15,000 plus fans, and build off the energy from Utah fans," Howell said. "We do well with a lot of energy, which is basically manufactured at Utah."
The team may be out of some of its key gymnasts, as Carol Chang and Mariesah Pierce are still nursing injuries from Sunday's meet against Oregon State, but Howell is confident his team will once again overcome adversity.
"We're concentrating on the things we can control and focusing on the people we do have to give our best performances," Howell said. "Competing at the top in such a strong conference like the Pac-12 really helps us train at a high level."
Cal fell 196.050-194.700 in Sunday's meet against Oregon State, but saw major contributions from several gymnasts, including freshman Serena Leong, who set a new career-high on the vault (9.85) and took third in the floor exercise (9.8), as well as junior Alicia Asturias, who finished first on floor (9.85) and shared second place in the all-around with her 39.175 total.
The Golden Bears opened the season unranked and scored a 195.425 in the first meet, besting the team's top score of last season (194.725), and have since been ranked in the Top 25 for five consecutive weeks. This is the first season the team has been ranked since 2008.