March 15, 2013
Golden Bear gymnasts (9-8) will cap off one of the program's most successful seasons at home on Saturday night, as they celebrate not only the last regular season meet of the season but also the gym program past and present for Senior Night and Alumni Night against No. 11 Nebraska (8-3) beginning at 7 p.m. in Haas Pavilion. The meet will be a double dual meet that also features the eighth-ranked Cal men's gymnastics team against defending national champion and sixth-ranked Illinois.
"This will be a high-energy meet with a great crowd as we celebrate Senior Night and Alumni Night. With these top ranked teams and high levels of competition, gymnastics fans around the Bay Area are going to come out to see the great gymnastics," said California head coach Justin Howell.
The meet will honor seniors Stina Olivere, Carol Chang, Mariesah Pierce, Arla Rosenzweig, Chelsea Spomer and Madisyn O' Brien in their final competition at Haas Pavilion. Together the group helped launch the women's gymnastics program into national prominence and Cal's first Top 25 ranking since 2008.
"We've been talking all year about competing without fear and having no regrets. My one wish for these seniors is that they finish out the meet with no regrets in front of all their family and friends," Howell said.
The co-ed meet will offer a unique element to the regular competition, as all four teams will compete at the same time.
"We did this last year and it was so much fun. The energy and support these teams give each other in competition is fantastic," Howell said.
Throughout the season, both the men and women's teams have frequented each other's meets, always attending home meets and even traveling as far as Palo Alto and Davis to support each other.
"These teams have a lot of respect for one another," Howell said. "We're one gymnastics family."
Alumni of both the men's and women's gymnastics programs will also be on hand to celebrate the program's history and will be honored during the meet.
At last week's meet, Cal dropped a 194.925 decision to Michigan (197.550) and UCLA (197.075) but defeated Iowa State (194.650) at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles. The team's total was enough to drop California's score from the Washington meet, bringing its RQS to 195.140 and solidify the Golden Bears' spot in regional competition. This time last year, Cal's RQS was 193.070 heading into the final meet of the regular season.