Women's Gymnastics Inks Three Recruits for 2004 Season

Nov. 21, 2002

Berkeley, Calif. - Cal head coach Cari DuBois announced today the signing of three new gymnasts to national letters-of-intent. Justine Cephus (Los Angeles, CA) and Cassie Alvarado (Long Beach, CA), both 2002 Junior Olympic National Team teammates, and Elyse Wong (Hawaii) will represent the 2004 recruiting class.

'We made three offers and received three acceptances,' said first year head coach Cari DuBois. 'All three are incredible individuals and will be instrumental in taking this program to where we want to go.'

Cephus, an all-around performer from Beverly Hills High School, was most recently crowned the 2002 Junior Olympic National beam champion on a squad that finished second in overall competition. While training at the Los Angeles School of Gymnastics (1994-2002), Cephus worked under Ukrainian national team coaches Vladimir and Juliya Ivanov. Her squad was crowned the 2002 state champions as she garnered first place honors on the floor exercise and second place on the bars. As her club team captain from 1999-2002, Cephus earned the prestigious L.A. Light of the Year honor for her exemplary leadership skills and competitive all-around performance in 2002. She presently trains at the All-Olympians Gymnastics Center under the tutelage of former Bulgarian National Team member and Olympian Galina Marinova, former U.S. National Team member Jim Foody and UCLA assistant coach Milo Johnson.

'Justine is a powerful and dynamic athlete with a quick twitch,' said DuBois. 'She will be a valuable addition to our team next year.'

As an all-around performer from Marina High School, Cassie Alvarado trained under Tim Rogers with both the SCATS Gymnastics Club in Los Angeles and the South Coast Gymnastics Club. While with SCATS, she was twice named Gymnast of the Year (1999-2000), while finishing first at the Junior Olympics team competition in 2000. Alvarado also competed internationally with SCATS, helping her team earn a fourth-place overall finish. Alvarado, who is a five-time Junior Olympic Team qualifier, most recently earned a second place individual all-around finish in 2001, while placing third on the bars and vault. As the 2001 state champion with South Coast Gymnastics Club, Alvarado took first place individually in the all-around and vault, as well as second place on the floor. As the 2001 Most Consistent Gymnast of the Year, she took second place honors in the all-around competitionat the regionals.

'Cassie is a great all-around athlete,' said DuBois. 'I think she will surprise a lot of people with what she can do.'

Wong, a member of the Kokokahi Gymnastics Team in Honolulu, comes to Berkeley with an impressive resume under her belt. While training under Bruce Burns and Suzie Gamble with Kokokahi, Wong was a four time Junior Olympic National Team competitor (1997-98, 2001-02) and a Region 2 All-Star Team member. After sitting out three seasons (1998-2000) with a knee injury, she returned in 2001 to win the all-around, bars and floor events at the Aloha Gymfest. Internationally, Wong trained with the Chinese National Team in 1998 and competed at the International Gymnastics Festival in Puerto Rico, claiming first place on the parallel bars.

'Elyse is an extremely strong gymnast, but combines her strength with a graceful style,' said DuBois. 'Her strong suit is on the parallel bars where she is phenomenal.'

Cal opens its 2003 season as it travels to Sacramento to face Sacramento State on Sunday, January 12 at 2:00 p.m.

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