No. 21 Cal Opens Season at Cal State Fullerton

Jan. 6, 2004

Berkeley, Calif. -

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THIS WEEK:Friday, Jan. 9 at Cal State FullertonTitan Gym, Fullerton, CA 7:00 p.m.

WHAT'S ON TAP: The No. 21 ranked California women's gymnastics team (0-0, 0-0 Pac-10) opens its season on Friday, Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. against Cal State Fullerton. For the second consecutive year, the Bears open on the road. Last season, they opened with a win at Sacramento State. Cal will be on the road for the next two weeks before opening at Haas Pavilion against Pac-10 rival Arizona State, San Jose State and Utah State on Friday, Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m.

A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN BEARS: Coming off a bounce-back 2003 campaign, which saw the Bears finish at 12-5 (their first above .500 record since 1996), 2-4 Pac-10, Cal is primed to build on Co-Pac-10 Coach of the Year Cari DuBois' first season at the helm. In her second year, DuBois returns nine gymnasts and three freshmen to take on the loaded Pac-10 conference. The expectation level of this team has risen, as they eye an NCAA Championship berth for the first time since 1992 and second time ever. Last season, the 2003 Bears smashed several Cal records and now hold the top three all-around scores of all time. DuBois will look to Cal record-holder My-Lan Dodd to continue what is becoming one of the best gymnastics careers in Cal history. Dodd is the only current Bears gymnast to qualify for Nationals (2003) and, unbelievably, holds the top five all-around scores ever posted, ranging from 39.675-39.425 (all in 2003). Last season, she also recorded the best vault (9.950) and beam (9.950) scores ever by a female gymnast from Berkeley. Accompanying Dodd, are savvy seniors Stephanie Kim and Karissa Chock. Kim owns top five records on beam (9.925) and floor (9.925). Chock posted career highs last season on beam (9.850) and bars (9.850). Both will be all-around performers in their final season in Berkeley.

Top Five Team All-Around Scores1.	196.800	vs. Arizona				        3/7/032.	196.475	vs. Washington, Sacramento State		2/21/033.	196.375	vs. Boise State, Fullerton, UC Davis		2/9/034.	196.075	vs. Stanford				        2/18/015. 	195.975	 at  Boise State				3/11/00

SCOUTING THE TITANS: The Cal State Fullerton Titans are coming off a successful 2003 campaign, which saw them post an 11-8 record, 3-1 WGC (Western Gymnastics Conference) mark and a 4th place finish at NCAA Regionals. Now head coach Julie Knight, in her sixth year, will be looking to do what she couldn't accomplish last year - beat Cal. The Titans dropped two meets to the Bears, both home and away. Senior Latoya Millburn, a floor exercise specialist who scored the third perfect 10 in school history last season, will lead the Titans into the season opening tilt versus the Bears.

IN THE POLLS: After ending the season ranked No. 18 in the nation, the Bears checked in to this year's preseason poll at No. 21. Seven Pac-10 schools made the preseason poll in all, each of which Cal will compete against. The Bears welcome No. 9 Arizona State Jan. 23, No. 11 Oregon State Jan. 30 and No. 1 UCLA Feb. 13 to Haas Pavilion this season. On the road, Cal will face No. 15 Washington Jan. 16, No. 17 Arizona Feb. 6 and No. 6 Stanford on Feb. 20. The seven ranked Pac-10 schools were the most of any conference.

PRESEASON TRAINING IN STALLION SPRINGS, CALIF.: In preparation for the start of their season, the Bears will be away from Jan. 5-9 training in Stallion Springs, Calif. At the Woodward West Gymnastics Park, Coach DuBois' team will get to polish routines and work on skills one last time before they go into competition.

YOUNG CUBS: The Bears welcome three freshmen to this year's squad. Justine Cephus hails from Beverly Hills, Calif. and trained at All Olympians Gymnastics. From Sacramento, Calif., Isabel Garcia trained at Technique Gymnastics. Lastly, Elyse Wong comes from Honolulu, Hawaii and did her training at Kokokahi Gymnastics. The triumvirate has the potential to make an impact in the all-around as early as this season.

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