Cal Visits Host No. 4 Washington, Sacramento State

Jan. 13, 2004

Berkeley, Calif. -

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THIS WEEK:Friday, Jan. 16	at Washington, Sacramento StateBank of America Arena, Seattle, Wash.	7:00 p.m.

WHAT'S ON TAP: The California women's gymnastics team (1-0, 0-0 Pac-10) opens Pac-10 competition this Friday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. against No.4 ranked Washington. Also participating at the Seattle-based meet is Sacramento State. Last season, Cal opened with a win at Sacramento State on its way to a 10-1 record versus non-conference opponents. After this week's meet, the Bears open their home slate at Haas Pavilion against Pac-10 rival Arizona State, San Jose State and Utah State on Friday, Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m.

LAST WEEKEND AT CAL STATE FULLERTON: Cal got its season off on the right track last Friday, when the Bears upended Cal State Fullerton in their 2004 debut. The Bears beat the Titans for the third time in the last two seasons, this time by a margin of 193.125-192.625. Accumulating an approximate two-point advantage after the vault and bars rotations, Cari DuBois' team was able to hold off the Titan charge on beam and floor. Cal received standout performances from senior co-captains Karissa Chock and Stephanie Kim and junior sensation My-Lan Dodd. Chock won both the vault (9.900) and bars (9.875), posting new career highs in each event. Kim placed second in the all-around (38.775) to Dodd (38.800).

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) and 2-4 in the 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.

SCOUTING THE HUSKIES: The No. 4 ranked Washington Huskies look for redemption this weekend, after falling to the Bears last year in Berkeley. Like the Bears, the Huskies produced a winning start. They won the Cancun Invitational with a score of 196.450, defeating two very competitive teams in Iowa and Oklahoma. The Huskies are led by senior Emily Pritchard, who looked in mid-season form in Cancun, posting a 39.500 in the all-around. After a two-week layoff, coach Bob Levesque will have his team ready for the home opener at Bank of America Arena. Last season, the Huskies finished fourth in the Pac-10, with an overall record of 21-11.

SCOUTING THE HORNETS: The Sacramento State Hornets enter the Pac-10 fray, when they take on the Huskies and Bears this Friday. They finished third at the season-opening Stanford Quadrangular. The Hornets overall score of 191.425 was good enough to edge San Jose State, but placed them behind Stanford and Central Michigan. Senior Binta Coleman led the Hornets, finishing fourth in the all-around (38.975). Head coach Kim Hughes will need to get a better performance from her team to beat Cal or Washington. Last season the Bears beat the 11-12 Hornets twice.

IN THE POLLS: After checking in at No. 21 in the first preseason poll, the Bears dropped six spots to No. 27 this week. Cal is the fifth-highest rated Pac-10 team. Ranked above the Bears are No. 4 Washington, No. 5 UCLA, No. 7 Stanford and No. 20 Oregon State.

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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