California Women's Gymnastics Notes

Jan. 17, 2006

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The California women's gymnastics team (2-4, 0-0) will open its Pac-10 season at home on Friday, Jan. 20, at Haas Pavilion. The Golden Bears defeated Sacramento State (191.625-190.475) on Fri., Jan. 13, in Sacramento, Calif. Freshman Jessica Kelley won the all-around competition recording a 38.450.


No. 21 Oregon State: Oregon State (192.200) competed in a quad-meet Friday night, finishing second behind then-No. 1 Florida (193.575). The Beavers were led by freshman Tasha Smith who scored a 38.800 in the all-around. Smith ranks No. 46 nationally in the all-around. A week prior to the quad-meet, Smith posted a 38.200 in her first collegiate meet. OSU posted a 48.900 on the floor exercise, with Smith posting a 9.825 to lead the team. Also in the meet, senior Chrissy Lamun scored a 9.825 on the bars.

Senior My-Lan Dodd won the all-around with her highest score of the year and the California women's gymnastics team posted its third-best team mark of 2005 but couldn't overcome Oregon State in falling to the Beavers, 195.925-190.925, at Gill Coliseum. Seattle Pacific (2-11) finished third at 190.300. Dodd's 39.200 all-around mark was her best since posting a 39.275 at the 2004 Pac-10 Championships. Her score included a new season-high on beam (9.825) and an individual title on bars (9.825). Cal's best showing was on vault. Powered by new career highs from Siobhan Luce (9.700), Isabel Garcia (9.650) and Nicki Wells (9.625), Cal posted a season-high of 48.325. Luce finished fourth in the all-around (37.975) followed by Wells (36.800) in fifth.

In a major turnaround from last season, the Golden Bears rank No. 5 in the West Region in just the second week of action. At this time last season, Cal did not rank within the top 10 of the West Region. NOTE: the second week rankings are measured by the highest score.

This season the Golden Bears will face some of the best competition in their conference alone, already six teams are ranked in the Top 20 poll (Troester). Stanford is ranked No. 5, UCLA is No. 13, Arizona is No. 14, Arizona State is No. 17, this week's competition Oregon State is ranked No. 21 and Washington is No. 22

In the first two competitions for the Golden Bears, they've improved their overall numbers drastically from last season. On the vault, they've already posted a 47.550 in two meet. They've shown strength on the bars posting a 48.450 at the Aloha Gymfest, just behind UCLA by a tenth of a point. Not to mention Cal has posted a 48.000 on the beam and a 48.100 on the floor exercise this season - a far cry from their 37.775 they posted in the last meet of the 2005 season.

At Sacramento State, California posted its best floor score (48.100) on the season. The Bears were led by freshman Jessica Kelley, who posted a career-high 9.700 on the floor. Senior Britani Pittullo also posted a season-high 9.650 on the floor. This was the highest-team floor score since last year's 48.200 against North Carolina State.

In only her second collegiate competition, freshman Jessica Kelley set career-highs and notched her first all-around title. Kelley posted a 38.450 to win the title at Sacramento State. Kelley posted a team-high 9.700 on the floor (she stands No. 8 in the west region on the floor), in addition to her 9.650 on the beam, 9.625 on the vault and 9.475 on the bars. Kelley's marks were the highest for a Golden Bears since Siobhan Luce recorded a 38.525 against North Carolina State last season. Kelley ranks No. 10 in the west region standings in the all-around competition.

Sophomore Siobhan Luce competed in her second all-around competition Friday at Sacramento State. Luce posted her season-high mark in the competition with a 38.200, which was good enough for a second-place tie.

After two meets, freshman Joanna Bennett has posted a 9.675 on the bars. At 5-7, the Healdsburg, Calif., native, tied for first at the Sacramento State competition. Bennett also tallied a 9.675 on the bars at the Aloha Gymfest. In her first try this season on the vault, Bennett recorded a 9.300 against the Hornets. The freshman ranks No. 11 in the West Region.

After making a great comeback at the Aloha Gymfest, senior Britani Pittullo continued her run in the all-around. Against Sacramento State Pittullo recorded a 38.200, tying her with teammate Siobhan Luce. Pittullo was the strongest on the bars notching a 9.675 (she ended in a three-way tie for first with teammates Joanna Bennett and Nicki Wells.).

After posting the highest all-around score for a freshman since 1995 at the Aloha Gymfest, freshman Lydia Williams posted a 37.250 against Sacramento State. Williams' strongest events came on the beam (9.725) and floor (9.400), in which she recorded career-highs.

In her fourth year at California, head Coach Cari DuBois has already reshaped the women's gymnastics program from the day she arrived on campus. DuBois has posted a 27-23 record at Cal; she was named the 2003 Pac-10 co-Coach of the year and the 2003 West Regional Coach of the Year. In her short tenure, DuBois has guided the Bears to their first back-to-back dual-meet winning seasons since 1991-92 and led the 2003 Cal team to its highest NCAA Regional finish (fourth) since 1992. A year later, Cal finished fifth at the NCAA Regionals, the program's best back-to-back postseason showings since 1991-92. Prior to coming to Berkeley, DuBois worked as an assistant for nine years (six at West Virginia and three at Cal under Alfie Mitchell). DuBois also has spent time instructing and choreographing routines at several gymnastics camps and clubs nationwide. DuBois graduated from Ball State in 1992 with a degree in exercise science and wellness and holds a mater's degrees in athletic coaching from West Virginia.
Scott Ryan, hired in August 2005, assists DuBois. Ryan served as the director and head coach at Aztec Gymnastics in San Diego, Calif., prior to his hiring at Cal. While at Aztec Gymnastics, Ryan led his teams to 33 state and regional championships in the state of California and national championships in both the United State and Mexico. Also, 18 of his gymnasts earned college gymnastics scholarships.

The Golden Bears will next travel to the desert to compete against the Arizona Wildcats on Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in Tucson, Ariz.