Women's Gymnastics Travels Desert for Tri-Meet

Feb. 6, 2007

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The California Golden Bear women's gymnastics team will travel to Tempe, Ariz., for a meet against No. 21 Arizona State and No. 9 Okalahoma on Friday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. (MT). The meet will be held at the Wells Fargo Center. Last weekend, the Bears dropped their second meet of the season, to Stanford, 196.075-189.925.

The Golden Bears rank No. 44 in the country. Cal also received votes in the Troster Preseason Coaches poll. About the rankings: Unlike other rankings, college gymnastics rankings are not based on wins or losses or votes. The teams are ranked by their meet scores alone.

The California women's gymnastics team couldn't get past the powerful No. 5 Stanford Cardinal, falling 196.075-189.925 at Haas Pavilion. In the all-around competition, junior Siobhan Luce finished third, after she scored a 38.600. During the meet she set season-highs on the bars (9.775, third), on the beam (9.675) and on the floor (9.600). She scored a 9.550 on the vault. On the floor, senior Justine Cephus set her career-high of 9.725. Cephus also notched her season-best of 9.675 on the beam. Senior Isabel Garcia was Cal's highest finisher on the vault, scoring 9.750. Garcia also scored a 9.700 on the floor exercise. Senior Elyse Wong set her career-high on the bars, with her score of 9.275. She also tallied her season-high of 9.725 on the floor.

The No. 21 Arizona State Sun Devils enter the meet against Cal, with a 0-3 record. The squad currently ranks 14th nationally on the vault, 23rd on the bars, 21st on the beam and 29th on the floor. Currently Lauren Powell and Nicole Harris rank seventh and eighth respectively in the Pac-10 Conference on the vault. Powell is also 11th in the Pac-10 in the all-around competition. In there opening meet against Stanford, Powell scored her season-highest all-around score of 39.500.

No. 9 Okalahoma travels out west with a 6-1 record. The Sooners also rank highly nationally on the vault, at seventh. They also are ranked 10th (bars), 12th (beam) and 12th (floor). Okalahoma's Britteny Koncak-Schumann is tied for 18th nationally in the all-around competition and second in the Big 12. In the opening meet against Alabama Koncak-Schumann scored her season high all-around score 0f 39.350. The Sooners' Kiara Redmond currently ranks tied for fifth on the vault and Haley DeProspero is eighth on the beam, both nationally.

In conjunction with Cal's Feb. 18 meet against Washington the Golden Bear gymnasts will be soliciting flat donations or pledges for every Cal score of 9.5 and above. Cal will be donating all money earned to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Bay Area Affiliate. You are also more than welcome to make a flat donation towards the cause. With your help we hope to raise funds to eradicate breast cancer as a life threatening disease through research, education, screening, and treatment. Pledge forms are located on www.CalBears.com, on the women's gymnastics page.

For the second straight meet, the Golden Bear's highest team event score was on the floor, and Cal is continuing to rank nationally in the event (this week No.23). Against Stanford, Cal notched a 48.325, with both seniors Justine Cephus and Elyse Wong tallying 9.725, this was Cephus' career-high and Wong's season-best. Senior Isabel Garcia recorded a 9.700, while junior Siobhan Luce scored a season-high 9.600. Cal started the season against Oregon State posting a 48.600. Several Bears posted their career-best, if not their season's best, in the event. Sophomore Joanna Bennett scored her career-best of 9.700 at Oregon State, as did Jessica Kelley with her 9.850. Seniors Isabel Garcia set her season-high of 9.775 and Elyse Wong notched a 9.675, also against the Beavers. Junior Nicki Wells snagged her season-best on the floor with her mark of 9.600.

Junior Siobhan Luce scored a season-high 38.600 in the all-around competition against Stanford last weekend. Last season against San Jose State, Luce set her career-high of 38.725 in the all-around. Against the Cardinal this year, Luce scored season-highs on the bars (9.775), beam (9.675) and floor (9.600), in conjunction to also posting a 9.550 on the vault. This was the first time Luce had competed in the all-around competition this season. Luce ranks 12th in the west region in the all-around.

Against Stanford, senior Justine Cephus set her career-high on the floor. The Los Angeles native scored a 9.725 on the floor. Cephus seems to shine on the floor against the Cardinal, as her previous career-high of 9.700 was set last season against Stanford. Also last weekend Cephus earned her season high of 9.525 on the vault and 9.650 on the beam.

Senior Elyse Wong scored her season-best 9.725 on the floor against Stanford. This was the highest score since Wong set her career-high of 9.875 at Boise State on Feb. 27, 2004. Wong also posted a 9.275 on the bars and 9.025 on the beam. This meet also provided the first time Wong competed in three events since March 12, 2004 against Ball State.

Sophomore Jessica Kelley was sidelined at the end of last season due to an injury. However in her first meet back, the Los Altos native notched her career's second-best all-around performance at Oregon State. Kelley scored a 38.625to finish third in the competition. She currently ranks 11th in the west region and 14th in the Pac-10 in the all-around. Against the Beavers, Kelley posted a 9.475 on the vault, 9.650 on both the bars and beam and set her career-high of 9.850 on the floor. She now ranks fourth in the Pac-10 Conference, fourth in the west region and tied for 21st nationally in the floor exercise.

Against the Beavers, sophomore Joanna Bennett set two career-highs. First on the vault, Bennett, who had previously posted a career-high of 9.575, notched a 9.650 in her first attempt of the season. The Healdsburg native also collected a 9.700 on the floor, after only competing once in the event last year and earning a 8.750. Bennett, who is usually flawless on the bars, also scored a 9.750 in the event.

In November, head coach Cari DuBois announced the signing of Stefanie Cheng (San Jose, Calif./Saint Francis High School) and Avery Gee (Los Altos, Calif./Los Altos High School). Both will attend the University of California in the fall of 2007.

In her fifth 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 35-41 record at Cal. Also 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 master's degree in athletic coaching from West Virginia. Scott Ryan, in his second year at Cal, was hired in August 2005 to assist 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 States and Mexico. Also, 18 of his gymnasts earned college gymnastics scholarships. Mike Lynch, is in his first year as a volunteer coach for the Golden Bears.

The Golden Bears will return to the Bay Area to host Washington, on Sunday, Feb. 18, at 2 p.m. (PT), in Haas Pavilion. Support the Golden Bears by wearing pink in honor of breast cancer awareness. Tickets are available at the door ($8 for adults, $4 seniors, free youth - youth is considered 12th grade and under).

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