Cal Opens Pac-10 Competition at No. 13 Oregon State

Jan. 12, 2009


Bears Head To OregonThe California Golden Bears women's gymnastics team, coming off last weekend's third-place finish at the season-opening tri-meet, head to Oregon for their Pac-10 opening meet against Oregon State. They will also be competing in the tri-meet against the Arkansas Razorbacks. The meet will pit the Bears against two top-25 teams. Oregon State is ranked at No. 13 in the Troester rankings. Arkansas is ranked No. 5.

Cal Opens 2009 Season Hosting UC Davis, Sacramento StateIt was an all Northern California tri-meet at Haas Pavilion last Saturday with the Sacramento State Hornets walking away with the victory. The UC Davis Aggies finished second. For the individuals, Cal gymnasts owned third through fifth place in the all-around and took two of the top three places in the beam.

Senior Jessica Kelley set the standard for Cal, finishing third in the all-around. Kelley scored two 9.725's, one for her floor exercise and the other on bars, to finish third out of 32 competitors. Junior Sophia Hocini followed with a fourth place finish in the all-around. Hocini had a 9.675 on bars in her best event of the meet. Sophomore Stephanie Cheng, the fifth place all-arounder, also earned a 9.675 on bars.

The beam was the best event for the Bears with Jessica Kelley's 9.675 ranking as the second-highest mark of the night on the apparatus. Sophomore Avery Gee scored a 9.625 for this place out of the 18 gymnasts competing in the event.

Two of the Bears four freshmen competed in the meet. Erica Varon competed in every event but the vault. Alexandra Leggit competed in just one event in her debut, vaulting for the Bears, placing tenth.

Pink MeetOne Cal home meet will once again be designated as the women's gymnastics' breast cancer awareness meet. The 2009 Pink Meet will be the Feb. 22 contest against No. 7 Stanford. The Golden Bear gymnasts will solicit flat donations or pledges for every Cal score of 9.5 and above. Cal will donate all money earned to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Bay Area affiliate in the hopes of raising funds to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease through research, education, screening and treatment. Fans are encouraged to wear pink and 'pink-out' Haas Pavilion, while the Bears don pink leotards for the event.

Did You KnowFreshman Erica Varon Won the California state championship in the all-around in 2006 and is a two-time Junior Olympic national qualifier. She intends on majoring in molecular and cell biology.

Scouting the BeaversThe No. 13 Oregon State Beavers began their season Dec. 30 in Cancun, Mexico, with a strong performance at the Cancun Classic in Mexico. The Beavers finished second in the second session to No. 5 Stanford and outscored No. 8 Michigan (from the first session). The Beavers improved to 3-1 with a victory at BYU last weekend. Oregon State is currently third in the Pac-10, trailing UCLA and Stanford.

Scouting the Razorbacks The University of Arkansas gymnastics team moved up to fifth-place in this week's Troester rankings. It is the 10th time in the seven-year history Arkansas has been in the top 10 and is the highest team ranking in program history. Arkansas' previous bests were an eighth-place showing last year and a ninth-place stop in the poll in 2004. Both were also the first week of the season. In addition to the team's fifth-place showing, the Razorbacks are tied for first on the uneven bars this week. Although it is the first week of the season, it is the first time in program history the Razorbacks have been No. 1. Arkansas tied with Utah as both teams counted a 49.075 on bars last week. In addition to the No. 5 team ranking and the tie for No. 1 on bars, the Razorbacks are in good standing on the other events. Arkansas is 16th on vault, seventh on beam and third on the floor exercise. The No. 3 floor ranking is also a program best.

Cal Inks Six Newcomers For 2010The California women's gymnastics team has signed six recruits to National Letter of Intent for the 2010 season. Nicolette Lew (Chino Hills, Calif.) was a Level 10 national and regional qualifier in 2008 and 2007. As a national qualifier, she took sixth on vault in 2008 and placed 19th in the all-around in 2007. Stina Olivere (Naperville, Ill.) was a four-time Level 10 state/regional qualifier and a three-time Level 9 state/regional qualifier, including a championship on bars at nationals. Arla Rosenzweig (Los Altos, Calif.) won the state championship on floor last year and was a regional qualifier. In 2006, she was the all-around state champion and the regional bars champion. Chelsea Spomer (Forestville, Calif.) was a three-time level 10 regional qualifier and a 2008 first alternate for nationals. She placed third in the all around at the state championships in 2008 and was also the Level 8 regional vault champion. Madisyn O'Brien (Sebastopol, Calif.) was a 2008 Level 10 national qualifier and a three-time Level 10 regional qualifier, including taking fourth in the all-around and second on bars in 2008. and Mariesah Pierce (Aptos, Calif.) took third on floor at national last year, and competed at nationals throughout her high school career. She also took second in the all-around at regionals in 2007 and 2008.

Up Next After facing this pair of top-25 teams, it doesn't get any easier for the Bears. They next head to Los Angeles where they will face the No. 3 UCLA Bruins. The Bears compete at Pauley Pavilion, the home gym of the Pac-10 leaders, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, January 25.

Head Coach Cari DuBois In her seventh year at California, head coach Cari DuBois has reshaped the women's gymnastics program from the day she arrived on campus. DuBois has posted a 66-74 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. Last season, DuBois guided the Bears to the NCAA West Regional, held at Cal's Haas Pavilion, and ended the campaign with a final ranking of 26. Earlier during her tenure, she led Cal to its first back-to-back dual-meet winning seasons since 1991-92 and led the 2003 Bears to their highest NCAA-regional finish (fourth) since 1992. In 2004, the Bears 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 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.

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