No. 9 California Hosts Stanford On Saturday
BERKELEY – Undefeated after the first two weeks of the season, the No. 9 California men's gymnastics team now looks ahead to multiple challenges on the horizon.
The Golden Bears host Stanford on Saturday, Feb. 13, at 4 p.m. from Golden Bear Rec. Following the tough matchup against their Bay Area rivals, the Bears have a quick turnaround and will host Springfield College four days later on Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 11 a.m. from Golden Bear Rec.
Fans should visit https://virti.us/session?s=E4gyXXKIam to view Saturday's meet against Stanford. Due to local health guidelines, fans are not allowed to attend home meets. A link to view the Springfield College meet will be able soon.
Cal carries a lot of momentum into the matchup against the Cardinal. In addition to being 2-0 on the year with victories over Arizona State and No. 12 Army, Yu-Chen Lee was tabbed this week's MPSF Gymnast of the Week on Tuesday.
"I was really excited when I first heard the news because it has been one of my goals since my freshman year," Lee said about picking up the weekly award. "Although this is just one of my short-term goals, being able to see one of my goals accomplished makes me feel like all these years of hard work are finally paying off. It also provided me more motivation to work harder in the gym."
As one of the veterans on a young squad, Lee said he's enjoying taking on more of a leadership role in 2021. He loves seeing one of the younger gymnasts who took his advice on correcting a skill then perform that skill perfectly.
Lee added that feels the Bears are off to a good start to the season, especially considering all the freshmen are already in key roles.
"A lot of them [the freshmen] have been stepping up and contributing to the total team score, which I am really proud of," Lee said. "I think as the season goes on, and when everyone is gaining more competition experience and gets into the flow of things, we can definitely be one of the top teams in the NCAA. Everyone on the team has been working really hard and we have a lot of potential."
Lee likes Cal's chances of improving to 3-0 on Saturday, but he knows Stanford is one of the top programs in the country and not a squad to be taken lightly. He's confident if the Bears continue focusing on themselves – and what they can control – the result they want will be there.
Leadership from veterans like Lee will be necessary with the quick turnaround in facing Springfield College four days later. There won't be as much time to clean up corrections or for their bodies to recover like they're used to, but Lee remains confident his team will persevere.
"We've actually never experienced two meets in a week before, but I am sure Coach JT and Coach Bryan will come up with a good training plan for us to prepare for the upcoming two meets and get the right amount of recovery at the same time," Lee said.
Cal remains in Berkeley after the mid-week meet next Wednesday, hosting William & Mary on Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 11 a.m. from Golden Bear Rec. The meet will be a virtual meet with no fans allowed to attend due to current health protocols.
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