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No. 10 Cal Edges Past No. 11 William & Mary

Feb 24, 2021
Kyle Abe Secures A Career-Best Score On Floor On Wednesday

BERKELEY - Behind a strong start with a season-best total in the first rotation on floor, the No. 10 California men's gymnastics team held off No. 11 William & Mary and defeated The Tribe, 382.950-379.750, on Wednesday in a virtual meet from Golden Bear Rec. The Golden Bears improved to 4-1 on the year.

"We were neck-and-neck there right until the end," head coach JT Okada said. "The team absolutely battled. It was not a straight-forward meet. We had misses on vault and other events, but the guys fought back every time, which is so important in this sport. I was really glad to see the fight, the resolve, not to get too focused on scores, and just stay focused on us."

Behind five personal-best marks, Cal produced its highest team total on floor in 2021, posting a score of 66.400. The PRs came from Kyle Abe (13.750), Aidan Giusti (13.500), Noah Newfeld (13.400), Caleb Rickard (13.250) and, making his collegiate debut, David Rauchwerger (10.850). 

"I told the guys to just work on themselves and have a mindset of doing their own personal job, and that will lead to overall team success," Okada said. "They were really sharp on floor, and just focused on themselves, and we made a couple changes to our routines, as well. Those changes were handled really well."

Abe competed in the all-around for the Bears, finishing with a score of 74.800. In addition to his score on floor, he also garnered season-high marks on rings (12.000) and horizontal bar (12.200). 

"He had a tough job going from a single event last week to jumping back into six this week, and we expected a lot of him," Okada said. "On many events like floor, p-bars and high bar, he really delivered there. He fought for everything. I'm glad to see him back in the all-around, and we needed him this week."

Newfeld and Yu-Chen Lee were Cal's top scorer in two events each - pommel horse (12.700) and rings (12.900) for Newfeld, while Lee led the way for the Bears on vault with his personal-best mark of 14.050 and on parallel bars (13.550). 

For the third straight week, Giusti earned a personal best on high bar, notching a score of 12.150. In addition to Abe's season-best score, Rickard also secured a season high and team-best mark on the final rotation (13.100). 

The Bears take a brief back before returning to the mats on Sunday, March 7, at 3 p.m. against Stanford from Burnham Pavilion. Cal will now compete against only MPSF foes for the rest of the season until the NCAA Championships in April. 

"We're ready for it," Okada said. "We've done a bunch of meets now. We'll be ready for five up/five count when that starts. We need to get a little bit of rest and a little bit of fine-tuning and upgrading, and we'll be ready to go with our first in-person meet in March."