Bears Place Fourth At The MPSF Championships
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The 11th-ranked California men's gymnastics team gained momentum in its final two events, culminating with a season-best score of 70.200 on the vault. However, the Golden Bears were ultimately edged by Air Force (third), placing fourth at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Championships, also behind top-ranked Oklahoma (first) and No. 3 Stanford (second).
The Bears came out of the gate hot in both parallel bars and high bar, collecting season-bests in both events - 66.350 on parallel bars and 63.400 on high bar. Both Kyle Abe (13.350) and Aidan Giusti (13.150) put forth career highs on p-bars and Noah Newfeld (13.400) led the Bears with a 13.300 on high bar (also a career best). Collin Cunane followed with a 12.500 which matched his season high.
After finishing floor and pommel horse, Cal moved into third ahead of Air Force after amassing a 63.55 on still rings (the second-best team score in that event this year). The Bears were propelled by Newfeld (13.450) and Yu-Chen Lee (13.300) who both registered career highs in the event.
Moving into the final event of the afternoon, Cal still clung to a narrow lead over the Falcons as the Bears hit vault. Caleb Rickard highlighted the event for the Bears, securing a spot on the podium with a 14.650, which proved to be the third-highest score of the championships. Rickard's score matched his career high, which he also recorded on March 7 against Stanford. Overall, Cal's event score of 70.200 was a season-high, but Air Force managed to surpass the Bears, finishing just 1.4 points ahead. The Bears ended the day with a total of 386.950 points, their fourth-highest score of the year.
No. 11 California now has its eyes set on Tuesday, April 6, when the NCAA Championship teams will be announced. The championships will be hosted by the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.