Cal Named College Gym News Coaching Staff Of The Year
BERKELEY – The Cal women's gymnastics coaching staff of co-head coaches Justin Howell and Elisabeth Crandall-Howell assistant coach Janelle McDonald were honored as the College Gym News Coaching Staff of the Year.
College Gym News announced its first annual end-of-season award recipients on Tuesday. Members of the CGN staff nominated individuals in six categories based on specified criteria. Then, the field was narrowed down and editors voted based on regular season performance only.
The Cal coaching staff made history with the Bears during the 2021 season as Cal finished the year ranked No. 5 in the nation and as the team with the top NQS in the West Region, neither of which Cal has done before. The Bears finished second at the Pac-12 Championship, their highest-ever finish at the meet, with a team-record Pac-12 championship score. Cal also finished seventh after the NCAA Championship, after posting the best NCAA Championship score and recording the best finish in program history.
This year, the Bears set program records on uneven bars, balance beam, floor exercise and overall team score. Cal set a program record with a 198.050 mark in their dual meet vs. UCLA, the fourth-best in the country this year. Cal also recorded the second- and third-best scores in program history at the NCAA Regionals. Cal posted a 197+ score in the final 11 meets of the year.
Cal finished the season ranked in the top 10 nationally in all four events, including being ranked as the top uneven bars team in the country. This year, Cal posted six of the top 10 total team scores in program history. Cal also totaled three of the top eight marks on vault, five of the top 10 uneven bars scores, four of the top five beam rotations and five of the top eight floor scores in program history during the 2021 season.
Howell and Crandall-Howell were also named Pac-12 Co-Coaches of the Year and WCGA Region 6 Co-Coaches of the year. McDonald was named WCGA Region 6 Assistant Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year.
McDonald coaches the Golden Bears' uneven bars lineup, which is ranked number one in the country. Cal tied a 17-year old NCAA record on the uneven bars vs. UCLA as they posted a score of 49.825, all six gymnasts scored a 9.90+ that afternoon including a perfect 10.0 by Emi Watterson and 9.975 scores by Andi Li and Maya Bordas. Watterson's perfect mark was only the fourth ever perfect 10 by a Cal gymnast and one of three on the uneven bars during the 2021 regular season.
Cal is ranked number one in the country on the uneven bars with a 49.606 NQS score, which is .106 better than any other school in the country. The season high of 49.825 is .200 better than any other school's best mark on uneven bars.
This year, Cal had four WCGA Regular Season All-Americans, nine WCGA All-Americans by six different gymnasts and they had 12 All-Pac-12 honors by five gymnasts. All of these, were the most honors Cal has had in a season. Kyana George was also named the Region 6 Gymnast of the Year and is a finalist for the AAI Award.
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