Trio Of Cal Seniors Returns For Fifth Year
BERKELEY – Coming off the best season in Cal women's gymnastics history, the Bears received some good news as three seniors that were set to exhaust their eligibility have elected to use the NCAA option for a fifth season after having the 2020 season cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Kyana George, Nina Schank and Emi Watterson have elected to return for the 2022 gymnastics season.
The Bears finished the 2021 regular season ranked No. 5 in the country, the best ranking in school history. Cal continued their trajectory as they qualified for the NCAA Championship for only the fourth time in school history and finished in seventh place overall.
The senior class was a major reason why Cal had one of the best seasons in school history. With the announcement that George, Schank and Watterson will return for another year, Cal is only slated to lose one routine from the team that competed at the NCAA Championship. Alma Kuc and Victoria Salem elected not to use their fifth year and both graduated this past weekend.
George returns after winning the WCGA Region 6 Gymnast of the Year Award in 2021. The McKinney, Texas native won 16 events in 2021 and had 30 top-three finishes. She won the Pac-12 Championship and the NCAA Regional title on the floor exercise. George was one of six gymnasts in the country to be named as an AAI Award Finalist.
George was also a WCGA Regular Season Second Team All-American on Floor and an All-Pac-12 honoree on floor, beam and all-around while earning honorable mention accolades on the vault. She was named an All-American on the balance beam as she finished fifth overall at the NCAA Championship. Posted a 9.875 or above on all 11 floor routines during the 2021 season, and posted 20 scores of 9.90 or above across all of her events.
Schank also returns for a fifth season after a campaign in which she had six event wins and 16 top-three finishes. The Oakland native was a WCGA Regular Season Second Team All-American and an All-Pac-12 first team member on the uneven bars.
Schank collected five wins on the uneven bars during the season and won the NCAA Regional Semifinal on the vault. She now has 32 career top-three finishes and 16 event wins. She recorded the fifth-best vault by a Bear at the NCAA Championship with a 9.85 this season. She posted eight scores above a 9.90 and 16 above a 9.85 during a spectacular senior season.
Of Cal's numerous highlights during the 2021 season, one of the best was when Emi Watterson recorded a 10.0 on the uneven bars in Cal's record setting meet vs. UCLA. She also posted a 9.975 at the NCAA Regional Semifinal and now has three of Cal's six ever 9.975+ scores on the uneven bars in school history.
Watterson won three events during the 2021 season and now has 13 in her career. She was named Pac-12 Specialist of the Week during the week she posted a 10.0 vs. UCLA and also set a career high with a 9.95 on the balance beam and was named a Second Team All-American on the beam after recording a 9.9125 at the NCAA Championship and finished 10th overall.
Cal will add these three "super" seniors to a deep and talented roster that is set to bring in one of the best recruiting classes in the country for the 2022 season as the Bears look to build on the most successful season in school history with their first consecutive trips to the NCAA Championship.
Join Cal Women's Gymnastics in the social media realm for behind-the-scenes access to the Bears. Follow Cal on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for meet scores, practice updates, exclusive photos, videos and more. Find Cal at:
• Twitter: @CalWGym
• Facebook: Facebook.com/CalWGym
• Instagram: @CalWGym