Cal Posts Seventh-Best Beam Score In School History
COLUMBUS, OHIO - The tenth-ranked California women's gymnastics team claimed the seventh-best beam score in school history, but the Bears took second place in a tri-meet on Friday night at the Covelli Center. No. 16 Ohio State won with a 197.100 score, while Cal tallied a 196.875 and No. 37 Pittsburgh scored 195.375.
"It was a new environment," Cal co-head coach Justin Howell said. "It was a shotgun start, which means there's a different kind of energy in the building. That's something we're going to experience at the Pac-12 Championship and NCAA Regionals so it was a good opportunity to experience that in preparation for those upcoming meets."
The Bears posted a 49.425 score on beam, tying the 2019 Cal Tri Meet for the seventh-best beam score in school history. Neveah DeSouza and Milan Clausi led off the lineup with twin 9.875 marks, tying for the fourth-best score. However, Cal really excelled in the second half of their lineup as Maya Bordas posted a 9.925. In the anchor spot, Mya Lauzon also claimed a 9.925 mark as she tied with Bordas for first place. Lauzon was making her first appearance since February 4, missing more than a month due to injury.
After a disappointing start, they moved to beam and crushed it," Howell said. "Nev and Milan led us off with excellent routines. They executed their skills and landed well. Mya Lauzon has only done a couple of routines in practice and came back into the lineup and she nailed a routine. That is a big win because as a freshman she needs that experience as we head to postseason."
The Bears rotated over to floor, where they were led by senior Grace Quinn. Quinn tied her career high mark from last week with a 9.95 score and claimed her second career event win. She has now posted a 9.925 or better in five of her last six meets, including the last four in a row. Clausi also posted a 9.90 mark, her third time with a 9.90 or better so far this season. Bordas also notched a 9.875 mark as she helped the Bears score 49.325 on floor.
"Grace has complete ownership of what she's doing on floor," Howell said. "That's a hard position to be in; doing one event and you're the anchor and most of the time floor is near the end of the meet. That can be hard to manage your adrenaline and energy. She's figured it out so she can stay dialed in until it's time for her to compete. She's a joy to watch perform and she's got complete ownership of what she's doing. I'm very happy for her, it's a great senior year for her."
The vault featured some really consistent scoring for the Bears as all five posted a 9.825 or higher. Bordas, Clausi and freshman Maddie Williams all scored a 9.85 as part of a six-way tie for first place on the vault. DeSouza and Nina Schank both notched 9.825 scores to round out the lineup. The Bears tallied a 49.200 score as a group.
Williams continued her standout campaign on bars as she scored 9.825 and took third place in the first event of the evening. She has now totaled a 9.825 or better in all nine meets this year. She now has seven top-three finishes this year. The Bears scored an uncharacteristic 48.925 on bars, their lowest score of the season by .375 as the Bears had posted a 49.300 or better on every bars routine this year.
"We actually did a great job tonight on bars," Howell said. "We really competed, I told them that at the end, 'they did their job on bar and went to each event and got better and that's better than any win. We're going to need that going into postseason.' You look at that score and you'd think we had a fall when we had excellent routines with some small landing errors. It was disappointing for our team who in a lot of ways got better in practice and they got better in competition and their total score reflected a team score like you were counting a fall. Maddie did the best routine of her life and barely broke a 9.8. It was insane. She had a stuck dismount, which she's been working so hard to do. I thought it was a 9.95 routine and she got a 9.90 from one judge which was fair and a 9.75 from the other judge, I couldn't believe that."
Bordas claimed the all-around title for the third meet this year as she scored a 39.375. The senior won the beam and vault competitions and now has nine event wins on the year.
The Bears will be back in action on Sunday as Cal hosts Iowa at Haas Pavilion. It will be the final home meet of the season and the Bears will celebrate their eight-person senior class which includes: Maya Bordas, Milan Clausi, Kyana George, Talitha Jones, Grace Quinn, Nina Schank, Abi Solari and Emi Watterson.
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