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Bears Set Season-Best On Vault At Senior Day

Mar 12, 2022


BERKELEY – California men's gymnastics left Haas Pavilion on Saturday with a new season-high score on vault and a team-wide determination to build upward momentum as they prepare for the postseason.

Opponent Stanford won Saturday's meet with a point total of 411.300 to the Bears' 389.600.

"At this point, we've displayed competitive scores on pretty much every event," said head coach J.T. Okada. "Now it's about putting it all together. Going into our last regular-season meet and then the conference meet, we'll be really looking at what's been consistent and try to put that out there."

Cal's main vault lineup combined for a score of 70.450, the team's best since their opening meet against SoCal United. David Rauchwerger led things off, posting a massive personal best of 14.300 to eventually lead the team. The rest of the lineup subsequently posted solid scores of their own – Yu-Chen Lee finished with a 14.200, Caleb Rickard scored 14.050, Jelani Sweet posted a 14.000 and Kyle Abe tied his season-best 13.900. Two Bears also gave exhibition performances on vault, with Seth Ornelas reaching a PR of 14.200 and Ron Israel making his debut in the event with a score of 13.350.

In addition to his high vault score, Lee led the Golden Bears in the floor exercise (14.050), still rings (12.900) and parallel bars (13.850).

The Bears also honored graduating seniors Kyle Abe and Caleb Rickard before the contest, awarding them each with a wooden bear statue to signify their longtime commitment to the program.

Rickard concluded the meet with a routine on horizontal bar that inspired cheers from Bears and Cardinal alike, who had gathered around the apparatus to watch.

"It's bittersweet," said Rickard. "I had a lot of fun at the end, with both teams cheering me on. I've been competing against some of those Stanford guys for four years, so they're almost like teammates too."

Abe agreed with Rickard. "It felt weird," he said. "I think it's going to really hit me later."
The Bears head to Norman, Okla., on March 19 to take on No. 2 Oklahoma in the last meet of the regular season.

For complete coverage of Cal men's gymnastics, please follow the Bears on Twitter (@CalMGym), Instagram (@CalMGym), Facebook (@Cal Men's Gymnastics) and TikTok (@CalMGym).