Men’s Gymnastics Releases 2023 Schedule
BERKELEY - Fans of Cal men's gymnastics can look forward to a healthier and overall improved team in the 2022-23 season.
"We added a lot of talent this year," said head coach J.T. Okada, "and we also have a number of guys who were injured last year getting back into competitive shape for this season."
The upcoming season's schedule is once again jam-packed with top-tier opponents. Cal will host reigning NCAA champion Stanford at Haas Pavilion on Jan. 14 for the final day of the Cal Benefit Cup, followed by a week off before traveling to Palo Alto for the Stanford Open on Jan. 28.
The Bears' first out-of-state trip comes in February as they head to Colorado Springs, Colo., for a matchup against Air Force and Army on the 11th.
Next, Cal competes in a virtual meet against Springfield College on Feb. 17, in which each team will video broadcast from their own respective practice facilities. The Bears then head back to Stanford on Mar. 5, a meet that also includes Illinois' squad. Two straight meets at Haas Pavilion follow – a Mar. 11 tri-meet against Army and William & Mary, then Senior Day versus Oklahoma on Mar. 18 – before Cal returns to Colorado Springs for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Championships on Apr. 1. Finally, the team flies across the country to State College, Penn., for the NCAA Championships, hosted at Penn State from Apr. 14-15.
The Bears particularly look forward to the return of senior Darren Wong, whose third and fourth seasons at Cal were hampered by injuries. One of the team's top overall gymnasts, Wong earned two College Gymnastics Association (CGA) Rookie of the Week awards and a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Gymnast of the Week award in his freshman year. He currently owns the modern-era program records on pommel horse (14.450) and parallel bars (14.600), in addition to the second-highest all-around score (82.700). Cal will also welcome sophomore Jasper Smith-Gordon, who is also recovering from injury, to the competitive lineup. A bronze medalist on vault at the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Junior World Championships, Smith-Gordon will be a force to be reckoned with for the Bears.
Overall, this year's team is one that is built on both increased maturity – 12 of its 20 members are upperclassman, in comparison to last year's 7 – and increased skillsets. Gymnasts who already acted as mainstays in their respective event lineups have worked hard over the offseason to add new elements to their routines and fine-tune the basics. In addition, each member of the team will be training in at least four events, so as to give the squad more overall depth.
Senior Noah Sano and junior Noah Newfeld will both draw on their recent experiences on the national stage, having competed in the 2022 U.S. Gymnastics Championships in August, to pull out big performances for the Bears and encourage their younger teammates. Newfeld, a 2021 NCAA finals qualifier, is joined in that category by returning seniors Will Lavanakul and Yu-Chen Lee, junior Collin Cunane, and sophomores Tyler Shimizu and Landon Wu.
Four new Bears will also join the lineup for the 2023 season: Levon Chalikyan, Khalen Curry, Theodor Gadderud and Harrison Gregory. Each of them boasts an outstanding track record and looks to continue Cal's tradition of rookie excellence.
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