The No. 19 Cal women’s gymnastics team shone Saturday night, despite losing to No. 20 Arizona. Cal finished the night with an overall team score of 196.100, which ranks as its third-best team score of the season. There were certainly many mistakes, however, that the Bears made, but this also came with a share of positives.
The Bears started the night on the uneven bars, which has been one of their stronger events of the season. Sophomore Emily Richardson posted a strong score of 9.825, which tied for her career best. The rest of the team also put up strong all-around bar scores, including a score of 9.825 put up by sophomore Charlie Owens. The Bears finished the uneven bars with an overall score of 49.075, leading Arizona after the first event.
Cal’s second event was the vault, which was its all-around worst event of the night. The Bears ended with an overall vault score of 48.900, one of the lowest event scores posted by the team all season. There were only a couple of strong performances put on in this event, which belonged to freshman Toni-Ann Williams and Owens. Williams posted a score of 9.900 on vault, which won her the all-around event for the night. Owens also put up a strong score of 9.850, which matches her career high. But as a team, the Bears put up one of their worst performances of the season on vault, and these poor vault performances significantly hurt their chances of winning the overall meet.
Luckily for Cal, its third event of the meet was the floor exercise, which had been the strongest event of the season. The Bears entered this meet ranked ninth in the nation when it came to floor, their highest-ranked event. The Bears showed Saturday why they are one of the best teams in the country on floor, especially when it came to the performances put on by Williams and Owens. Williams posted an overall floor score of 9.850 while Owens also finished on floor with a score of 9.850, one of her strongest career scores on this event. The overall strong floor performances put on by the Bears allowed them to finish with an event score of 49.075. They were still, however, trailing Arizona heading into their final event.
Cal finished the night on the event that it’s been shakiest on all season: the balance beam. The Bears entered this meet ranked 33rd in the nation on the beam, but they certainly didn’t perform like that Saturday. The Bears continued their swing in recent weeks by continuing to improve on this event, especially when it came to the performances put on Williams and Dana Ho. Williams matched her career high by putting up a score of 9.875, which ranked as the highest event score of the meet. Ho also matched her career best with a score of 9.850, second only to Williams. The strong balance beam performances put on by the Bears allowed them to finish with an overall event score of 49.100, which ranks as a new season high for Cal.
Overall, Cal put up a strong performance despite falling to the Wildcats. The Bears were able to continue improving on the balance beam, which had been one of their goals heading into this meet.
Alex Quintana covers gymnastics. Contact him at [email protected]