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No. 13 Cal women's gym remains undefeated after wins against Washington, San Jose State

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JANUARY 22, 2017

With its third meet of the season in the books, No. 13 Cal women’s gymnastics has managed to remain undefeated. The Bears (196.300) once again cruised to a comfortable first-place finish against No. 17 Washington (195.325) and San Jose State (193.875) on Saturday night.

With the win against the Spartans and Huskies, the Bears are 7-0 overall and 2-0 against conference opponents.

On top of that, the Bears captured three significant event titles in the meet. Senior Desiree Palomares maintained her season-long streak by capturing the beam title with a 9.9 — her third consecutive title. Junior Toni-Ann Williams did the same on floor with her own score of 9.9 and added a first place finish on vault with a 9.875.

The Bears tallied three event scores of more than 49 points and had only one major fall throughout the evening, a testament to the steadiness that they have demonstrated all season long.

“I felt like our consistency was great,” said Cal head coach Justin Howell.

The only lapse in that consistency came in Cal’s last rotation: floor. Despite some very powerful tumbling, freshman Cassidy Keelen posted a season-low 9.325 on the event. Floor was the only sub-49 point event for the Bears, in which they scored 48.900.

Williams’ meet-best 9.9, however, was a solid contribution on the event. Her high-flying double layout stood out in the former Olympian’s crowd-pleasing routine.

“We’re good on floor,” Howell said. “We need to be able to come out here and compete floor the way we’ve been training.”

On bars, senior Emily Richardson led the Bears with a 9.9 and a solidly stuck dismount. She was just barely edged out for the bars title by Washington’s Kaitlyn Duranczyk, who posted a 9.925. Sophomore Sofie Seilnacht made her season debut on the event, recording a 9.775.

Vault was highlighted by Williams’ clean Yurchenko full, which received a 9.875. Junior Arianna Robinson showed off her unique Ilg pike for 9.850. Keelen and Richardson each posted a 9.825.

“We’ve been very consistent on vault for the last three weeks,” Howell said.

Cal’s event score of 49.125 on Saturday was preceded by a 48.900 last weekend in Iowa and a 49.250 in the season-opening NorCal Classic.

Beam, however, was the pinnacle of the Bears’ performance in the meet. They totalled a season-high 49.175 led by three-peat champion Palomares.

“She’s such a great, confident beam performer,” Howell said. “She’s so comfortable up there, and she attacks it. It’s fun to watch.”

Seilnacht and senior Dana Ho tied for second place on the event with a 9.850. It was Ho’s season debut on beam.

The Bears’ 196.300 represents the highest team total they have posted all season.

Following this victory, the Bears look ahead to next weekend and a matchup against Arizona State. There, they will look to defend their perfect record and top-15 ranking.

Adriana Ghiozzi covers women’s gymnastics. Contact her at [email protected].

JANUARY 23, 2017

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