Cal gymnastics aiming for consistency as regular season nears end

A gymnast performs in his competition while suspended in the air.
Karen Chow/Senior Staff

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After a week to rest up, the Cal men’s gymnastics team will be back in action this week as it travels to Seattle for a dual meet against the No. 17 University of Washington on Sunday. After climbing the rankings halfway through the season, the Bears have fallen back to their No. 11 position after six consecutive losses to their Bay Area rivals, the No. 2 Cardinal. But despite Cal’s inability to capture the top spot thus far this season, the team has come out above Washington this season in early February at the Pac-12 Invitational. The Bears are looking to add a victory this season, and if they perform the way they have been thus far, they should be able to capture the win against the Huskies.

Though they won’t be at home this weekend, away meets have not phased the team thus far, as the Bears have put up consistent routines to keep a solid away-meet average. As of its last meet, Cal has entered the back half of the season, meaning five routines are put up for each event and all five are counted, as opposed to earlier meets when six sets would be competed, but the lowest score could be dropped, allowing for only the best five to count.

The women’s gymnastics team will be sticking around California for two more meets to round out the regular season as the No. 14 Bears take on the San Jose State Spartans on Friday. Coming off a victory against Sacramento State and UC Davis in which Cal put up a season-high total of 196.975, which was the fifth-highest team score in Cal women’s gymnastics history, the team is aiming to continue this successful streak in San Jose before the March 17 home finale.

Cal has been fine-tuning routines and working to eliminate any unnecessary deductions, such as steps on landings, not hitting all of their handstands on bars and leg separation. The Bears’ hard work paid off in an impressive bar rotation against the Aggies and Hornets in which they stuck six for six dismounts and earned a season-high bars total of 49.40.

Though the Bears suffered a significant loss with the injury of fifth-year senior Toni-Ann Williams a few weeks ago, the team has rallied and hit some of its strongest routines as the athletes continue to improve. Standout performances from freshman Milan Clausi have earned her the title of Pac-12 Freshman of The Week two times this season, most recently after she earned a podium finish on all three events last weekend, including tying for the vault title with Cal sophomore Kyana George. The Bears will also lean on sophomore Emi Watterson, who took home the bars title after a nearly perfect 9.95 routine.

As the regular season begins to wind down for both the men’s and women’s teams, Cal looks to polish its routines in order to achieve postseason success.

Sloane Pace covers gymnastics. Contact her at [email protected].