After completing one of the most successful seasons in program history, Cal has more good news to break. The Bears announced that seniors Kyana George, Emi Watterson and Nina Schank have elected to use their fifth year of eligibility, which they were granted by the NCAA due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
George headlines the group of returning veterans. She was the team’s strongest performer on floor, averaging a 9.922 in the event throughout the regular season, and her personal best of 9.975 ties for the best score on floor in program history. A versatile competitor, George has also won the all-around event multiple times in her career. She was named an All-American on balance beam, an AAI award finalist and the WCGA Region 6 Gymnast of the Year award.
Emi Watterson also has program bests and All-American honors to her name. The gymnast hailing from Australia made history in the 2021 season by scoring a 10.000 on bars while wearing a mask. Alongside Cindy Tom, Watterson is one of two gymnasts to earn a perfect score on bars in program history. She was also named an All-American on beam for her performance as Cal’s anchor at nationals.
Rounding out the returning class is team captain Schank, who competed in every bars lineup of the season; her reliability was a major part of the Bears’ success in that event. For her efforts, Schank was one of four Bears named to the Pac-12 First Team on bars. Schank has also found success in the classroom, and for three consecutive years has earned the Golden Bear Award, an honor given to the athlete with the highest GPA on the team.
After narrowly missing finals last season, the Cal women’s gymnastics team has its eyes locked on another trip to nationals. With the return of three of their strongest gymnasts, the Bears get three steps closer to an elusive national championship.
Aiko Sudijono is the deputy sports editor. Contact her at [email protected].