Looking to prolong a program record breaking season, the Golden Bears came to Tuscaloosa looking to advance to only the 2nd NCAA Championships in program history and the first time since 1992. After an exciting meet that comes down to the wire, the Golden Bears are Nationals bound!
Cal clinches an NCAA championship birth for the second time in school history, and the first since 1992! pic.twitter.com/eucMJ17gzM— Cal W Gymnastics (@calwgym) April 3, 2016
The clutch performances allow this program to continue its rise all the way to the NCAA Championships.
The NCAA Championships will take place in two weeks from Fort Worth, TX.
It's official...we're going to Fort Worth! pic.twitter.com/A3HJKVWTIQ— Cal W Gymnastics (@calwgym) April 3, 2016
ROLL ON YOU BEARS!
Cal Women's Gymnastics in NCAA Regional (Tuscaloosa)
When: 2:00 PM PT
TV: SEC Network+ (WatchESPN)
10th ranked Golden Bears are the 2nd seed in the Tuscaloosa Regional today when they compete against top seed Alabama, as well as Boise State, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Bowling Green. This represents the best shot for the Bears to advance to the NCAA Championship for the 1st time since 1992 and merely the 2nd time in program history.
ICYMI: The field for the Tuscaloosa Regional, where the Bears are headed next week! pic.twitter.com/YTB4co4aC3— Cal W Gymnastics (@calwgym) March 22, 2016
Last year, likely future Calympian Toni-Ann Williams was able to advance to the NCAA Championship as an individual while the team fell just short, finishing 3rd in the Berkeley Regional. The top 2 teams from all 6 NCAA Regionals will advance to the NCAA Championship. The top 24 all around or individual scorers whose team is not in the NCAA Championship will also make the NCAA Championship, to take place in Fort Worth on April 15th-16th.
Dancin' into the weekend like Zoe because we are just ONE day away from NCAA Regional competition! pic.twitter.com/MSfWg9rBFw— Cal W Gymnastics (@calwgym) April 1, 2016
Cal Women's Gymnastics has definitely been a program on the rise since head coach Justin Howell took over the program in 2012. Howell was recently named Pac-12 Coach of the Year; the 2nd time that he has earned this honor. Bears being ranked 10th in the country this late on the season is also a program first. Cal has a Regional Qualifying Score (an average of the top team scores over 6 meets on the year, with 3 from the road) of 196.770.
Other than superstar Toni-Ann Williams, who won the Pac-12 crown on floor exercise, Bears have a well rounded squad: Arianna Robinson was 2nd in vault at the Pac-12. Zoe Draghi was 3rd on floor.
For the folks who knows more about vaults than me (from CalBears.com):
With the latest changes in NCAA gymnastics scoring, Cal’s vault lineup is one of the most dynamic in the country. Five gymnasts own vaults with 10.0 start values, and Cal’s lineup features four different types of vaults. Along with the standard Yurchenko fulls, Cal’s lineup includes a Kasamatsu (Emily Richardson) and a piked Ilg (Arianna Robinson), plus Yurchenko Arabians. Toni-Ann Williams also performs a Yurchenko layout 1.5.
It should be a fun afternoon of gymnastics.
Here are the order for the Bears: beam, a bye before floor, floor, vault, another bye, and finally uneven bars.