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Golden Medals: More Pac-12 gymnastics and swimming awards for Cal Bears

And other updates from Cal Olympic sports

Phillips 66 National Championships - Day 2 Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images


Several Golden Bears continued their strong season and won additional Pac-12 weekly honors this past week.

In the pool, thanks to a strong outing at USC, Cal sophomore Reece Whitley earns his 2nd Pac-12 Men’s Swimmer of the Week honor in three weeks.

While the Cal Women’s Gymnastics came just short of another home upset over the visiting Utah Red Rocks, several Golden Bears earned more Pac-12 of the week honor.

The two all-arounders on the Cal lineup, junior Kyana George and freshman Navaeh Desouza each earrned their 3rd Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week and Freshman of the Week awards, respectively.

Sophomore Maya Bordas got the special Coaches’ Choice of the Week honor. Bordas also competed in the all-around last week and posted a career highs on floor and all-around.

Congrats to all the winners!

Cal Women’s Gymnastics nearly earned another historic win over Utah

Just like two years ago, the Utah at Cal women’s gymnastics meet came down to the very end. Two years ago, since graduated Calympian Toni-Ann Williams had a clutch floor routine to give the upstart Cal program a historic signature win over the consistently top-5 Utah Red Rocks program.

On this past Saturday, Cal and Utah were tied going into the last rotation. Golden Bears were again on the floor while the Red Rocks were on the always dangerous balance beam.

The two squads traded leads back and forth in this final rotation with the Utes coming out ahead thanks to a ridiculously great beam rotation where they scored 49.625 (where they even dropped a 4.875 score).

Nonetheless, from the Bears’ POV, their team score of 197.325 is again a very very good one. It also ties for their season best, so far. Perhaps even more encouraging, Cal Bears definitely left some points on the board, particularly in that final floor rotation. With a lot of underclassmen, Cal Women’s Gymnastics is showing quite a lot of potential to finish the year in the top 8.

Bears will next visit the Stanford Cardinal on Sunday. Cal has bested Stanford twice already in 2020.

Cal Swimming with just dual meets vs. Stanford left before Pac-12

Both Cal men’s and women’s swimming and diving looks like serious NCAA team championship contenders in 2020.

The Cal women are the top ranked team in the country and will try to booster that claim when they visit the Farm on Saturday agains the 3x defending NCAA champs in Stanford. Stanford is certainly more vulnerable this year, particularly with last year’s star Taylor Ruck taking the year off to prep for the Olympics. Even if Stanford do win the dual meet over the 7-0 Cal Bears tomorrow in the dual format (Stanford’s depth helps in these meets more than at the Pac-12 or NCAA), fans should really note who is winning the individual events, particularly the relays where the Bears have the fastest sprinter in college in senior Calympian Abbey Weitzeil.

Cal men will have this weekend off before a trip to Stanford next week. Golden Bears are ranked 2nd in the country ahead Texas. In that late December meet, Texas did beat Cal in Minnesota but the Golden Bears were missing two 2020 Calympians who were away qualifying for Tokyo in Zheng Wen Quah (Singapore) and Hugo Gonzalez (Spain).

Cal Rugby was dominant in 59-7 win over UCLA

The first of 3 home matches on the Pac-12 Networks in 2020, Cal Rugby had a lot less issue against UCLA compared to the final of the Storer Classic several weeks ago. Bears certainly did not play a completely clean match, in fact Cal’s passing was problematic at times with several players playing new positions in the 2020 season. Nonetheless, the Bears dominated the match when needed and held a good UCLA squad nearly scoreless (they scored a late try on the rugby equivalent of the pick-6).

The Parents’ weekend concluded with a rout of the California Maritime Academy 109-0. Cal will next visit Arizona this weekend. Arizona has had a great 7s program in recent year, but their 15s have not been nearly as strong.

In two week, the home match of the battle for “World Cup” between Cal and University of British Columbia will take place. In the past few years, Cal has played their top team in the home match while only sending a reserve team up to Vancouver. UBC has dominated this changing rivalry.

Cal Softball goes 3-2 in opening weekend in Miami

Cal lost 6-1 to home team FIU, beat Michigan State 11-6, lost to Penn State 3-2 via a walkoff, beat Michigan State again 10-4, before avenging the Penn State loss by a 3-1 win last week.

Sophomore Alexandra Perez was the key starter. She did not miss enough bats for my liking by producing just 11 K in 28.0 IP. Transfer Chloe Romero had a tough weekend in starting one game and relieve in three - her ERA of 9 should come down.

Bears did not show enough power in the first weekend (just one homer and a team slugging percentage of 0.393) but they batted a respectable 0.283 thanks to the two outbursts against Michigan State.

Cal will next visit Fresno State this weekend for another tournament. Bears need to win a lot of these non-conference games to potentially finish the season with a winning record, requirement for a team to be even eligible for postseason. The Pac-12 is again so strong that should the Bears just win a third of the conference games to have a respectable RPI.

Bears are off to a great start against SMC today, leading 9-0 through 4.5 innings.