The members of Cal’s women’s gymnastics have been riding a wave of history for the past two years. In 2015, they reached new heights by placing third at NCAA regionals. Then, last season, they made it all the way to NCAA championships and amassed a commendable score of 195.950, which proved good enough for seventh place out of 12 teams.
Heading into this season, the Bears are ranked an impressive 10th in the national preseason coaches’ poll, the highest preseason ranking in Cal women’s gymnastics history. The team also checked in at fourth in the Pac-12 preseason coaches’ poll.
The Bears now look to build on last season’s success as they kick off 2017 with Monday’s NorCal Classic, where they’ll take on No. 11 Stanford, as well as Sacramento State, UC Davis and San Jose State. Cal won this meet last season and is in a good position to repeat as the No. 10 team in the nation.
Their biggest threat in completing that task appears to be No. 11 Stanford, specifically junior standout Elizabeth Price. Price was named last year’s Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year after a fourth place all-around finish at the NCAA championships.
The NorCal Classic not only represents the Bears’ first meet of the season, but also the first time that the team’s seniors will open the season at home.
Cal gymnasts to keep an eye on in this meet include 2016 Olympian Toni-Ann Williams, as well as senior Zoe Draghi. Draghi is coming off a fantastic season during which she managed to score above a 9.7 in all but one routine and received Pac-12 All-Academic Honorable Mention.