Young Aggies open strong at NorCal Classic

Jan. 8, 2018

Complete Results

STANFORD, Calif. - Senior Alexis Brown scored at least 9.825 on three events en route to an all-around total of 39.200, leading UC Davis in the five-team, season-opening NorCal Classic women's gymnastics meet at Maples Pavilion Monday night. The animal science major from Huntington Beach finished third in the all-around race, while her 9.850 on balance beam took part in a tie for third place.

The Aggies compiled a team total of 194.400, placing fourth in the meet and setting a school record for a season opener. California won the overall team race at 195.475, with host Stanford more than a half-point behind at 194.925. San Jose State edged UC Davis for third place with a 194.475, with Sacramento State finishing fifth with a 192.875 total.

The Aggies' 194.400 eclipses the program's previous high of 194.350 for a season-opening meet, set in 2015. The bars score of 48.800 in the final rotation also set a new benchmark for an opener, while the floor total of 48.800 marked the highest in such a meet since the 2011 season.

Impressively, UC Davis accomplished this feat despite having 13 of its 24 total lineup spots taken by first-time collegians. True freshman Kelley Hebert also competed in all four events, scoring a 38.075 for her all-around debut. Kyla Kessler (vault, bars, floor), Gabby Landess (vault, bars, floor), Jamie Panchak (bars, beam) and Alyssa Ito (bars) also made their Aggie debuts.

"That's unbelievable. I said in the preseason that these freshmen are pretty amazing, and they showed it tonight," said head coach John Lavallee. "They did a good job getting through the meet. They weren't quite as tight and crisp as they will be in a few weeks, and I think we have a lot of good things to look forward to. Our upperclassmen are excellent leaders, and this team is right where it wants to be. 

"We had a disgusting amount of fun tonight," Lavallee added.

Brown anchored UC Davis to the 9.850 on beam in the opening rotation, with juniors Aya Suzuki and Yasmine Yektaparast chipping in 9.750 scores to help the Aggies to a 48.650 team total. The marks the program's highest score for that apparatus in a season-opening meet since that 2015 NorCal Classic, when the Aggies hit a 48.925.

Brown then struck again with her team-leading 9.825 on floor exercise, with rookies Hebert and Kessler each turning in 9.775s. Captains Yektaparast and senior Amanda Presswood added 9.725 and 9.700, respectively on floor, with another freshman, Landess, carding a 9.700. 

Kessler, who celebrated a birthday along with enjoying her first collegiate meet, led the Aggies in vault in the third rotation with a 9.725 to take part in a tie for fifth in the meet. Brown recorded a 9.675 and Hebert added a 9.600 to help UC Davis to a 48.150 event score. The team entered the uneven bars with a 145.600.

After a bye in the fourth rotation, the Aggies then wrapped up the meet on uneven bars. Suzuki hit a 9.700 to lead off the event. Kessler and Hebert followed with back-to-back 9.675 marks. Panchak then hit a 9.775 in the fourth slot, with Landess notching a 9.800 in the fifth. Brown anchored the bars lineup with another 9.850 score, pushing her above the 39-point barrier in the all-around for the ninth time in her career. The team's 48.800 on bars represents another program best for a season opener, besting the 48.700 set one year ago at the 2017 installment of the NorCal meet.

The Aggies return to action in a road dual at Seattle Pacific on Friday.

Maples Pavilion (Stanford, Calif.)

TEAM SCORES - 1. California, 195.475; 2. Stanford, 194.925; 3. San Jose State, 194.475; 4. UC Davis, 194.400; 5. Sacramento State, 192.875.

VAULT - 1. Elizabeth Price, Stanford, 9.850; 2 (tie). Toni-Ann Williams, California; Annie Juarez, Sac State, 9.800.

UNEVEN BARS - 1. Elizabeth Price, Stanford, 10.000; 2. Kyana George, California, 9.900; 3 (tie). Alma Kuc, California; Nina Shank, California; Kaitlin Won, SJSU, 9.875.

BALANCE BEAM - 1. Toni-Ann Williams, California, 9.900; 2. Kyana George, California, 9.875; 3 (tie). Alicia Gallarzo, California; Kyla Bryant, Stanford; Alexis Brown, UC Davis, 9.850.

FLOOR EXERCISE - 1. Elizabeth Price, Stanford, 9.975; 2. Kyla Bryant, Stanford, 9.925; 3. Toni-Ann Williams, California, 9.900.

ALL-AROUND - 1. Elizabeth Price, Stanford, 39.650; 2. Kyana George, California, 39.350; 3. Alexis Brown, UC Davis, 39.200.

Providing a small-town community feel while providing a world-class academic experience, UC Davis is home to more than 37,000 students and centrally located between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and the Napa Valley. The No. 6-ranked public university in the nation according to the Wall Street Journal, and among the top 10 public universities nationwide according to U.S. News and World Report, UC Davis offers nearly 100 graduate programs and more than 100 academic majors across four colleges and six professional schools, ranking among the world and nation’s best in numerous disciplines, including veterinary science, agriculture, and plant and animal programs.

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