Jan. 11, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. - Senior co-captain Michelle Ho captured individual meet wins on uneven bars for the second consecutive weekend and posted the highest floor exercise score in almost nine years, helping UC Davis improve to a 192.425 team score in its home opener against California at the Pavilion Friday. The visiting Golden Bears won the meet with a 194.575 total.
Ho, the reigning Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Gymnast of the Week, scored a 9.850 on uneven bars to outduel the Cal tandem of Dallas Crawford and Madisyn O'Brien, who each went 9.800. She closed out the meet with a 9.925 on floor, the highest by any Aggie since Tiffany Chan tied the school record of 9.950 at the 2004 MPSF Championshipps. Chan, Poppy Major and Flora Bare all share the UC Davis benchmark.
Cal junior Alicia Asturias also was a double winner in the meet, capturing the vault at 9.900 and claiming the individual all-around title with a total of 39.300. Carol Chang also won an event medal for the Golden Bears, edging teammate Mariesah Pierce, 9.775-9.750, on balance beam.
UC Davis scored a 48.500 on vault in the opening rotation, helped by a 9.800 and 9.825 in the final two slots by Anna Shumaker and Katie Yamamura respectively. Ho's win on bars helped the Aggies compile a 48.000 total in the second rotation. UC Davis struggled to four misses on balance beam to finish with a 46.825 in the third although Shumaker's third-place 9.725 provided a highlight on that apparatus.
The Aggies then amassed a 49.100 on floor exercise, the No. 9 team score in school history and the highest since the very 2004 conference meet in which Chan tied the UC Davis record. Junior Madeline Kennedy and senior co-captain Taryn West each opened the floor exercise rotation with personal-high scores. Kennedy hit 9.750 in the leadoff spot then West followed with a 9.825 mark. Shumaker then posted a 9.750 in the third slot, also flirting with a personal best except for a one-tenth out of bounds deduction.
Yamamura, making her season debut in Friday's meet, scored a 9.775 in the No. 4 slot. Freshman Stephanie Stamates nailed a 9.825, with Ho capping the Aggie evening with her winning score in the sixth spot of the order.
Coincidentally, Ho enjoyed her performance in front of her former club coach. Justin Howell, who mentored Airborne Gymnastics for 16 years, is now in his first season as the Golden Bears' head coach. Howell also guided the early careers of Yamamura and Aggie junior Regi Solvkjar.
UC Davis' total represents more than a full-point improvement ahead of its score at last weekend's NorCal Quad meet at San Jose State. The Aggies return to action in another four-team meet, this time at Washington with California and UIC on January 18.
TEAM SCORES - 1. California, 194.575; 2. UC Davis, 192.425.
VAULT - 1. Alicia Asturias, Cal, 9.900; 2 (tie). Katie Yamamura, UC Davis; Kristina Heymann, Cal; Serena Leong, Cal, 9.825.
UNEVEN BARS - 1. Michelle Ho, UC Davis, 9.850; 2 (tie). Dallas Crawford, Cal; Madisyn O'Brien, Cal, 9.800.
BALANCE BEAM - 1. Carol Chang, Cal, 9.775; 2. Mariesah Pierce, Cal, 9.750; 3 (tie). Anna Shumaker, UC Davis; Alicia Asturias, Cal, 9.725.
FLOOR EXERCISE - 1. Michelle Ho, UC Davis, 9.925; 2 (tie). Alicia Asturias, Cal; Serena Leong, Cal, 9.900.
ALL-AROUND - 1. Alicia Asturias, Cal, 39.300; 2. Mariesah Pierce, Cal, 38.875; 3. Katie Yamamura, UC Davis, 38.550.