March 12, 2004
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sophomore Mei Ling Clark scored a career-high 9.875 on uneven bars to lead UC Davis to season-best scores of 48.725 in that event and 193.025 overall in a women's gymnastics triangular meet at Sacramento State Friday. The host Hornets finished second in the meet at 194.550 while Cal St. Fullerton won the meet at 195.350. The UC Davis team score ranks fifth in school history.
The Aggies started off well on balance beam with senior captain Heidi Bortfeld leading off the meet with a 9.650 and Arianne Furman following with a 9.525 mark. Julia Richards put up a 9.725 in the third position, but UC Davis' fortune took a turn with a fall in each of the last three performances.
In the second rotation, the Aggies recovered by hitting all six routines on each of floor exercise, vault and bars, helping break the 193-point barrier for the first time in the 2004 season. Junior Tiffany Chan scored a 9.850 on floor in the fifth position, just after Julia Richards turned in a 9.775 on that apparatus. UC Davis hit 48.575 for the event..
Richards kicked off the third rotation with a 9.700 on vault, Megan Nakagawa scored 9.675, Nickie Bykhovsky went 9.650 then Arianne Furman followed with a 9.575. Chan then nailed a 9.825 in the No. 5 - the second highest score by an Aggie this season - and Heidi Bortfeld wrapped up the event with a 9.600. UC Davis scored a season-high 48.450 on vault.
"Having Julia stick her vault to lead off vault was big," said Aggie head coach Ray Goldbar. "We need somebody doing that in every event. The team has been working on getting zoned in on their event and creating some momentum. Once we got on a roll, we started cranking out scores."
Like the vault squad, the bars team got off to a strong start, with a 9.600 from Nicole Doherty then a 9.775 by Bykhovsky in the first two performances. Clark followed with her third-place mark of 9.875, then Furman posted a 9.725. Brandi Forte's 9.625 in the fifth slot helped the Aggies clinch a score well into the 192-point range, but senior Amber Weddell lifted the team into the 193 range with her 9.725 effort to close the meet.Furthermore, the 48.725 ranks second in school history.
The Titans' Erica Ficarrotta won the individual all-around at 38.975, edging Sacramento State's Nirvana Zaher, who was second at 38.675. The Hornets' Stefanie Aeder scored a school-record 9.950 to win on floor exercise, while teammates Binta Coleman and Meloney Greer each tied personal-best marks to win vault and bars, respectively. Brittany Evans of CSF was the balance beam winner at 9.900.
UC Davis and Sacramento State will meet again at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championships on March 20.
TEAM SCORES - 1. Cal St. Fullerton 195.350; 2. Sacramento State 194.550; 3. UC Davis 193.025.
VAULT - 1. Binta Coleman, CSUS, 9.900; 2. Nirvana Zaher, CSUS, 9.875; 3(tie). Tiffany Chan, UC Davis; Jessica Hoffman, CSUS, 9.825.
UNEVEN BARS - 1. Meloney Greer, CSUS, 9.925; 2. Jessica Hoffman, CSUS, 9.900; 3. Mei Ling Clark, UC Davis, 9.875.
BALANCE BEAM - 1. Brittany Evans, CSF, 9.900; 2. Tiffany Bass, CSUS, 9.850; 3. Annette Reyes, CSF, 9.800.
FLOOR EXERCISE - 1. Stefanie Aeder, CSUS, 9.950; 2(tie). Binta Coleman, CSUS; Latoya Milburn, CSF, 9.900.
ALL-AROUND - 1. Erica Ficarrotta, CSF, 38.975; 2. Nirvana Zaher, CSUS, 38.675; 3. Binta Coleman, CSUS, 38.575.