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Cal Men's Gymnastics Sends 10 To NCAA Final

April 19, 2024
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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The momentum that the California men’s gymnastics team built throughout the 2024 season came to a head at just the right time, as it posted its best score at the NCAA Championships in the modern scoring era on Friday.

The Golden Bears – faced with an intense environment and raucous crowd at Ohio State’s Covelli Center –finished Session I of the NCAA Qualifier with a 407.158, their third best overall on the modern program list and their fourth 400-plus total of the season. Cal finished fourth, placing ahead of Navy (396.290) and Greenville (389.157) but behind Stanford (417.389), Nebraska (413.123) and Illinois (410.461), the latter three of whom qualified for Saturday’s team final.

Despite not advancing as a team, the Bears will have a heavy contingent at the Final after qualifying 10 men, including all three of their all-arounders, to mark a new program best since 2015.

Cal started off the day on pommel horse – their most consistent event of the year – and posted the sixth-highest score in modern program history (66.998), which was keyed by senior Aidan Li, who broke his own program record with a 14.800. It was the second-best score of the session and earned him a berth to Saturday’s final. The Bears then moved on to rings, bookending their lineup with qualifying scores from freshman Jaxon Mitchell (13.633) and senior Chris Scales (13.900); the former was a new personal best for the rookie, which helped Cal post its 10th-highest rings score on the modern program list at 67.332.

A monster vault rotation followed for the Blue & Gold, which posted its best score since 2020 with a 71.564 that ranked second on the program list. Sixth-year senior Darren Wong posted a season-high 14.233, followed by a 14.033 by all-arounder Theodor Roald Gadderud and a huge PR of 13.966 from fellow all-arounder Tyler Shimizu. It was sophomore Khalen Currey who earned Cal’s top score on the event, sticking a 14.766 that ended the session as the field’s top score, qualified him to the final and moved him up to third in modern program history. Junior Jasper Smith-Gordon then rounded out the lineup with a qualifying 14.566. Lastly, Cal’s third all-arounder, senior Noah Newfeld, closed out the third rotation with a large PR of his own, a 14.000.

Newfeld’s momentum carried over onto parallel bars, where he stuck his dismount to cap off a 14.100 routine and top the lineup; Wong, meanwhile, posted a qualifying score of 13.800, helped the Bears to a total score of 68.566, their fourth consecutive program top 10 (No. 5). The team followed his lead with three sticks on high bar, courtesy of Mitchell (12.966), Wong (13.833), and senior Collin Cunane (13.200), the latter two of whom advanced to the final. Cal closed out the meet on floor, led by Curry’s qualifying 13.933 and Shimizu’s 13.900.

 

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Cal Men's Gymnastics Sends 10 To NCAA Final

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