Mannhart's All-Around Performance Keys Cal's Victory Over Hawkeyes
Men's Gymnastics: Cal vs. IowaCal Men's Gymnastics took on Iowa on Saturday night in Haas Pavillion.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Category: Sports > Winter > Gymnastics (Men's)
It was a warm welcome home for the Cal men's gymnastics team. Close to 600 fans were in attendance at Haas Pavilion on Saturday evening to witness the No. 3 Bears' triumph over No. 10 Iowa in their home opener.
"We are all really happy with the performance," redshirt freshman Jeffrey Langenstein said. "I think we actually should have scored higher than what we were given."
That sentiment was echoed by his other teammates as well. Cal's score of 353.350 was nonetheless more than enough to sweep away the competition, with Iowa tallying 336.950. Bears coach Tim McNeill's expectations coming into the duel were met as Cal won all six events on the night.
"I think today was our best meet of the season," McNeill said.
The Bears' convincing victory was due in large part to sophomore Dennis Mannhart's all-around title win with an 86.500.
"Dennis had a great night," sophomore Donothan Bailey said. "Everyone was happy to see him do well after some injury setbacks earlier this season."
Senior Kyle Bunthuwong was another gymnast who executed his routines strongly, winning the pommel horse, high bar and parallel bars.
Bunthuwong's 15.250 score on the pommel horse clinched the meet for Cal. He also recorded a 15.200 on parallel bars and a 15.600 on horizontal bar. Langenstein's total of 16.250 was the winning mark for vault.
In the floor event, Daniel Culpepper placed first with a 14.900. He was joined by redshirt senior Bryan del Castillo, sophomore Jean Monteclaro and Mannhart to round up the top performers on floor.
Sophomore Steven Lacombe was awarded the first of three spots in the rings event at 14.950. The following spots were secured by Bunthuwong and Mannhart, with scores of 14.400 and 14.050, respectively. The final two positions were both occupied by Cal's Monteclaro brothers.
"We had a team huddle right after the meet and the vibe is really good," Bailey said.
Saturday's results provided the confidence boost the Bears needed. The squad's positive spirits are well-timed with the NCAA Team Championships in April.
"Our primary goal is to grab first place at NCAAs and these meets help transform us into a top team," junior Glen Ishino said.
The Bears return to Haas Pavilion for the last time in their program's history to take on Bay Area rival Stanford. The matchup will be the fifth encounter between these top teams this season alone.
"It's going to be exciting," Langenstein said. "They are number one in the nation right now, but we will be ready to beat them in two weeks time."
Camellia Senemar covers men's gymnastics. Contact her at [email protected]
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