Bears Fall to Stanford in Final Home Meet of Season, ProgramCal Wins Three of Six Events But Narrowly Loses to Cardinal in Finale at Haas Pavilion
Monday, March 28, 2011
Category: Sports > Winter > Gymnastics (Men's)
Last Friday was a day of lasts. The duel between No. 4 Cal and No. 2 Stanford marked the last home competition for the Cal men's gymnastics team at Haas Pavilion. The meet was not only the last one in Berkeley for the five graduating seniors, but also for the rest of their teammates, as the program nears the culmination of its last season.
The meet began with a strong initial performance from Cal as it took the lead with the floor and pommel horse events. Despite winning three of the six events and tallying a total score of 354.525, it wasn't enough to overcome the Cardinal's 360.950.
"We started off really well, which was exciting, but then we kind of dipped down at the end," redshirt senior and co-captain Daniel Geri said. "Overall, we're still pretty happy with all the effort that the guys put in."
The Bears won floor with a score of 60.200, securing a two-point margin ahead of Stanford. Senior Bryan del Castillo further established their lead, notching a 15.000 for first place on the pommel horse. Sophomore Jeffrey Langenstein had a convincing performance on vault, receiving the top score of 16.300.
"It's technically my senior year as well," Langenstein said. "I had one job to do and that was vault - I went out and did it."
The night would not have been complete without star gymnast Glen Ishino pulling out an event win. The junior's 15.000 captured the title for parallel bars.
"He's definitely the hardest working gymnast that I've ever seen," senior Eric Haeussler said.
Unfortunately for Cal, the night would not have been complete without another injury setback either. The Bears have struggled with injuries to key players throughout the season.
"We got Dennis (Mannhart) injured," Langenstein said. "I just hope that we can all band together and come back to win championships."
It wasn't until the third rotation that Stanford crept ahead and maintained its point advantage through the finish. The team's score on rings propelled it forward, and it was horizontal and parallel bars that saw the Cardinal widen the gap.
The mood did not stay melancholy for long, however, as the five seniors - Bryan del Castillo, Daniel Geri, Kyle Bunthuwong, Michael del Junco and Eric Haeussler - were all honored after the meet in front of over 2,000 fans and a standing ovation.
"It's been a long road for all of us, it's been emotional," Haeussler said.
But that road is not over just yet. Less than three weeks remain as Cal is anxiously anticipating the NCAA Team Championships. The Bears will continue to prepare with the MPSF Championships coming up first next weekend.
Camellia Senemar covers men's gym. Contact her at [email protected]
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