Women's Gymnastics Prepares For Last Season After News of Program's Elimination

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The Cal women's gymnastics team is among the five to be cut in an effort to make the athletics department more financially sustainable, it was announced Tuesday.

Potential for Pac-10 and NCAA success was among the factors listed as reasons for the selection of these programs to be phased out. Those on the chopping block include rugby, baseball, lacrosse and men's gymnastics.

The women's gymnastics team has finished in last place in the Pac-10 in 18 of the last 24 seasons. During that stretch, the pinnacles have been two fifth place finishes, which occurred in 1990 and 2000.

The entire team is in shock, according to junior captain Alex Leggitt.

"It's something that I love and have been doing my whole life," sophomore Chelsea Spomer said. "(It) was taken away from me and I had no control over it. I've definitely never felt like that before."

While the gymnasts were warned during the last academic year that the elimination of teams was a possibility, they later received news that the committee had advised against cutting sports.

It wasn't until a few days ago that their fear resurfaced when coach Cari DuBois told her team that they were in danger.

"Being the team with the second lowest budget next to our men's program, I would never think they were going to cut us," Leggitt said.

After reeling with this shock, each member of the team must decide if they will remain at Cal or look to transfer to another school.

Should a gymnast transfer, she would not lose a year of NCAA eligibility given the circumstances.

The team must also continue training, since they have to write the last chapter of the program's history, beginning competition in January.

"It's hard to imagine getting back into workouts and getting back up on the beam," Leggitt said, "and working as hard as we normally do for such a great season because everyone's just so hurt right now.

"But at the same time, we have the rest of this year to really push through it and go out with a bang, as our coach said. I'm hoping that we can really pull together as a unit and work through this year, and hopefully finish stronger than we've ever finished."

For continued coverage, check back at dailycal.org.


Contact Christina Jones at [email protected]

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