Cal Men’s Gymnastics honored seniors Kyle Abe and Caleb Rickard on Saturday
California Men’s Gymnastics left the Haas Pavilion on Saturday with a new season-high score on vault and a team-wide determination to build momentum as they prepare for the playoffs.
Opponent Stanford won Saturday’s game with a total of 411.300 to the Bears’ 389.600.
“At this point we’ve posted competitive scores on just about every event,” the head coach said. J.T. Okada. “Now it’s all about putting it all together. In our last regular season meeting and then the conference meeting, we’re really going to look at what’s been consistent and try to make that known.”
Cal’s main vault roster combined for a score of 70.450, the best for the team since their opener against SoCal United. David Rauchwerger led the way, posting a massive personal best of 14.300 to eventually lead the team. The rest of the roster then posted their own strong scores – Yu Chen Lee finished with a 14.200, Caleb Rickard scored 14.050, jelani sweet posted a 14.000 and Kyle Abe tied his season record 13,900. Two Bears also gave exhibition performances on the jump, with Seth Ornela reaching a PR of 14,200 and Ron Israel debuted in the event with a score of 13.350.
In addition to his high mark on vault, Lee led the Golden Bears in floor exercise (14.050), still rings (12.900) and parallel bars (13.850).
The Bears also honored senior graduates Kyle Abe and Caleb Rickard before the contest, awarding them each a wooden bear statue to signify their long-standing commitment to the program.
Rickard wrapped up the encounter with a horizontal bar routine that inspired cheers from the Bears and Cardinal, who had gathered around the craft to watch.
“It’s bittersweet,” Rickard said. “I had a lot of fun at the end, both teams cheering me on. I’ve been competing against some of these guys at Stanford for four years, so they’re almost like teammates too.”
Abe agreed with Rickard. “It was weird,” he said. “I think it’s going to really hit me later.”
The Bears travel to Norman, Okla., on March 19 to face No. 2 Oklahoma in the final meeting of the regular season.