UC Davis women’s gymnastics place second in Cal/Sac State meet
After placing first in the March 6 meet against San Jose State and Brown, the Aggies continued their wave of success by scoring a season-high of 196.025 on Friday night against UC Berkeley and Sacramento State. Just edging out the Hornets by a little more than half a point, the Aggies secured second place in the meet while the Cal Golden Bears took first place with their season-high score of 197.500.
Concurrently, it was Senior Night for the Aggies, and Dani Judal, Taylor Baron, Stephanie Stamates and Jamie Yamashita were honored for their four years on the team.
As usual, UC Davis started off at the vault. Sophomore Alexis Brown led with a score of 9.800 while freshman Kara Jones, returning from an injury sustained during the dual against Alaska Anchorage, and junior Katy Nogaki both scored 9.775. Junior Yonni Michovska followed with a 9.725. The Aggies received an overall score of 48.750.
Next up, the Aggies went to bars. It was a strong showing on all fronts, with Brown scoring a 9.875 and Judal with a 9.850. Michovska contributed with a 9.800 and helped the Aggies earn a season-high score of 48.950 in the event, tying Sac State. Cal swept the event with a three-way tie of 9.900 and one score of 9.925.
The high score on bars showed improvement from previous meets.
“We have struggled on uneven bars all season long, [but] we have come to the gym everyday, we have put the work in, and tonight it paid off,” said head coach John Lavallee.
History was also made on the balance beam event. The Aggies’ score of 49.125 in the event put them at a fourth place tie in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation records. Stamates led with a 9.875, tying her personal best, while Nogaki and Brown each scored 9.850. Freshman Yasmine Yektaparast and Judal followed with a score of 9.775.
The Aggies went out with a bang on the floor event. Their total for the event was 49.200, a season best and No. 8 in the program’s history. Stamates once again recorded the highest score on the Aggie lineup, rounding off a strong showing with a 9.900. Yektaparast and sophomore Amanda Presswood both followed with 9.850 a piece. Baron recorded a career-high score of 9.825, and Jones also delivered with a 9.800.
Despite the end of the competition, the night was far from over. The seniors from all the teams were called on to the floor to be honored and were presented with flowers. A video montage highlighted moments from the graduating Aggies’ gymnastics careers.
“It’s a really emotional night, but to just finish out with my teammates and have fun out here tonight […] I couldn’t have asked for a better ending,” Stamates said. “The team is everything to me.”
Baron seconded the sentiment.
“These girls are my family. They push me to be a better person each and every day, so I’m just going to enjoy each and every moment of my last season,” Baron said.
The seniors have one last chance to compete with their teammates in the post-season MPSF conference championships. Scheduled on the Saturday of finals week, the Aggies will be juggling practice and studying over the next few days.
“We have some pretty strong goals in the classroom as well, so we’re going to adjust our training […] and finish strong there,” Lavallee said. “We [want to] come out the end of the week and put this back together and hopefully be able to walk out of the gym next Saturday as satisfied as we are today.”
The MPSF championship will be held at Sacramento State on March 19.
Written by: Julia Wu – firstname.lastname@example.org