No. 3 Utah (7-0, 197.540) at No. 11 California (4-0, 196.819)
When: Saturday, 5 p.m. MST
Venue: Haas Pavilion (11,877 capacity), Berkeley
Livestream: Pac-12 Networks Live
Series: Utah has controlled the all-time series with California (28-2) and has been nearly perfect in Berkeley (7-1). The Utes have won the last eight meetings, last losing to the Bears on the road in 2018. Last season, the Red Rocks defeated the Bears twice, once in Salt Lake City and again at the Pac-12 championship.
For Utah: Ranked No. 3 nationally, the Red Rocks have been one of the best teams in the country through the opening month of the season and by far the best team in the Pac-12. Utah has not lost to a conference opponent since 2019, having won back-to-back conference titles. After defeating UCLA, the Utes have now won 17 straight regular season Pac-12 meets. The Red Rocks are the only top 4 team in the country without a score of 198 or better this year.
For Cal: The Bears are in the midst of one of the best runs in program history. Under co-head coaches Justin Howell and Liz Crandall-Howell, Cal has become the second-best team in the Pac-12, finishing as conference runners-up to Utah in 2021. Cal also finished in seventh place at the 2021 NCAA championship. This year, the Bears are off to their best start ever, are undefeated (4-0) and ranked No. 11.
For Utah: Utah lays claim to some of the best gymnasts in the country. Maile O’Keefe is currently ranked No. 4 on balance beam and No. 12 in the all-around; Cristal Isa is ranked No. 7 on beam; Grace McCallum and Cammy Hall are tied for No. 18 on vault; Jillian Hoffman is ranked No. 18 on floor. O’Keefe and McCallum have both scored perfect 10s this season. Pac-12 honors for the Red Rocks include: Gymnast of the Week: Isa and O’Keefe; Specialist of the Week: Jaedyn Rucker, Sage Thompson, Hoffman and Isa; Freshman of the Week: Amelie Morgan and McCallum.
For Cal: The Bears have talent across the board, including many returners from last season. Among them are Nina Schank, Maya Bordas, Andi Li, Nevaeh DeSouza, Grace Quin, Emi Watterson and Milan Clausi. Li has been the best of them this year and is ranked No. 18 in the all-around and No. 12 on bars. Other Cal gymnasts ranked in the top 25 on events include: Watterson (No. 13 on beam) and Madelyn Williams (No. 25 on bars).
The Red Rocks return to Salt Lake City and host No. 13 Oregon State. Led by Olympic gold medalist Jade Carey — arguably the best gymnast in the NCAA this season — the Beavers have improved dramatically on last season, when they finished No. 22 in the country. Carey has yet to score below a 9.90 on any routine this season and is tied with Suni Lee, Lexy Ramler and Natalie Wojcik for the highest all-around score (39.825). The Beavers are 5-1 this season, the only loss coming to California.
Jan. 7 — vs. No. 18 BYU and No. 21 Utah State, No. 25 Southern Utah (Best of Utah)
Jan. 14 — vs No. 2 Oklahoma
Jan. 21 — vs. No. 20 Arizona State
Jan. 29 — vs. No. 19 Stanford, 2 p.m.
Feb. 4 — at No. 16 UCLA, 8 p.m.
Feb. 12 — at No. 11 Cal, 5 p.m.
Feb. 18 — vs. No. 13 Oregon State, 6 p.m.
Feb. 21 — at Washington, 7 p.m.
Feb. 25 — at Arizona, 6:30 p.m.
March 4 — vs. No. 6 Minnesota, 7 p.m.
March 11 — at No. 5 LSU, 6:30 p.m.
March 19 — Pac-12 Championships
All times MST