Northern California United had a very busy month of February!  The Team Started the Month with a competition In Santa Barbara against Southern California United where the Condors fell to SC United by a margin of only 4 tenths.  Two weeks later Nor Cal Hosted SC United at home for a re-match.

Saturday, February 15th The Condors had their first team victory in program history.  They scored a season high of 347.1 while SC United scored 335.75.  The day after the competition the Condors hosted SC United in a joint training day.  Both teams worked hard, and enjoyed the hospitality of Technique Gymnastics who donated the use of their amazing facility for both the meet and the training day.


Two weeks later the Condors piled in a van and drove out to Phoenix for their last meet before Nationals.  The team had a few struggles, but put up a respectable score of 340.95 which moved our national Rank up to 20th place.  This ranking is another milestone in program history as the team has never been ranked in the nations top 20!

DSC03165Freshman Brandon Garcia had a great day and took home third place AA! He had our teams highest score on High-Bar, rings, and Vault were he scored a 13.75.

Our next meet with be at Collegiate National Championships, and we are asking YOU the Gymnastics community to help us travel there.  Fundraising has been a little slower than expected this year, and we do not have sufficient funds to make the trip out to Phoenix.  We have received support from many people already this year, but we are asking anyone who is able to spare a donation to please help the team travel to Nationals.Donate Button with Credit Cards

Your donation is helping Men’s College Gymnastics grow in Northern California!

Written by Head Coach John Lucas

The Northern California Condors traveled to Santa Barbara this weekend to face off against ASU Maroon and Southern California United. This is the third year for the still young Condor team, and it was their first time competing with a full team at a meet.

The Competition was held at the Robertson’s Gymnasium on Campus at UC Santa Barbara. There was a decent size crowd and a lot of energy during the competition.

Rotation 1

The Condors Started things off on Pommel, and it was a bit rough.  Eric Gralian went up first and after several falls and a 4 point neutral deduction Erik dismounted and received a very low score of 2.7.

Next up was Freshman Brandon Garcia. 

Final wide_-7

Brandon Garcia getting set for Pommel Horse

Brandon had a rough time on pommel at our opener with a score of 6.5.  Prior to the meet he was almost removed from our pommel line up due to a sprained thumb.  He knew how important his score was due to the disaster on that first routine.  He managed to stay on, and scored an 11.5 with a hit horse set.  Sophomore Brian Berryhill  competed next and like Erik ran in to some trouble with completing the required number of skills resulting in a 4 point neutral deduction.   He scored a 5.8.  Freshman Neal Mora-Ramirez went next and fell on the dismount.  He then repeated it for credit, but scored a 10.15.  Junior Will Ryan was the final horse competitor for the Condor’s, and he managed to get the second highest score of the competition on that event coming away with a 12.25.

Team Standings After Rotation 1:
1st – ASU: 60.300
2nd SCU: 59.700 out 0.6
3rd NCU: 42.400 out 17.9 (17.3 from 2nd)

Rotation 2

After a rough pommel rotation the Condors rotated to rings hoping to get things back on track.  Erik Gralian  was the lead off on rings, and he hit his routine without any major issues scoring an 11.6.

Hough Rings

Emmett Hough

Sophomore, but rookie to the college scene, Emmett Hough was up next with his first routine in college. He has the lowest difficulty of the team, and we were looking to him to have a clean hit set, and he delivered scoring 11.05. After Emmett Brandon Garcia put up an 11.3 for the Condors.  Will Ryan hit his rings routine earning a 12.5 and the highest ring score of the meet.  Hrant Gasparyan performed his first routine of the meet to close out the second rotation for the Condors, and he had a fall on the dismount.  Final score was 10.4.

The rotation came to a close and Nor Cal United put up 56.85 on rings which brought their team score up to 99.250 after two events.  So Cal United had some trouble of their own on the pommel horse scoring 46.25ASU hit some solid routines on floor scoring 63.00 for that event.

Team Standings After Rotation 2:
1st – ASU: 123.300
2nd SCU: 105.950 out – 17.35
3rd NCU: 99.250 out – 24.05 (6.7 from 2nd)

Rotation 3

The Condors took to the floor for rotation 3.  Emmett Hough got things started with a super clean set and the 4th highest score of the meet on floor.  His score was 12.8. Brian Berryhill went next on floor and had a little trouble keeping his feet under him on his

Hrant Floor

Hrant Gasparyan

dismount pass ending the routine with a fall.  Brian scored a 10.7.  Up next was Brandon Garcia who has a very difficult routine.  He was a little off on his back two and half punch Barani, so he tried a front tuck and did not compete the rotation. minus this fall he had an excellent routine.  Brandon scored an 11.6Hrant Gasparyan went next on floor and he made up for his fall on rings by getting our second highest floor score, 11.65.  Last up was Neal Mora-Ramirez.  Neal packs a lot of twisting into his routine with the highlight being his Randi (font flip with two and a half twists).  His landings were a little off today, and he didn’t fall, but only came away with an 11.1.

The Condors scored 57.9 as a team on floor. ASU scored 58.5 on pommel, and SCU scored 55.55 on rings.

Team Standings After Rotation 3:
1st – ASU: 181.800
2nd SCU: 161.5 out – 20.3
3rd NCU: 157.15 out – 24.65 (4.35 from 2nd)

Rotation 4

The Tri-Meet rotated to the final 3 events with So Cal United on Vault, ASU Maroon on High Bar, and Nor Cal United on the P-bars.

Brian P-bars

Brian Beryhill

First up for the Condors was Erik Gralian.  He hit his set and scored an 11.5 as the team looked to change their momentum going in to the second half of the meet. Will Ryan went up next and he scored the meets highest P-bar score 13.2. Brian Beryhill received his highest P-bars score of the year, 11.15. Brandon Garcia kept things rolling with a strong hit set scoring 12.05Neal Mora-Ramirez ended the rotation for the Condors with another hit set and a final score of 12.3. P-bars was very solid counting only hit routines and a team event score of 60.200.

On Vault So Cal put up 61.65 points, and ASU came away from high bar with 57.15.

Team Standings After Rotation 4:
1st – ASU: 238.950
2nd SCU: 223.150 out – 15.8
3rd NCU: 217.35 out – 21.6 (5.8 from 2nd)

Rotation 5

Neal HB

Neal Mora-Ramirez performing a Yamawaki

The Condors moved over to High Bar for rotation 5 and Emmett Hough Got things started with a hit set scoring 10.6Erik Gralian went next and kept the momentum going scoring 10.9. After Erik Neal Mora-Ramirez kept his routine on the bar for a 10.75Will Ryan received the teams highest score on High Bar an 11.5. Rounding out the rotation was Hrant Gasparyan who had a mishap on his Tkatchev and ended up landing on the bar.  He was able to finish the routine and scored 9.85 to end rotation 5.

The Condors earned 53.6 on High Bar while SCU earned 59.35 on the Parallel Bars, and ASU scored an impressive 65.95 on Vault.

Team Standings After Rotation 5:
1st – ASU: 304.900
2nd SCU: 282.500 out – 22.4
3rd NCU: 270.95 out – 33.95 (11.55 from 2nd)

Rotation 6

Vault Will

Will Ryan vaulting into second place

For the final rotation the Condors were on Vault, So Cal United on High Bar, and Arizona was on P-bars. Arizona had secured the victory early on in the meet, and So Cal United had a strong lead over the Condors.  We got set to go on vault with Brian Berryhill.  Brian had crashed at the last meet and scored a 1.0 so we were looking to him to have a strong performance.  He had 9.5 in execution and a final score of 11.1 to help the team get back on track after the fall on high bar. Emmett Hough did Kasamatsu Stretched on vault collecting a 12.65. Next up was Brandon Garcia.  Brandon performed a Kasamatsu at the first meet, and he had worked very hard to be ready with a Kas full (double twisting Tsukahara). Brandon scored a 13.5 and the third highest score at the meet.  Will Ryan was next with a Kas half.  He received the second highest score 13.55 half a tenth above Brandon. After Will vaulted the team was not allowed to compete until the other teams were also on their last gymnast.

Before the final gymnasts competed the team standings were:
1st – ASU: 365.45 (5 scores waiting on the 6th)
2nd SCU: 322.650 out – 42.8
3rd NCU: 321.75 out – 43.7 (0.9 from 2nd)

Arizona already had 5 scores so the final competitor needed better than 11.25 in order to improve the team score.  Southern California’s Troy Mendelson was the 5th and final High Bar competitor on High Bar, and Neal Mora-Ramirez was the final Vaulter for the Condors. We had managed to pull within nine tenths of Southern California.

Neal ran down the runway right as Troy dismounted with his triple back after a good routine. Neal hit a good Kasamatsu and his score came in first, 12.85. That put our team into second while we waited on Troy’s score.  He needed a 12.0 to win.  His score finally came in and it was a 12.35 which secured second place for Southern California.

Final Team Standings After Rotation 6:
1st – ASU: 366.200
2nd SCU: 335.000 out – 31.2
3rd NCU: 334.6 out – 31.6 (0.4 from 2nd)

We did not have out best meet, but we showed Southern California that we are contenders. It was hard to be so close to overtaking them, but I was very proud of how the team rallied on the final three events to close the gap we had allowed on the first three.

Our next meet will be Saturday, February 15th where we will host Southern California in a duel meet.  We are looking forward to having a better showing and hope to see a win next weekend.

-Written by Coach John Lucas

to support the team donations can be made via PayPal:

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Team Members from left to right: Matthew Wagoner, Erik Gralian, Robbie Tambunting, Will Ryan, and Chris Radford.

Five members of Northern California United traveled to Torrance, Ca Saturday, January 27th to compete against Southern California United and Arizona State in their first meet of the season.  The team this year is made up of six gymnasts who are all rookies to collegiate gymnastics as this was the first meet for our program.

Nor Cal United started the meet on Pommel Horse where Erik Gralian had the honor of being the first gymnast to compete for Nor Cal United.  He got things started by hitting his pommel set. Will Ryan brought in the highest score on Pommel Horse earning a 12.05 for his routine.


After Pommel Horse the team moved over to Rings. Will Ryan got things started on rings with a hit set ending with a nearly stuck full twisting double tuck.  Erik Gralian earned the teams highest rings score of 11.8.

Team member Chris Radford got momentum building on the Floor Exercise with a hit routine for the team.  Robbie Tambunting posted the highest floor score earing a 12.4 for his routine.

Matthew Wagoner was the lead of gymnast on Parallel Bars ending his routine with Nor Cal United’s first stuck dismount!  The high Score on Parallel Bars was an 11.35 posted by Robbie Tambunting.img_1280-e1517251071388.pngIMG_1275

Will Ryan was the only team member to compete high bar at this meet.   He started his routine with a big release move and ended with a huge dismount and stuck landing that got the team fired up as they headed to their last event, vault.

Chris Radford got Vault off to a good start and Will Ryan brought or competition to a close with a very good stretched kasamatsu that earned a score of 13.15.

Will Ryan hit six out of six routines for his collegiate All-Around debut and posted a 71.8 which was good enough to earn third place.  He earned the honor of Nor Cal United Gymnast of the meet with his great performance.

Nor Cal United is very excited for their home meet coming up on February 10th – 7:00 pm at Jackson Sports Academy 5209 Luce Ave, McClellan Park, CA 95652

The team will be working hard to improve their execution and routine consistency.  We had a 67% hit percentage this meet and expect that to increase as the season progresses.

From this starting point we look forward to building a strong team that can compete with the funded NCAA programs.  The team members are all working hard to accomplish that goal, and we have high expectations for the remainder of our season.

IMG_0066.JPGphoto jan 27, 9 46 07 pm

Let’s Go Nor Cal United!

-Coach John Lucas

Nor Cal United High Performance Director John Lucas and Sacramento area Head Coach Seth Nix traveled to Kissimmee Florida earlier this week to recruit more gymnasts for the Nor Cal United Team.

Other College coaches are also here nor Cal United is honored to be here with them scouting recruits.  There are way more talented gymnasts in this sport at the high School level than the current college programs have spots for.  We are very hopeful that we can develop a strong team to compete against the NCAA programs next year and in the years to come.

Because there are so many great gymnasts competing at this event (and there are many that just missed this event) it can be very difficult to be noticed by a school.  I would like to give a little advice to gymnasts that want to compete in college about things they can do to help get on college coaches radar.

At Nor Cal United we look for gymnasts with solid basics and clean gymnastics.  Our Coaches are most concerned with recruiting gymnasts that are capable of putting up a high execution score.  We know that we can teach the big skills to a gymnast with good basics.  It is much more challenging to fix bad habits on a gymnast’s big skills and basics than to teach them new skills.  Obviously we would be most excited to get a gymnast with both big skills and good basics. It is probably safe to assume that most schools feel the same way.

We also look for gymnasts that are coachable, hardworking, consistent, and driven.  We look for leadership, gymnasts that pursue excellence over glory, and gymnasts that are team players. It is not easy to ascertain these qualities at just one meet.  That is why it is essential that gymnasts fill out our Recruiting Questionnaire so we can learn more information about what makes you a good recruit.

It is important that college coaches have a chance to see your gymnastics, and if you made nationals they likely will.  If you made nationals or not make sure that you give several college coaches opportunities to notice you and become familiar with your gymnastics.  You can do this through social media and YouTube videos (avoid videos over 5 min).

Coaches also want to learn what you are like in the gym.  Most schools hold camps over the summer that are great ways for you to get the feel for the coaching staff and for them to get the feel for how you are at practice.  If they really are considering you they may ask you on an unofficial or official visit to their school/program.

Remember that persistence on your part is important.  Keep posting new video and checking in from time to time on your school(s) of choice by sending an E-mail with links to updated training posts to coaches.  Also remember that college coaches are fairly limited on being able to communicate with you until your junior year.  If you are younger than that still post video and attend camps, but do not be discouraged if the coaches are not contacting you, they could not if they wanted to.

Keep training hard and good luck in finals to all the level 10’s at JO Nationals!

John Lucas
Nor Cal United
High Performance Director

Building Momentum

We are pleased to announce that Nor Cal United is off to a great start!  We officially announced this new college opportunity at the 2017 Northern California State Championships March 18th.  We were able to hand out flyers and information about not only our program but some of the other great college opportunities available for gymnasts that do not get on to an NCAA team.

We have had a great response from the gymnastics community.  Several gyms have stepped forward to be training centers for our team.  We are now able to have gymnasts from 18 different schools, and that number keeps growing!

We are currently working on recruiting the graduating classes of 2017 and 2018. We have had a great response so far from gymnasts that want to continue their sport.  There are so many great gymnasts that are forced to stop training after high school.  Those gymnasts now have many opportunities available through the great “NCAA Style” clubs around the country. (To be considered for the team Click Here and fill out or prospective athlete form).

Of the many clubs that compete with the NCAA schools none has a more successful history than Arizona State.  Under head coach Scott Barclay they compete every year at the USA Gymnastics Collegiate Championships.  They were National Champions for the first time in 1994. Since then they have been the National Champion 20 times with 15 individual event or all-around National champions since 1987.

Washington has been the only club to come close to Arizona State as a team.  They were national champions in 1993 and again in 2006.  They have had 20 individual event or all-around National champions since 1987.

Southern California United has been a club team for only 3 years.  During that time they have had an All-Around National Champion from 2015.

Northern California United is proud to join these other great clubs that compete all year against the NCAA schools and other highly competitive club teams across the country.

A big thanks to NCBGA for allowing clinicians Syque Caesar, Eric Van der Meer, and Steve Ross to donate their clinician pay from the All-star clinic. With support like this we can help to keep gymnasts dreams alive after high school.


John Lucas

President and High Performance Director

All stats were taken from Cliff Gauthier and the following document click here

By: John Lucas

Head Coach, Nor Cal United

In Association with: Scott Barclay

Head Coach, ASU College Club Team


It takes a special kind of athlete to be a gymnast.  It takes an equally dedicated and understanding family to have one of their own in this sport.  Chances are you got into this sport because you were too “high energy” and your parents needed to give you an outlet for it.  Now here you are coming to a big fork in the road where you will need to decide IF you do gymnastics in college. This is most likely one of the biggest decisions you have faced at this point in your life.  The following information is written to help you make the right decision for your future.

I have been involved with gymnastics for the past 12 years and it has been a great experience.   I started gymnastics at age 14 and competed level 5 my freshman year of high school.  By my senior year I was a level 10.  I decided to try to walk on to the University of Nebraska’s Gymnastics team and was told by the coaches that there was no room for walk on gymnasts that year.  After being turned away by the school I wanted to attend, I spent the next 2 years training with the hope that I could make a college team.  I finally received my chance with Arizona State.  Being a part of a college team was the highlight of my gymnastics career. That experience inspired me to start a competitive club program out of Nor Cal, Nor Cal United.

I know firsthand how competitive this sport is and how hard getting onto a college team can be.  I also know how great the opportunities are to compete with a college club team.  I believe that if you make it to your senior year in high school and want to pursue gymnastics in college, there is a team out there waiting for YOU!  It may be with one of the highly competitive NCAA schools, and if you can get a scholarship… TAKE IT!! Competing in the NCAA is the best opportunity around. But…. As you can imagine, there are only a few spots open each year and many great gymnasts get overlooked. SO…. If you are not offered a scholarship or even a walk-on position, what are your options?

This is where Collegiate Club Gymnastics comes in.  There are over 2 million college students engaged in a variety of club sports across the country each year, and that number continues to grow. As does the number of college club gymnasts.

Right now there are a handful of college gymnastics clubs that are dedicated to excellence in training.  If asked what the main difference is between a club team and an NCAA team my answer would be “They are basically the same except for two things…. 1) we are not funded by the school and 2) we cannot compete at the NCAA Championships.”  Now admittedly, not being supported by the school has many other ramifications such as: no (or very limited) scholarships, limited access to medical facilities and supplies, and academic support is also very limited from the school.  So why even consider being a part of a college club team?

THERE ARE SOME GREAT, and GROWING number of OPPORTUNITIES within the Club Sports system to enable you to reach your academic goals and to pursue your passion for continuing to grow as a gymnast.  Club Gymnastics helps to keep dreams alive and is continuing to provide opportunities for male gymnasts.  Remember, male gymnasts reach their full potential between 18 and 24 years old.  So if you didn’t win the JO Nationals as a senior in high school, you still have a ton of growth ahead of you!

As your time in the JO Program comes to a close, look ahead to the opportunities both NCAA and Club programs offer. Here is a list of 7 benefits you can expect to get out of being a part of a college team:

  1. College Education – This is what opens doors for you in the future.
  2. Continuing in gymnastics – The College years for male gymnasts are when men mature and really benefit from all the basic training they invested to this point. (i.e. strength, skills, and experience all come together). Develop your potential!
  3. Friendships – lifelong relationships are forged.
  4. Regular Season Competitions – between other Collegiate and NCAA Teams.
  5. National individual and team championship competition.
  6. Individual growth.
  7. Being a part of a team of guys all pursuing the same common goals – this is probably the greatest benefit you can realize as a collegiate gymnast. Scholarship or not, get into the right program for your ability and this is yours!

Choose the right team for you:

 NCAA Teams: Generally funded by the university. Most offer scholarships as well as medical and academic support.  Needless to say, with a maximum of only 6.3 scholarships that can be offered per school the odds are not good in getting a scholarship unless you are one of the top juniors in the country.  There are currently 16 NCAA Teams.

 Tier 1 Club Teams: this includes club teams that have demonstrated a desire to compete on a level that can “hang” with other NCAA teams.  Generally non-funded by the school, they have to raise all their own operating expenses (training, competition, coaching, ect.) through fund-raising and booster clubs.  Most of these teams have a dedicated coaching staff.   The year-end championship for this tier is the USAG Collegiate Nationals won by Arizona State the past 9 years.  This meet highlights both club teams and NCAA teams that offer 2 Scholarships or less.  There is no limit as to the number of participants, and each school sets their own participation criteria.  Some even travel internationally to compete in places such as Central America, S. Africa and Japan.  There are currently 6-7 teams competing at this level.

 Tier 2 Club Teams: Similar to Tier 1 Club teams but mostly student-led and coached.  The main Championships for these teams are the NAIGC Men’s and Women’s Nationals – a rapidly growing and exciting yearly championship meet.  Approximately 60+ teams.

The NAIGC Competition uses modified FIG rules allowing the JO accepted skills and requiring a C Dismount for full element group credit. Complete rules can be found on their website located bellow.

Whatever your level and whatever your dreams, there is a college program out there that is right for you.  Check out different Teams’ websites and call around until you find it!


For more information on the opportunities out there:

National Association of Intercollegiate Gymnastics Clubs


If you would like more information about the Northern California United Tier 1 Club  E-mail Head Coach John Lucas at