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Q&A: Cal's Milan Clausi on Howell coaching dynamic, Pac-12 Championships in Utah, learning from her mom, Missy Marlowe

Editor's note: Below is an edited Q&A with Cal gymnastics' Milan Clasui, whose mother, Missy Marlowe, remains as one of the most accomplished gymnasts in Pac-12 history. See Clasui return to her home state of Utah on Saturday during Session #2 of the Pac-12 Gymnastics Championships at 5 p.m. PT/ 6 p.m. MT on Pac-12 Network.

Pac-12 Networks: Tell us a little bit about your background and your mom.

Milan Clausi: The reason I'm a gymnast is beacuse of my mom. She had a gym when I was growing up, so I kind of was just there all the time. It was kind of my daycare if you will. I loved it. I tried absolutely everything else. It was the one thing that I was that much better at. ... She coached me for a long time. She helped me get to Cal. It wouldn't have been possible without her.

Clausi competing for Cal
Peter Fukumae / Cal Athletics

P12N: She competed for Utah but you ended up at Cal. How did that happen?

MC: Initially she did push for Utah — everyone did, just because that's where I grew up. I wanted to get out of Utah. I didn't necessarily want to be under that umbrella of Missy Marlowe. Don't get me wrong, it's incredible and so cool to have that legacy to kind of live up to. But as far as doing my own thing, and getting out of Utah, it was something that I had wanted from the beginning. 

P12N: Tell us about the first time meeting the Howells. Did that push you to be a Golden Bear?

MC: There’s definitely something about them that’s not in every coaching partnership. I think as far as the family orientation here, you can tell right from the beginning, this is more than just a job to them. This is something that they’re putting their lives into. This is something that they’ve invested their everything into, and as far as we’re concerned, they have 17 children that they love and care about and are concerned about all the time. You just don’t get that everywhere else.

P12N: You're here in Berkeley away from Utah. Do they feel like that "home away from home" for you?

MC: Everyone here at Cal contributes to that family feel. Cal Athletics as a whole feels like family. You kind of know that you have people everywhere who will support you. As far as this team goes, there’s not 16 other girls that I’d rather be on a team with. There’s so much love and appreciation for everyone that’s on this team. And it’s really unique and special to be a part of that.

P12N: The Pac-12 Championships this year are near your hometown of Salt Lake City. What does that mean to you?

MC: I couldn't be more excited. Going to Utah for the first time, I had cold feet. I was like, 'I don't know. This is my territory but it's not anymore.' There was such a legacy from my parents — but getting there, it felt like home. Being able to go back and be in that moment again, it's something that I cannot wait for. I have all my people that will be there. All my club friends. There's so much support. It's really nice for that first-time situation.