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Regionals Preview

The post season is OFFICALLY upon us. Saturday, April 2nd, six regional qualifying meets will be held. A total of 36 teams (six per regional) are competing and the top two finishers from each of the regionals will go on to the NCAA Championships in Fort Worth – April 15-16.

Expect some pretty intense competition going on in these regionals.  Gone are the days where the top 12 ranked teams were a static number and unchanging. The level of parity between the top 30 teams is dynamic and there is bound to be some upsets. I am previewing the six regionals. I will consider the teams' past performance over the course of the season, consider their consistency and their overall trend over time. So, with that, we shall get started

NCAA Gymnastics Regionals - Saturday April 2 (start times listed based on local time zone of the host)

Iowa City, Iowa 4 CDT/5 EDT/3 MDT/2 PDT

Obviously, the most likely to qualify out if this regional is # 1 Oklahoma. They really focus on details and controlling the controllable aspects of the competition and not focussing on what the judges are doing or what the other team is doing. This is a very smart strategy and honestly, really good life lessons. Beyond Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa and Arkansas are separated by only 0.305 in their RQS. Based on their current rankings and their past performance this season, the teams to watch are Arkansas and Nebraska. Nebraska, currently ranked # 12 is a past NCAA Championships qualifier. Arkansas has qualified individuals before, but has not put up a full team.

Seed 1 Oklahoma 197.920 RQS
Seed 2 Nebraska 196.635 RQS
Seed 3 Arkansas 196.575 RQS
*Iowa -196.330
Kent State
Central Michigan

Individual All Around Qualifiers
Anna Corbett - Western Michigan
Kelsey Hood - Western Michigan
Ashley White - Cententary

Individual Event Specialists:
Denasiha Christian - Ball State
Jessi Buis - Western Michigan
Sarah Ebeyer - Ball State
Alternate - Jordyn Penny - Ball State

Uneven Bars
Jordyn Penny - Ball State
Jessie Peszek - Western Michigan
Jessican Juncaj - Western Michigan
Alternate- Kayla Beckler - Ball State

Balance Beam
Rachel Underwood - Western Michigan
Jessie Peszek - Western Michigan
Baylee Bell - Ball State
Alternate - Jordyn Penny - Ball State

Floor Exercise
Denasiha Christian - Ball State
Rachel Underwood - Western Michigan
Sarah Ebeyer - Ball State
Alternate - Audry Merritt, Western Michigan

Salt Lake City, Utah 6 MDT/5 PDT/8 ET/7 CDT

This is another loaded regional. Being at home, Utah is favored to definitely qualify out of, if not win this regional. UCLA is likely to qualify out of this regional as well, but if they’re not on their A game, Washington is in a great position to take advantage of UCLA. Washington is capable of scoring in the high 196 range and into the low 197 range and we’ve seen them slowly move up the rankings all season long. They’ve certainly been improving as the season progressed. If Washington doesn’t qualify the team, they could likely put up an individual to the NCAAs.

*Seed 1 Utah 197.205
Seed 2 UCLA 197.055
Seed 3 Washington
Southern Utah
Utah State

Maria Hundley - Seattle Pacific
Kalliah McCartney - Seattle Pacific
M'rcy Matsunami - Alaska Anchorage
Lauren Rice - Sacramento State
Alternate - Maddie Herr - San Jose State

Individual Event Specialists
Julia Konner - Sacramento State
Katy Nogaki - UC Davis
Alternate - Erica Matos - San Jose State

Uneven Bars:
Alexis Brown - UC Davis
Cassie Benning - Sacramento State
Alternate - Dani Judal - UC Davis

Balance Beam
Stephanie Stamantes - UC Davis
Katy Nogaki - UC Davis
Alternate - Alexis Brown, UC Davis

Floor Exercise
Stephanie Stamates UC Davis
Cassie Benning Sacramento State
Alternate - Yasmine Yektaparast - UC Davis

Tuscaloosa, Alabama 4 CDT/5 EDT/3 MDT/2 PDT

Host Alabama is likely to easily qualify out of this regional.  The big fight will be between Cal, Boise State and Kentucky. Cal is going into this regional as the second seeded team and the 10th ranked team in the NCAA. Last year, Toni Ann Williams qualified as an individual, but Cal is wanting to have the whole team go. Boise State is likely to give Cal a run for their money. Their biggest strength is bars. Kentucky has made big strides throughout the season too, and they could take advantage of Cal or Boise State if they suffer a mistake.

*Seed 1 Alabama 197.400
Seed 2 California 196.77
Seed 3 Boise State 196.570
West Virginia
Bowling Green

Individual All-Around Qualifiers -
Alexis Brawner - Southeast Missouri State
Mikailla Northern - University of Illinois - Chicago
Allie Sallas - Arizona State
Lauren Israel - Southeast Missouri State
Alternate - Jenna Squillo - University of Illinois - Chicago

Indvidual Event Qualifiers
Taylor Allex - Arizona State
Andie Van Vorrhis - Northern Illinois
Alternate - Schyler Jones - Texas Women's University

Uneven Bars
Jamyra Carter - Northern Illinois
Lauren Africano - Northern Illinois
Alternate - Ashley Potts - Northern Illinois

Balance Beam
Amanda Mohler - Illinois State
Megan Greenfield - Northern Illinois
Alternate - Beka Conrad - Arizona State

Floor Exercise
Taylor Allex - Arizona State
McKinzie Jones, Southeast Missouri State
Alternate - Anna Martucci - Northern Illinois

Minneapolis, Minnesota 4 CDT/ 5 EDT/ 3 MDT/ 2 PDT

This is another big regional. Florida is the number one seed and they are likely to qualify out of this regional. Denver, currently the second seed in this regional is definitely wanting that spot. They’ve gained a lot of consistency over the course of the season and have consistently scored in the mid 196’s all season. However, Minnesota is hosting the regional on their home turf and as we’ve seen before, these teams are equally matched. Denver’s best strategy for qualifying out of this regional is to focus on the small details, form, landings etc and not give away any tenths to Minnesota.

Seed 1 Florida 197.795
Seed 2 Denver 196.725
*Seed 3 Minnesota 196.495
Ohio State

Individual All-Around Qualifiers:
Hayley Young - Iowa State
Kara Witgen - Air Force
Meaghan Sievers - Iowa State
Jamie Lewis - Air Force
Alternate - Courtney Pickett - UW Whitewater

Individual Event Qualifiers:
Sydney Converse - Iowa State
Briana Ledesma - Iowa State
Alternate - Sarah Townsend, Iowa State

Uneven Bars
Hilary Green - Iowa State
Mackenzie Smith - UW - Whitewater
Alternate - Amy Enright - UW - La Crosse

Balance Beam
Alex Marasco - Iowa State
Sydney Converse - Iowa State
Alternate - Sarah Neumann - Air Force

Floor Exercise
Briana Ledesma - Iowa State
Kelsey Paz - Iowa State
Alternate - Courtney Middlekoop - Iowa State

Ann Arbor, Michigan 6 ET/3 PT/4 CT/5 MT

This is anoter highly competitive regional. Michigan is the host and they tend to do very well at home and they’re previous NCAA qualifiers, so they are likely to do very well. They’re up against Auburn, who made their first Super Six appearance last year since 1993. With the progress they have made this season, they are no doubt looking not just to qualify to NCAAs but to make another Super Six berth. There is also Stanford to consider. While they have been rather inconsistent this season, this team is very good about peaking at the right time. However, since they’re competing with Michigan and Auburn, two top ranked teams that have had the benefit of performing consistently, they may have their work cut out for them.

Seed 1 Auburn 197.150
*Seed 2 Michigan 197.130
Seed 3 Stanford 196.335
Eastern Michigan
Penn State
New Hampshire

Individual All-Around Qualifiers:
Lindsay Offutt - Pittsburgh
Majesta Valentine - West Chester
Libby Groden - Rutgers
Tracey Peasron - Pittsburgh
Alternate - Kelsey Campbell - Bridgeport

Individual Event Qualifiers :
Nicolette Wilson -Rutgers
Michelle Amoresand - Rutgers
Alternate - Rihanah Ali - Rutgers

Uneven Bars
Christine Liautauo - Bridgeport
Miya Dotson - Pittsburgh
Alternate - Mackenzy Shank - Rutgers

Balance Beam
Kaitlyn Green - Cornell
Brianna Comport - Bridgeport
Alternate - Kelly Burak - Pittsburgh

Floor Exercise
Brianna Comport - Bridgeport
Randi Cutolo - Bridgeport
Alternate - Rihanah Ali – Rutgers

Athens, Georgia 4 EDT/3 PDT/2 MDT/1 PDT

For the final regional, there is two legendary SEC teams against Oregon State. LSU is the top seeded team in this regional and no doubt they are the favorite to qualify in first from this regional.  The biggest battle should be against Oregon State and Georgia. Georgia has suffered from balance beam inconsistencies all season long. Oregon State has lost top performers to injury. However, that hasn’t kept this team from fighting and they have had a surge of good luck going into the post season. But, Georgia is competing at home and they will not let a nationals berth go without a fight.

Seed 1 LSU 197.695
*Seed 2 Georgia 197.010
Seed 3 Oregon State 196.575
George Washington
Michigan State

Individual All-Around Qualifiers:
Brittni Watkins - North Carolina State
Tyra McKellar - Towson
Morgan Lane - North Carolina
Brittany Stover - William & Mary
Alternate - Chelsea Knight- North Carolina State

Individual Event Qualifiers:
Kathy Tang - Maryland
Chelsea Knight - North Carolina State
Alternate - Dominiquea Trotter - Maryland

Uneven Bars
Abbie Epperson - Maryland
Kaitlynn Hedelund, North Carolina
Alternate - Evelyn Nee - Maryland

Balance Beam
Mary Elle Arduino - Towson
Nicole Wild - North Carolina State
Alternate - Evelyn Nee - Maryland

Floor Exercise
Kathy Tang - Maryland
Macey Roberts - Maryland
Alternate - Emily Brauckmuller - Maryland

* Denotes the host

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