NCAA Women's Gymnastics: Four Pac-12 teams advance to NCAA Championships in St. Louis
SAN FRANCISCO -- Seven Pac-12 women's gymnastics teams competed in NCAA Regional competitions across the country on Saturday. Four finished second or better in their region and advanced to the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics National Championships in St. Louis April 14 and 15.
Results by region:
The Pac-12 Champions are safely through to St. Louis after edging second-place Denver by a hair, 197.150-197.050. The Red Rocks and Pioneers were neck and neck all afternoon; Denver led early but Utah edged ahead on its third rotation, floor, where they posted a team score of 49.45 led by MaKenna Merrell (9.90), Baely Rowe (9.90), and freshman phenom MyKayla Skinner who took the regional floor title (9.95).
— Utah Gymnastics (@UtahGymnastics) April 2, 2017
Utah is the only school in the country to qualify for all 35 NCAA Championships to date. They're seeking a return to the Super Six for the first time since 2015, when they finished second overall. Read more at UtahUtes.com.
Cal posted its highest score ever an NCAA regional -- 196.300 -- but it wasn't enough. The Bears finished fifth out of six teams in the field and failed to advance as a team, but there were individual successes. Yuleen Sternberg matched her career best on bars with a 9.90. And Desiree Palomares tied her caeer high on beam (9.90) to win the regional championship event outright. Palomares will compete for an individual NCAA championship on beam in St. Louis. Read more at CalBears.com.
Fayetteville Regional results:
- Utah 197.150
- Denver 197.050
- Auburn 196.600
- Arkansas 196.600
- California 196.300
- Central Michigan 195.675
The Bruins began Saturday's meet on the uneven bars and ended on a bye -- and led throughout. They distanced themselves from the pack on floor where Angi Cipra had her best routine of the year followed by rock-solid Madison Kocian. Both posted 9.975s and the team put 49.275 points on the board en route to the win.
The Bruins, who have won 21 regional titles, also displayed some #backthepac energy in celebrating their win:
— UCLA Gymnastics (@uclagymnastics) April 2, 2017
This Bruins made the Super Six and finished fifth a year ago. Read more at UCLABruins.com.
The Beavers, who placed second at the Pac-12 Championships, will return to the national semifinals for the first time since 2015 with an eye toward their first Super Six since 1996. The Beavers entered Saturday's final rotation -- floor -- in need of a strong finish, and delivered. Kaytianna McMillan's 9.875 was the capper.
— Oregon State Gym (@BeaverGym) April 2, 2017
Read more at OSUBeavers.com.
Champaign Regional results:
- UCLA 196.800
- Oregon State 196.150
- Iowa 196.050
- Illinois 195.825
- Ohio State 195.700
- Eastern Michigan 195.400
Arizona's teams score of 195.500 was fifth out of six teams in Lincoln, Nebraska. The GymCats posted a 49.000 on beam including a 9.850 from Madison Cindric halfway through the meet. But their quest for their first visit to the national semifinals since 2002 will have to wait. Read more at ArizonaWildcats.com.
First-year coach Elise Ray has the Huskies on a trajectory they've rarely seen. Washington's team score of 196.525 was second behind Oklahoma and the Huskies advanced to the national semifinals for the first time since 1998. If there were such a thing a walk-off home run in gymnastics, Hailey Burleson's beam routine Saturday would qualify:
— UW Gymnastics (@UWGymnastics) April 2, 2017
The Cardinal finished strong including a 49.100 in its final rotation (bars), but finished fourth and out of the running for St. Louis. Stanford had advanced to the national semifinals in nine of the past 10 seasons and 13 of the past 16. Elizabeth Price was the top bars performer in the region (9.975) and will compete for an individual national title.
All four Pac-12 teams in St. Louis will compete in the same side of the bracket on Friday, April 14. The top three teams from each semifinal advance to Super Six competition Saturday, April 15.
Seattle Regional results
- Oklahoma 198.075
- Washington 196.550
- Kentucky 196.200
- Stanford 195.575
- Brigham Young 195.025
- Utah State 194.850