Seven Pac-12 gymnastics teams set to compete in NCAA Regionals

SAN FRANCISCO – Seven of the eight Pac-12 gymnastics teams are headed around the nation to compete at NCAA Regionals this Saturday. No. 5 UTAH is the only Pac-12 team hosting a regional and will be joined by No. 8 UCLA and No. 17 WASHINGTON in Salt Lake City. No. 13 OREGON STATE and No. 22 ARIZONA are bound for the Athens Regional hosted by No. 9 Georgia. No. 10 CALIFORNIA is the second-seeded team in the Tuscaloosa Regional and will take on host No. 4 Alabama. Finally, No. 18 STANFORD is traveling to compete with No. 6 Auburn and No. 7 Michigan in the Ann Arbor Regional.

The top two teams from each of the six regional sites will continue on to NCAA Championships in Fort Worth, Texas on April 15. In addition to the seven Pac-12 teams that qualified for regionals, ARIZONA STATE gymnastics’ senior duo of Taylor Allex and Allie Salas will compete as individual event qualifiers at the Tuscaloosa Regional.

ARIZONA: The No. 22 Wildcats are competing in NCAA Regionals for the 30th consecutive season. Last season, the Wildcats competed in the Columbus Regional at Ohio State, finishing fourth behind UCLA Michigan, and Central Michigan. As the No. 4 seed in Athens, ARIZONA looks to place in the top two this season to qualify for NCAA championships. The seeds in order are: No. 3 LSU, No. 9 Georgia, No. 13 Oregon State, No. 22 Arizona, George Washington, and Michigan State.

ARIZONA STATE: Taylor Allex will be competing on vault and floor and Allie Salas will be competing in the all-around on Saturday in Tuscaloosa. In addition, junior Beka Conrad will travel as the alternate on balance beam. Allex has scored the ARIZONA STATE’s top two scores on vault this year, tying her career high of 9.900 four times and hitting a 9.875 twice.  She also has ASU’s top five scores on floor, including a career high 9.950 in the Sun Devils’ meet against California on Feb. 15. Salas led the team in the all-around this year, scoring a career high 39.100 twice, winning the all-around competition for the first time in her career against Arizona on Feb. 22.  

CALIFORNIA: The No. 10 Golden Bears currently boast their highest ranking in school history at this point in the season, and have broken dozens of program records in 2016. They’ll be looking to claim the second NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships berth in school history, and first since 1992, as well as their first regional title ever. The second-seeded Bears will be competing against 1-seed Alabama, No. 15 Boise State, No. 21 Kentucky, West Virginia, and Bowling Green. This year marks the fourth consecutive season the Bears have qualified for regional competition as a team, and the 21st season overall. CALIFORNIA has had representation at regionals 30 times in the 35-year history of NCAA Women’s Gymnastics.

OREGON STATE: The No. 13 Beavers enter the Athens Regional as the third-seed and will face No. 3 LSU, No. 9 Georgia, No. 22 Arizona, George Washington, and Michigan State. This is OREGON STATE’s 42nd consecutive time competing in the regional round. They have won regional titles ten times, with the most recent coming in 2011. Two current OREGON STATE gymnasts already have NCAA Regional titles to their credit: Kaytianna McMillan won on the beam in 2014 and Madeline Gardiner won the all-around in 2015. The Beavers have faced two of the other five teams in the field this season: they defeated Arizona at Pac-12 Championships and fell to LSU in a quad meet at Texas Woman’s University in March.

STANFORD: This Saturday, the Cardinal will look to earn its sixth regional title and to qualify for NCAA Championships for the ninth time in the past 10 years. No. 18 STANFORD has competed at the Ann Arbor Regional twice before, placing fourth in 2011 and second in 2001. The Cardinal has qualified to the NCAA regional competition in 33 consecutive years and 36 times overall. Joining Stanford in Ann Arbor will be top-seeded No. 6 Auburn, along with No. 7 Michigan, No. 24 Eastern Michigan, No. 25 Penn State, and New Hampshire. 

UCLA: The No. 8 Bruins are headed to Salt Lake City for the first time this season to compete in the Salt Lake City Regional. The Bruins have won 21 regional titles, including last year’s victory at the Columbus Regional. Coming off of a Pac-12 Championship win, the Bruins will look to defeat No. 5 UTAH for the third time this season. Also featured in the Salt Lake City Regional are No. 17 Washington, No. 23 Southern Utah, Illinois, and Utah State. 

UTAH: The top seed and host of the Salt Lake City Regional is coming off a second place finish in the Pac-12 Championships and will look to capture their 12th regional title in the Huntsman Center. UTAH holds the attendance record for an NCAA regional, set in 1992 when a crowd of 8,469 turned out. Utah has won 28 regional titles and finished second the other 12 years. Last year, the Utes finished second at the Berkeley Regional and entered the NCAA Championships as the 12th seed, but went on to place a close second to Florida at the NCAA Championship.

WASHINGTON: The No. 17 Huskies are headed for NCAA Regionals for the 34th time in 35 years. This will be WASHINGTON’s second trip to Salt Lake City in 2016, as they competed at Utah earlier this season and posted a 196.250. The Huskies have already faced both Pac-12 regional competitors Utah and UCLA twice this season, falling both times. However, they posted strong showings in head-to-head meets against both.

SCHEDULE, Saturday, April 2, 2016:

Athens Regional         1 p.m. PT / 4 p.m. ET        SEC Network+ / WatchESPN

Tuscaloosa Regional    2 p.m. PT / 4 p.m. CT        SEC Network+ / WatchESPN
    No. 10 CALIFORNIA, ARIZONA STATE individuals 

Ann Arbor Regional        3 p.m. PT / 5 p.m. CT live stream
    No. 18 STANFORD

Salt Lake Regional        5 p.m. PT / 6 p.m. MT live stream
    No. 5 UTAH, No. 8 UCLA, No. 17 WASHINGTON 

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