Pac-12 gymnastics teams to compete in NCAA regionals
SAN FRANCISCO-- Seven of the eight Pac-12 gymnastics teams will be competing in NCAA Regional competition across the country this coming Saturday, April 1. Arizona State did not advance to regionals as a team but will be represented by Nichelle Christopherson at the Fayetteville Regional.
Pac-12 gymnastics teams are spread out across four different sites. Of the seven Pac-12 teams advancing to regionals, five of them are among the top three seeds in their region-- No. 4 UTAH, No. 5 UCLA, No. 8 OREGON STATE, No. 13 WASHINGTON, and No. 16 CALIFORNIA. The regional sites for this year’s championship include Fayetteville, Ark., Gainesville, Fla., Urbana-Champaign, Ill., Lincoln, Neb., Seattle, and Morgantown, W.Va.
The top two teams and top two all-around competitors (who are not on an advancing team) from each regional will receive an automatic berth to the national championships in St. Louis on April 14, with the chance to advance to the Super Six on April 15. In addition, the event winners at each regional site will advance to the national championships (in that event only) if they are not part of a qualifying team or an all-around qualifier.
TEAM BY TEAM NCAA PREVIEW
No. 4 UTAH: After winning the Pac-12 Championship for the third time in the last four years, the Utes are ready to headline the Fayetteville Regional and compete for their spot in the national semifinals.UTAH is attempting to qualify for a record 42nd-consecutive national championship and is the only school in the country to qualify for all 35 NCAA Championships to date. The Red Rocks have won 29 regional titles, and never finished worse than second. Freshman phenom MyKayla Skinner is ranked No. 2 nationally in the all-around (39.680), No. 1 on floor (9.965), No. 7 on vault (9.925), No. 15 on bars (9.905) and No. 23 on beam (9.90). Teammate Baely Rowe is ranked No. 5 in the all-around (39.540), No. 13 on beam (9.915) and No. 18 on floor (9.915). The Utes will start on the bars and finish on a bye. Last season, the Utes advanced to the NCAA semifinals but finished last in Session 2. They'll be looking to return to the Super Six for the first time since 2015, when they finished in second-place overall.
No. 5 UCLA: The Bruins will headline the NCAA Champaign Regional where they'll begin the meet on the uneven bars and end on a bye. The Bruins have won 21 regional titles, most recently at the 2015 Columbus Regional, where this year's Pac-12 Specialist of the Year Christine Peng-Peng Lee won three events (vault, bars, and beam). UCLA placed second at last year's regional meet at UTAH but had event winners on every apparatus. The Bruins are ranked second nationally on bars, third on beam, seventh on floor, and eighth on vault. Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Year Kyla Ross is ranked No. 1 on bars for the fourth-straight week and is also Top 20 on her other two events, tying for fourth on beam and 19th on vault. Fellow freshman Madison Kocian is tied for fifth in the all-around, tied for 10th on floor, and tied for 17th on beam. This week's regional is the first step as the Bruins look to make a return trip to the Super Six after a fifth-place finish there last season.
No. 8 OREGON STATE: The Beavers will join UCLA in Champaign as the two-seed in that region. After a second place finish at Pac-12 Championships, the Beavers have high hopes of returning to the national semifinals for the first time since 2015 and to the Super Six for the first time since 1996. OREGON STATE will start on the vault and finish on the floor in Champaign. All four of OREGON STATE's lineups are ranked among the top 12 in the nation. The beam lineup is the highest ranked for the Beavers at No. 8. The Beavers have 10 regional titles in program history with the most recent one coming in 2011 in Corvallis. Seniors Kaytianna McMillan and Madeline Gardiner already have regional titles to their credit: McMillan won a regional beam title in 2014 and Gardiner won a regional all-around title in 2015.
No. 13 WASHINGTON: The Huskies will host the Seattle Regional with hopes of returning to the national semifinals for the first time since 1998. WASHINGTON is coming off their best performance at Pac-12 Championships in school history, scoring a program record 197.100. First year head coach Elise Ray was named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year, as the GymDawgs have had a record season this year, scoring a 197+ for the first time since 2004, and doing so twice. WASHINGTON has never advanced all the way to the Super Six. The Huskies will start on a bye and end on beam as they host No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 12 Kentucky, BYU, Utah State, and STANFORD on Saturday.
No. 16 CALIFORNIA: Last season, CALIFORNIA advanced to the national semifinals (finished 7th place in the nation) for the second time in program history, and they'll be looking to make it there again this season as they battle No. 4 UTAH, No. 9 Denver, Auburn, Arkansas, and Central Michigan at the Fayetteville Regional. At Pac-12 Championships, CALIFORNIA posted a season-high 49.300 on floor, led by a 9.90 from Zoe Draghi, 9.875 from Arianna Robinson and a pair of career-high 9.85s by Mariah Peterson and Sylvie Seilnacht. CALIFORNIA is seeking its first team regional title and third berth to the championships in school history. This year marks the fifth consecutive season the Bears have qualified for regional competition as a team, and the 22nd season overall. The Golden Bears will start on a bye and end on beam this weekend.
ARIZONA: This year marks the the 37th consecutive season in which the Wildcats have advanced to the NCAA regional competition.Coming off a season high 196.275 at Pac-12 Championships, ARIZONA looks to continue building momentum into the regional championships. The Cats hope to advance to the regional semifinals for the first time since 2002 and to the Super Six for the first time since 1993. ARIZONA will start on a bye and end on vault this weekend.
STANFORD: The Cardinal will stay in the Pacific time zone with a trip to Seattle on tap for regionals. This is the 34th consecutive season the Cardinal has advanced to NCAA regional competition. STANFORD has advanced to the national semifinals in nine of the past 10 seasons and 13 of the past 16. The program has won six regional titles and 49 individual championships in its 39-year history. STANFORD will start on beam and end on the bars in Seattle this weekend.
Nichelle Christopherson, ARIZONA STATE: Christopherson qualified to compete on beam in the Fayetteville Regional. She also qualified as an alternate on the uneven bars. A transfer from Michigan, co-captain Christopherson made an exceptional mark in her first season as a Gym Devil. Competing on beam in ten of eleven meets for the Sun Devils, Christopherson most notably played a role in the team's 195.700-195.375 upset of then-No. 23 ARIZONA on March 5, posting a career high 39.150 in the all-around while earning the beam title with a season high 9.900. In seven of her ten outing on beam she recorded scores of 9.800 or higher.
|Saturday, April 1||TV/Stream||Time|
No. 5 UCLA, No. 8 OREGON STATE, No. 17 Iowa, Illinois, Eastern Michigan, Ohio State
|FightingIllini.com||2:00 p.m. PT|
No. 2 LSU, No. 11 Boise State, No. 14 Nebraska, ARIZONA, Iowa State, Minnesota
|Huskers.com||2:00 p.m. PT|
No. 4 UTAH, No. 9 Denver, No. 16 CALIFORNIA, Auburn, Arkansas, Central Michigan
SEC Network +
|2:00 p.m. PT|
No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 12 Kentucky, No. 13 WASHINGTON, Utah State, STANFORD, BYU
|Washington Live Stream (pac-12.com); Pac-12 Now app||4:00 p.m. PT|
PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
|No. 4 UTAH||1st, 197.925|
|No. 8 OREGON STATE||2nd, 197.400|
|No. 5 UCLA||3rd, 197.100|
|No. 13 WASHINGTON||3rd, 197.100|
|No. 16 CALIFORNIA||6th, 196.300|
|ARIZONA STATE||8th, 195.600|
RECORDS (including Pac-12 Championships)
|Teams||RQS||Pac-12 Record||Overall Record|
2017 PAC-12 GYMNASTICS WEEKLY AWARD WINNERS
|Gymnast of the Week||Specialist of the Week||Freshman / Newcomer of the Week|
|Jan. 10||MyKayla Skinner, UTAH||Elizabeth Price, STAN||MyKayla Skinner, UTAH|
|Jan. 17||MyKayla Skinner, UTAH||Christine Peng-Peng Lee, UCLA||MyKayla Skinner, UTAH|
|Jan. 24||MyKayla Skinner, UTAH||Toni-Ann Williams, CAL||MyKayla Skinner, UTAH|
|Jan. 31||MyKayla Skinner, UTAH||Kyla Ross, UCLA||Kyla Ross, UCLA|
|Feb. 7||Madison Kocian, UCLA||Elizabeth Price, STAN||Madison Kocian, UCLA|
|Feb. 14||Kaytianna McMillan, OSU||Christine Peng-Peng Lee, UCLA||Madison Kocian, UCLA|
|Feb. 21||MyKayla Skinner, UTAH||Katelyn Ohashi, UCLA||Kyla Ross, UCLA|
|Feb. 28||MyKayla Skinner, UTAH||Hallie Mossett, UCLA||MyKayla Skinner, UTAH|
|Mar. 7||MyKayla Skinner, UTAH||Katelyn Ohashi, UCLA||MyKayla Skinner, UTAH|
|Mar. 14||Kaytianna McMillan, OSU||Christine Peng-Peng Lee, UCLA||MyKayla Skinner, UTAH|
PAC-12 VS. OTHER CONFERENCES
|East Atlantic Gymnastics League||1-2|
|Eastern College Athletic||2-2|
|Mountain Pacific Sports Federation||12-4|
|Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic||0-0|