Four Pac-12 gymnastics teams set to compete for NCAA title
SAN FRANCISCO-- Four of the eight Pac-12 gymnastics teams will be competing in the NCAA Championships this weekend, April 14-15, in St. Louis. No. 4 UTAH, No. 6 UCLA, No. 12 OREGON STATE, and No. 11 WASHINGTON will all compete in the first semifinal session on Friday, April 14 at 10 a.m. PT on ESPN2. Also joining the early semifinal will be No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 7 Denver.
The second semifinal session will feature No. 2 LSU, No. 3 Florida, No. 5 Michigan, No. 8 Alabama, No. 9 Georgia and No. 10 Nebraska and will begin at 5 p.m. PT on ESPNU. The top three teams in each semifinal session will then move on to the Super Six on Saturday, where the 2017 NCAA Champion will be crowned. The Super Six starts at 6 p.m. PT on ESPNU.
STANFORD and CALIFORNIA did not advance to NCAA team championships but will be represented by individual competitors in St. Louis. STANFORD's Elizabeth Price will compete on the bars and CALIFORNIA's Desiree Palomares will compete on beam.
All three meets will air on the ESPN family of networks in addition to being streamed live on ESPN3, which will show every routine on every event. The ESPN announce team is Bart Conner (play-by-play), Kathy Johnson Clarke (analyst) and Laura Rutledge (reporter).
TEAM BY TEAM NCAA PREVIEW
No. 4 UTAH: After winning the Fayetteville Regional with a score of 197.150, UTAH will compete in their 42nd-consecutive national championship and is is the only school in the country to qualify for all 36 NCAA Championships to date. The Red Rocks have now won 30 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 vault and finish floor. Last season, the Utes advanced to the NCAA championships but finished last in their semifinal. They'll be looking to return to the Super Six for the first time since 2015, when they ended the season as the national runners-up.
No. 6 UCLA: The Bruins are St. Louis-bound after winning the Champaign Regional with a score of 196.800. UCLA has now won 22 regional titles and will begin the national semifinal meet on a bye and end on the floor. 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 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. UCLA will look to advance to Super Six competition on Saturday after doing so last year and finishing in fifth-place overall.
No. 11 WASHINGTON: The Huskies finished the Seattle Regional with a 196.550, good enough for second place and a spot in the NCAA Championships. This marks the first time the Huskies have qualified for NCAA Championships since 1998. The GymDawgs have had a record year, scoring a 197+ for the first time since 2004, and doing so twice, while first year head coach Elise Ray was named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year. WASHINGTON has never advanced all the way to the Super Six but will attempt to do so in St. Louis this weekend. The Huskies will start on bars and end on a bye in the first semifinal meet on Friday.
No. 12 OREGON STATE: The Beavers came in second place behind UCLA in the Champaign Regional with a 196.150, earning their right to compete in St. Louis and return to the NCAA championships for the 25th time in school history. OREGON STATE has hopes of advancing to the Super Six for the third time ever and the first time since 1996. The Beavers will start on the floor and finish on a bye. 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. Although the team did not advance to NCAAs last season, Madeline Gardiner did compete in the all-around in the 2016 NCAA Championships, coming in ninth overall.
Desiree Palomares, CALIFORNIA: Desiree Palomares advanced to the NCAA Championships as an individual after claiming the balance beam title at the Fayetteville Regional. Palomares matched her career-high 9.90 on beam for the third time this season. She will compete in the second semifinal during the fourth rotation, performing in the final position. Palomares is ranked 47th in the nation on beam with an RQS of 9.875.
Elizabeth Price, STANFORD: Elizabeth Price will attempt to become the first STANFORD gymnast to win two individual national titles after winning the NCAA championship on vault as a freshman in 2015. This year she is competing on the uneven bars, in the second semifinal during the third rotation, performing in the final position. Price earned an automatic berth to the national championships after scoring a season-high 9.975 on bars to win the Seattle Regional bars title. She has been ranked in the top five in the event nearly all season. Price finished the regular season ranked fourth in the country on bars with a Regional Qualifying Score of 9.940. She has scored 9.900 or higher on bars in eight-of-10 meets and claimed eight individual event victories this season.
|Friday, April 14||TV/Stream||Time|
No.1 Oklahoma, No. 4 UTAH, No. 6 UCLA, No. 7 Denver, No. 11 WASHINGTON, No. 12 OREGON STATE,
|ESPN2||10:00 a.m. PT|
No. 2 LSU, No. 3 Florida, No. 5 Michigan, No. 8 Alabama, No. 9 Georgia, No. 10 Nebraska
+ Elizabeth Price of STANFORD and Desiree Palomares of CALIFORNIA
|ESPNU||5:00 p.m. PT|
|Saturday, April 15||TV/Stream||Time|
|NCAA Super Six:
Top three teams from each semifinal session
|ESPNU||6:00 p.m. PT|
|Saturday, April 1||Result|
No. 5 UCLA, No. 8 OREGON STATE, No. 17 Iowa, Illinois, Eastern Michigan, Ohio State
| UCLA 1st, 196.800
OSU 2nd, 196.150
No. 2 LSU, No. 11 Boise State, No. 14 Nebraska, ARIZONA, Iowa State, Minnesota
|ARIZ 5th, 195.500|
No. 4 UTAH, No. 9 Denver, No. 16 CALIFORNIA, Auburn, Arkansas, Central Michigan
| UTAH 1st, 197.150
CAL 5th, 196.300
No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 12 Kentucky, No. 13 WASHINGTON, Utah State, STANFORD, BYU
| WASH 2nd, 196.550
STAN 4th, 195.575
RECORDS (including Regionals)
|Teams||RQS||Pac-12 Record||Overall Record|
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|