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Four Pac-12 Gymnastics Squads Set to Compete for 2018 NCAA Title

Apr 18, 2018
Bailey Holiver/UCLA Athletics
•  Four of the seven Pac-12 gymnastics teams who qualified to compete at the NCAA National Collegiate Women’s Gymnastics regional meets will advance to the 2018 NCAA Championships this weekend from April 20-21, in St. Louis. 
•  No. 3 UCLA competes in the first semifinal session on Friday alongside No. 2 LSU, No. 6 Alabama, No. 7 Nebraska, No. 10 Arkansas, and No. 12 Georgia. The first round will be televised live in ESPN2 beginning at 10 a.m. PT/11 a.m. MT. 
•  No. 5 UTAH, No. 9 CALIFORNIA, and No. 11 WASHINGTON all compete in the second semifinal session on at 4 p.m. PT/5 p.m. MT, broadcast on ESPNU. Also joining the later semifinal will be No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 4 Florida, and No. 8 Kentucky.
•  The top three teams in each semifinal session advances to the Super Six competition on Saturday where the 2018 NCAA Champion will be crowned. The Super Six kicks off at 4 p.m. PT/5 p.m. MT on ESPNU.
•  No. 23 ARIZONA STATE and STANFORD will be represented by individual competitors in St. Louis. Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year Stanford's Elizabeth Price and Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Year Arizona State’s Cairo Leonard-Baker will both compete in the all-around.
• Along with the four teams still competing, ASU, Stanford and OREGON STATE also made it to regional competition, but did not advance to the semifinals. 
•  In the 2017 championships, Oklahoma won its second-straight national title and its third in four years. The Sooners finished with a final team score of 198.3875. LSU was runner-up (197.7375), followed by Florida (197.7000), UCLA (197.2625), Utah (196.5875) and Alabama (196.000). Alex McMurtry of Florida captured the all-around title finishing with a 39.8125. Claiming the individual event titles were LSU’s Kennedi Edney (vault), McMurtry, Alabama’s Katie Bailey, LSU’s Sarah Finnegan, Oklahoma’s Nicole Lehrmann and Maggie Nichols and UCLA’s Kyla Ross (bars), Ross (beam), and LSU’s Ashleigh Gnat and Utah’s MyKayla Skinner (floor).
 
 
 
TEAM BY TEAM NCAA PREVIEW
 
No. 3 UCLA: The Bruins are St. Louis-bound after winning the Columbus Regional with a score of 197.650. UCLA posted three scores of 9.9 or higher on beam during the regional meet – 9.95 from Kyla Ross, and 9.9 from leadoff Grace Glenn and Katelyn Ohashi, finishing with a total of 49.475 to clinch the win and the Bruins’ 34th trip to the NCAA Championships. UCLA has now won 23 regional titles and entered the final weekend of the season ranked No. 1 in the nation on floor, second on beam, and fourth on bars and vault.  The Bruins begin the first national semifinal meet on vault and end on the floor, hoping to advance to Super Six competition on Saturday for the third year in a row after finishing in fourth-place overall with a score of 197.2625 last season. 
 
No. 5 UTAH: Utah is headed to the national championships for a record 43rd-consecutive time after winning the Salt Lake City Regional with a 197.475. The Red Rocks have now won 31 regional titles, and have never finished worse than second in a regional competition. Utah was led by sophomore MyKayla Skinner who is looking to win back-to-back individual titles on floor. The Utes are ranked third in the nation on vault where they start first during the second semifinal competition. They finish the meet on floor, an event where they hold the No. 4 spot in the country. Last season, the Utes advanced to the Super Six for the first time since 2015, ending the meet in fifth place with a score of 196.5875.
 
No. 9 CALIFORNIA: For the second time in three seasons, California is headed to the NCAA Championships. The Golden Bears, who broke a 24-year championship drought by advancing in 2016, punched their ticket with a 196.725 score for a second-place finish at the NCAA Salt Lake City Regional, placing behind fellow Pac-12 squad Utah. California begins the second semifinal competition on a bye, and finishes on beam. 
 
No. 11 WASHINGTON: Powered by a strong floor performance, the Washington GymDawgs qualified for NCAA Nationals for the second-straight year after taking second at the University Park Regional with a score of 196.275. This will be the seventh trip to nationals in Washington history and just the second time UW has made it in back-to-back years. The GymDawgs also went back-to-back in 1997 and 1998. Last year, Washington finished eighth in the nation at nationals, just shy of the Super Six. The Huskies start on floor and end on a bye in the second semifinal meet on Friday.
 
Cairo Leonard-Baker, ARIZONA STATE: Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Cairo Leonard-Baker earned an individual all-around berth to the NCAA National Collegiate Championships with a tally of 39.200 at the regional competition, leading ASU to a third-place finish with a 195.750 at the University Park Regional, which marked the program's best at NCAA Regionals since 2013 when the Gym Devils finished third with a 194.425 at the NCAA West Regional. The last time an Arizona State gymnast qualified to the NCAA Gymnastics Championships as an individual was when Taylor Allex won the vault title (9.900) at the 2016 Tuscaloosa Regional.
 
Elizabeth Price, STANFORD: Competing at the Salt Lake City regional, Elizabeth Price tied for first in two events and earned seconds in two others. Although the Cardinal finished fifth in the six-team meet and failed to advance, Price qualified for the NCAA Championships as an individual all-around performer. She previously won regional titles on bars in 2016 and 2017, and also prevailed in floor exercise and all-around in 2016. In 12 meets this season, Price has racked up 32 firsts and recorded 9.900 or higher 32 times. This marks her fourth-consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships. In 2015, Price claimed a national title on the vault.
 

 UPCOMING SCHEDULE 
Friday, April 20
 
 
Semifinal I: 
No. 2 LSU, No. 3 UCLA, No. 6 Alabama, No. 7 Nebraska, No. 10 Arkansas, and No. 12 Georgia
+ Cairo Leonard-Baker of ARIZONA STATE
 ESPN2
10 a.m. PT
Semifinal II: 
No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 5 UTAH, No. 4 Florida, No. 8 Kentucky, No. 9 CALIFORNIA, and No. 11 WASHINGTON
+ Elizabeth Price of STANFORD 
ESPNU
4 p.m. PT
Saturday, April 21
 
 
NCAA Super Six: 
Top three teams from each semifinal session
 ESPNU
4 p.m. PT

CONFERENCE RECORDS
Teams
RQS
Pac-12 Record
Overall Season Record
UCLA
197.840
5-1
14-2
Utah
197.540
5-1
10-3
Washington
196.960
4-2
10-5
California
196.890
3-3
11-4
Oregon State
196.780
3-3
6-3
Arizona State
196.545
3-3
6-7
Stanford
196.080
0-6
9-10
Arizona
195.650
1-5
4-8

 
PAC-12 GYMNASTICS WEEKLY HONORS 
 
Gymnast of the Week
Specialist of the Week
Freshman / Newcomer of the Week

 
PAC-12 VS. OTHER CONFERENCES
Conference
Record
Atlantic Coast
3-0
Big Ten
2-0
Big 12
1-3
Big Sky
6-0
Great Northwest
1-0
Mountain Rim
1-1
Mountain West
3-0
The Summit League
0-1
Southeastern
2-1
Total
19-6

 
GYMNASTICS ON PAC-12 NETWORKS
Pac-12 Networks, now in its sixth season of unprecedented coverage of Pac-12 sports, aired 25 women’s gymnastics meets this season, including a “Meet the Bruins” preview. All eight Pac-12 schools appeared on the Networks at least three times: Arizona (3), Arizona State (4), California (5), Oregon State (7), Stanford (4), UCLA (7), Utah (7) and Washington (4). Both sessions of the 2018 Pac-12 Women’s Gymnastics Championships were televised live nationally on Pac-12 Network on Saturday, Mar. 24 at McKale Memorial Center in Tucson, Arizona.