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Ute Gymnasts Earn No. 2 Seed At Salt Lake City Regional

Mar 22, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS – The NCAA announced the regional gymnastics fields Monday afternoon and Utah is the No. 2 seed in the Salt Lake City Regional. Utah will begin its run in the NCAA Regional Second Round on Friday, Apr. 2, competing in the afternoon session at 1 p.m. MT. Serving as one of four hosts, the University of Utah will host the field of nine teams at the Maverik Center in West Valley City, Utah.

Teams ranked No. 1-16 were seeded, while the remaining 20 teams were placed in regions geographically. Competing against No. 6 Utah in the afternoon semifinal on Apr. 2 are No. 11 Arizona State, Boise State and Southern Utah. Headed to West Valley City for the evening session at 7 p.m. MT on Friday is top-seeded and No. 3-ranked LSU, along with No. 14 Kentucky, Utah State and the winner of the Temple/Arizona play-in meet on Thursday, Apr. 1 at 3 p.m. MT.

The top two finishing teams of each semifinal will advance into the NCAA Regional Final on Saturday, April 3 at 7 p.m. MT. Following Saturday's competition, the top two finishers from the four regionals (Salt Lake City, Athens, Morgantown and Tuscaloosa) will advance to the 2021 NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships in Fort Worth, Texas on Apr. 16-17.

This season will mark the second time in history that the women's gymnastics tournament will feature four-team formats all the way through the NCAA Championship finals. The new format eliminates the bye rotations in place with the previous six-team format and still allows 36 teams to qualify to regionals with the first day of regional competition becoming a play-in dual meet.

Utah gymnastics will compete for a record 45th-consecutive national championship appearance in two weeks. Utah is the only program in the nation to qualify for the last 44 national championships and all 38 NCAA Championships (began in 1982).

The Utes are coming off the program's first Pac-12 Championship since 2017 and fourth since joining the conference, while the Pac-12 title became Utah's sixth conference championship overall after claiming back-to-back Pac-12 regular season titles. Utah posted a season-high 197.725 to win this past Saturday as five Red Rocks earned at least a share of a Pac-12 event title.

Maile O'Keefe was crowned the Pac-12 All-Around Champion, while she also earned Pac-12 titles on bars, beam and floor. She was also named the Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year, becoming the first Utah gymnast to earn the honor since 2015. Cristal Isa earned Pac-12 titles on bars and beam, while Abby Paulson joined teammates Isa and O'Keefe with a share of the beam title. Additionally, Jaedyn Rucker and Sydney Soloski claimed a share of the Pac-12 floor title with O'Keefe to round out Utah's Pac-12 Champions. Alexia Burch also earned the Pac-12 Specialist of the Year award, which was announced at the post-meet award ceremony.

Ticket information for the Salt Lake City Regional will be announced tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. MT. In conjunction with the NCAA spectator guidelines for championship events, the Maverik Center will allow for approximately 2,500 spectators at the Salt Lake City Regional.

For a full look at the bracket, click here.

 2021 NCAA Regional Fields

Athens Regional
Session 1
8    Minnesota
9    Denver
      Oregon State

Session 2
1      Florida
16    Illinois
        Central Michigan
        NC State/Western Michigan

Salt Lake City Regional
Session 1
6        Utah
11      Arizona State
          Boise State
          Southern Utah
Session 2
3        LSU
14      Kentucky
          Utah State
Morgantown Regional
Session 1
5       California
12     BYU
         Ohio State
Session 2
4       Michigan
13     UCLA
         Kent State
         Penn State/West Virginia
Tuscaloosa Regional
Session 1
7        Alabama
10      Arkansas
          Iowa State
Session 2
2        Oklahoma
15      Auburn
          Eastern Michigan/Maryland