Ute Gymnasts Ready For Salt Lake City NCAA Regional
The No. 6-ranked Utah gymnasts (17-1, 6-0 Pac-12) will begin NCAA tournament action this Friday, April 2, in the Salt Lake City NCAA Regional Second Round. Utah will compete at 1 p.m. MT against No. 11 Arizona State, Boise State and Southern Utah in the first semifinal at the Maverik Center in West Valley City, Utah. Friday's second semifinal will feature No. 3 LSU, No. 14 Kentucky, Utah State and the winner of the Temple/Arizona play-in meet.
The top two teams from both semifinals will advance to the NCAA Regional Final on Saturday, April 3 at 7 p.m. MT. All three days of regionals will be televised on ESPN3. Bart Conner and Kathy Johnson Clarke will serve as the Salt Lake City NCAA Regional commentators. Additionally, ESPN 700 radio will broadcast the sessions Utah competes in. Tickets can be purchased for all four sessions here.
• Utah is attempting to advance to a record 45th-consecutive national championship. Utah is the only program to qualify for the last 44 national championships, dating back to 1976 and including all 37 NCAA Championships (began in 1982).
• The top two teams from all four regional sites (Athens, Morgantown, Salt Lake City, Tuscaloosa) will qualify for the NCAA Championships in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday and Saturday, April 16-17.
• Although Utah has competed on podium at the Maverik Center twice this season, at Best of Utah and Pac-12 Championships, the NCAA Regionals at the Maverik Center will not be held on podium per NCAA regulations.
• Utah has won 31 regional titles (28 NCAA) and has finished second the other 13 years. In the 2019 Baton Rouge Regional, the Utes placed second behind host and top-seeded LSU.
• Utah will start on beam this Friday, while Boise State will begin on floor, Southern Utah on vault and Arizona State on bars.
LEADING THE PAC
• Utah won its fourth Pac-12 Championship and sixth overall conference title. The Utes are the only team in the conference to finish in the top-3 at every Pac-12 Championships.
• Maile O'Keefe was named the Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year, marking Utah's first selection since 2015 when Georgia Dabritz earned the honor. Alexia Burch was named the Pac-12 Specialist of the Year as well to become the second-straight Ute to win the award after Kim Tessen did so last season.
• Utah added five gymnasts to the list of Pac-12 individual champions following the conference championships. O'Keefe headlined the meet as she took home the Pac-12 all-around victory, and a share of the uneven bars, beam and floor titles. Cristal Isa won a share of the bars and beam titles, while Abby Paulson also earned a share of the beam title. Joining O'Keefe for a share of the floor title were Jaedyn Rucker and Sydney Soloski.
• Utah holds the highest National Qualifying Score and average scores in the Pac-12 on vault, beam and floor.
• Utah recorded the nation's highest floor score of the season, posting a 49.675 after no Ute scored lower than a 9.90 at the Pac-12 Championships. The set was led by the trio of 9.95s by Maile O'Keefe, Jaedyn Rucker and Sydney Soloski. Utah also gained a 9.925 from Abby Paulson and 9.90s from Cristal Isa and Lucy Stanhope.
• The Utes posted the nation's second-best beam score of a 49.675 as well at the conference championships. Utah collected 9.95s from O'Keefe, Paulson and Isa to highlight the lineup, as well as a 9.925 from Adrienne Randall and a 9.90 from Alexia Burch.
• Utah has hit 226-240 routines this season. Gymnasts who have hit every routine are O'Keefe (38-38) and Soloski (10-10).
• Individual event winners this season are O'Keefe (23), Burch (5), Isa (5), Soloski (5), Paulson (3), Rucker (3), Hall (2) and Lucy Stanhope (1).
Following the completion of the regular season, Utah gymnasts rolled in the individual honors for season-long efforts. Maile O'Keefe earned first team All-American honors on beam and in the all-around, while earning second-team honors on the uneven bars to lead the Utes. She also earned first team All-Pac-12 honors on all three events. Cristal Isa picked up second-team All-American honors on beam, while she earned first team All-Pac-12 honors on beam and on bars. She was also All-Pac-12 honorable mention in the all-around.
Sydney Soloski and Abby Paulson earned All-American honors and first team All-Pac-12 honors on floor and beam, respectively, for the second-straight year. Rounding out this year's regular season All-Americans was Alexia Burch, who received second-team honors on vault, as well as earning first team all-conference honors on vault. Additionally, Cammy Hall and Jaedyn Rucker landed spots to the All-Pac-12 vault honorable mention team.