Cal Heads To Oklahoma For NCAA Regional
BERKELEY - The No. 9 California women's gymnastics team will head to Norman, Oklahoma for the NCAA Regional the NCAA announced on their selection show on Tuesday morning.
Cal will take on No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 8 Minnesota and No. 16 Arizona State as the other seeded teams in the regional. Boise State and Utah State will be in Cal's Regional semifinal alongside Minnesota. Oklahoma, Arizona State, Arkansas, Arizona and West Virginia will be in the other Regional Semifinal. The top two teams from each semifinal will move on to the Regional final and the top two teams at the Regional Final will advance to the NCAA Championship, which will be held April 14 and 16 in Fort Worth, Texas.
The Bears qualified for the NCAA Regionals for the 10th consecutive season under co-head coaches Justin Howell and Elisabeth Crandall-Howell, including the 2020 season where the Bears would've been a seeded team for regionals before they were cancelled. This is Cal's 26th appearance as a team at NCAA Regionals. The Bears are one of the top 16 teams in the final NQS rankings of the season for the seventh straight year.
The Bears enter the meet coming off two of their best performances of the season. Cal recorded their best-ever Pac-12 Championship score with a 197.425, and tied for their best-ever Pac-12 finish as they took second place. The score at the Pac-12 Championship was Cal's top road score of the season and that fantastic performance allowed the Bears to move up one spot in the rankings to ninth.
In Cal's regular season finale, the Bears posted the second-best team score in school history at 197.900 as they set a program record on floor. Cal also recorded the second-best bars score and fourth-best beam performance in the program's history in their home finale. Cal also claimed a share of the Pac-12 Regular Season title this year.
Cal has had representation at each of the past seven NCAA Championships that were competed, including three times as an entire team. The Bears will be looking to make their first-ever back-to-back appearance at the NCAA Championship. Last year, Cal advanced out of a difficult regional that featured eventual National Champion Michigan as well as UCLA.
Cal will have a similarly difficult path this year with a tough regional that includes top-ranked, Big 12 Champion and host school Oklahoma. Cal will also take on Minnesota, who finished fourth at the Big 10 Championship and has a high score of 198.025 this season. Cal will also see Arizona State for the third time this year. ASU won the head-to-head matchup in Tempe, but Cal defeated the Sun Devils at the Pac-12 Championship as ASU finished in fifth place with a 196.675 score.
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