NCAA Gymnastics Regional Championships Preview

Updated 3/29/2012
Courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments

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Gymnast Nicole Allen Selected for NCAA Regional
Ball State Gymnastics Home Page
MUNCIE, Ind. - Nicole Allen, a senior member of the Ball State gymnastics team, has been selected to compete in the all-around at the NCAA Central Regional April 7, in Auburn, Ala.

In addition, Julie Cotter, who was the Mid-American Conference Champion on the bars, has been selected as an alternate for the event.

Six teams, five all-around competitors who are not on a qualifying team, and one specialist per event were named to each of the six predetermined host sites.  Auburn was selected as one of six regional sites and will host Georgia, Michigan, Michigan State, Oregon State and West Virginia plus selected individuals.  The top two teams and the top two all-around competitors who are not on an advancing team will receive an automatic berth to the NCAA National Championships April 20-22 in Duluth, Ga.

Allen managed a career high 39.150 in the all-around at Michigan State this season.  She placed seventh in the all-around (38.75) at the MAC Championships this season plus tied for fourth on the vault (9.85) and was fifth on the floor (9.85).  This marks the second straight season Allen has been selected for the Regional in the all-around.  She placed 19th at the NCAA Central Regional last season.  Allen was a 2012 All-MAC Second Team choice after earning first-team honors in 2011.  She was the 2011 MAC Floor Co-Champion and the 2011 MAC Vault Co-Champion.


Falcons Send School-Record Four Gymnasts to Regionals
Bowling Green Gymnastics Home Page
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - For the first time in school history the Bowling Green State University gymnastics team will send four individuals to Regionals. Jamilah Ali, Megan Harrington, Gina Locigno and Danielle Wishart will compete at Auburn University on Saturday, April 7 at 7 p.m.

Locigno and Harrington will compete in the all-around, while Ali will participate on beam and Wishart qualified for Regionals on vault. The Falcons have twice sent three gymnasts to Regionals (1982 and 2010). The 1982 squad also saw the entire team compete.

Ali has been in the news it seems every single day as of late. On Saturday (March 24) Ali was named MAC Freshman of the Year and on Monday she was named to the All-MAC second-team. In 12 meets the freshman broke 9.800 eight different times on beam and finished the year with six individual victories on that event alone. Ali recorded a season-best 9.850 at Ball State and at the MAC Championships (not a win). She added victories at Western Michigan (9.825), at Maryland (9.825), Eastern Michigan (9.800), West Virginia (9.800) and at Pittsburgh (9.800).

Harrington is coming off her second-best performance of the season in the all-around, scoring a 38.650 at MAC Championships this past weekend. The sophomore scored 9.775 (beam), 9.725 (floor), 9.600 (vault) and 9.550 (bars) in DeKalb, Ill. Harrington’s career-best is a 38.750 in a meet versus Missouri. She also scored a pair of 38.550’s versus West Virginia and Pittsburgh.

Locigno’s career-best in the all-around came in a conference meet versus Western Michigan when she posted a 38.775. The freshman recorded a 9.725 (floor), 9.700 (beam), 9.675 (bars) and 9.675 (vault) in just her second meet of her career competing in the all-around. Locigno has added a 38.650 and 38.450 versus West Virginia and Kent State.

Wishart has dominated the vault for almost the entire season, capturing three first-place finishes and has two runner-up performances. The junior scored a career-best 9.900 to finish first at Ball State, and nearly won the MAC Championship on the same event this past weekend, scoring a 9.875. In 12 meets Wishart has scored at least a 9.800 seven times.

The entire list for all-around competitors for the NCAA Auburn Regional include: Nicole Allen, Ball State; Taylor Zondervan, Western Michigan; Cepeda Carter, Western Michigan; Megan Harrington, Bowling Green; Gina Locigno, Bowling Green and alternate Jessica Lieblich, Centenary (La.).
 
Individual event specialists invited to the meet are Danielle Wishart, Bowling Green (vault);  Lauren Bledsoe, Western Michigan (vault alternate); Caroline O’Brien, Western Michigan (uneven bars); Julie Cotter, Ball State (uneven bars alternate); Jamilah Ali, Bowling Green (balance beam); Ciara Maradiaga, Centenary (La.) (balance beam alternate); Lauren Bledsoe, Western Michigan (floor exercise) and Danielle Wishart, Bowling Green (floor exercise alternate).
 
The top two teams and the top two all-around competitors (who are not on an advancing team) from each regional will receive an automatic berth to the national championships in Duluth, Ga., April 20-22, hosted by the Gwinnett Center and Georgia Tech.
 
In addition, the event winners at each regional site will advance to the national championships (in that event only) if they are not part of a qualifying team or an all-around qualifier.

Tickets are available online at AUBTix.com and by calling 1-855-AUB-2010 for the NCAA Regional Championship. Adult tickets are $10 while youth and college student tickets are $5. All seats for the meet are general admission.


Gymnastics Heading to NCAA Regionals in Seattle
Central Michigan Gymnastics Home Page
MOUNT PLEASANT - The Central Michigan gymnastics program will make its fourth-straight NCAA Regional appearance on April 7, the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced Monday afternoon.


The Chippewas, who sat outside the top 36 prior to their season-best 195.675 performance at the Mid-American Conference Championships Saturday, will compete in the Seattle, Wash., Regional against No. 4 Alabama, No. 9 LSU, No. 16 Arizona, host No. 23 Washington and Iowa.


"We are very excited about earning a bid to our ninth NCAA Regional appearance and to represent Central Michigan University in a NCAA postseason event," head coach Jerry Reighard said. "We competed at Washington earlier this season and performed tremendously and I believe the competition at the meet will bring out the best in our student-athletes as we seek our first NCAA Championships appearance." 


CMU earned its third-straight MAC Championships title Saturday with its season-best performance and competed at Washington earlier this season, finishing second among three schools behind the Huskies with a then high score of 195.300


The top two teams from the Seattle Regional will qualify for the NCAA Championships held in Duluth, Ga., April 20-22.


Kent State Tabbed to Raleigh Regional for 2012 NCAA Gymnastics Championship
Kent State Gymnastics Home Page 
KENT, Ohio - The Kent State gymnastics team will look to repeat last season's historic run to the national championship as the Golden Flashes will compete in the Raleigh Regional of the 2012 NCAA Gymnastics Championship, hosted by N.C. State.
 
The regional round is slated for Saturday, April 7.
 
The Golden Flashes are one of six teams competing at N.C. State's Reynolds Coliseum. Joining Kent State and the host Wolf Pack are top-seeded Florida, Ohio State, Penn State and North Carolina.

The top two teams from each of the six regions will advance to the 2012 NCAA Gymnastics Championship hosted by Georgia Tech at the Gwinnett Center April 20-22. Last season, Kent State became the first team from the Mid-American Conference to advance to the national championship.
 
Competition is slated to begin at 4 p.m. Kent State's first event in the rotation will be the balance beam.
 
This will be Kent State's second trip to Raleigh this season, as the Golden Flashes competed in a four-team meet Feb. 24. Kent State finished second behind the nationally-ranked Wolf Pack.


Huskies Rachan, Gotlund Headed to NCAA Regionals
Northern Illinois Gymnastics Home Page
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois gymnasts Tanya Rachan and Kim Gotlund have qualified for the NCAA Regional Gymnastics Championships and will represent the Huskies at the Champaign Regional on Saturday, April 7 as the NCAA announced the 2012 NCAA Gymnastics Championship field Monday. The Regional will be held at 4 p.m. (CT) at Assembly Hall on the University of Illinois campus.

After placing second on floor exercise at Saturday's Mid-American Conference Championships with her second consecutive 9.900 score, Rachan was selected as the lone specialist on that event, while Gotlund is one of five individual all-around competitors.

In addition to the NCAA Regional selection, Gotlund was named Monday to the All Mid-American Conference second team. She earned the nod after her fifth-place finish in the all-around competition at the MAC Championships where she put together four solid routines to total a 38.900 for her second highest all-around score of the season. Gotlund is the Huskies' first All-MAC performer since 2009.

By receiving a bid to the NCAA Regionals, Rachan and Gotlund extend the Huskies' streak of consecutive seasons with a regional qualifier to six. NIU will send two individuals to NCAAs for the first time since 2009, when Holly Reichard went as an all-arounder and Jennifer Naughton competed on balance beam. In addition to Rachan and Gotlund, senior Ashley Guerra was selected as the alternate on uneven parallel bars, while junior Natalie Sutter is the alternate to Rachan on floor exercise. Guerra and Sutter will only compete at regionals if the person ahead of them is unable to compete.

"It's always great, especially for me in my first year as a head coach, to have kids step up and get this done," said NIU head coach Sam Morreale. "For them to qualify as individuals is a huge accomplishment because it's not something we set as a goal for the team. So the desire really comes from within to push hard and keep striving to be at the top and be selected individually."

Rachan led the way on the Huskies' strongest event in 2012 - the floor exercise. She earned a 9.900 in each of her last two meets of the season to tie for NIU's fourth highest score on the event all-time and received the first 9.900 or higher on floor exercise since Kristina Campos in 2005. The senior from Lowell, Ind. scored 9.800 or higher on floor 11 times in NIU's 12 meets in 2012 and placed in the top four on the event in each of those 11 meets.


"Tanya's routine is certainly good enough that she can make a run at nationals," Morreale said. "In terms of difficulty, her routine is as difficult as anyone I've seen or that we've competed against. She loves the performing part of it and that's where she shines. She makes it look effortless, and she has gotten better and better each meet."

Gotlund qualifies for regionals in just her second season after battling injuries a year ago. The Wadsworth, Ill. product competed in every event in every meet for NIU and achieved season high scores of 9.800 on vault, 9.725 on bars, 9.775 on beam and 9.850 on floor exercise. Her best all-around score of the season was a 39.000 versus Bowling Green on Feb. 11.

"Kim has had some ups and downs, but she loves to work and it's not always about the accolades for her," Morreale said. "This is a testament to her dedication and determination and hard work. Even though she's banged up and hurting, she doesn't miss a practice and she works through it. I think [qualifying for regionals] is something she can build on for next year and it will really help her confidence and seasoning going into next year."

Morreale was also pleased with Gotlund's recognition as an All-MAC performer and believes her results at the MAC Championship will help her in the upcoming NCAA Regional competition.

"The beauty of that award is it is based on that one day so it is about putting it together on that one day in a high pressure situation," Morreale said. "[Her performance at MACs] will help her going into regionals, it's a confidence builder. She knows she can do it because she's done it."

Six teams, five all-arounders and four specialists (one on each event) were selected for each of the six regionals that will be held throughout the country on April 7.

The top two teams and the top two all-around competitors (who are not on an advancing team) from each regional will receive an automatic berth to the national championships in Duluth, Ga., April 20-22, hosted by the Gwinnett Center and Georgia Tech.

In addition, the event winners at each regional site will advance to the national championships (in that event only) if they are not part of a qualifying team or an all-around qualifier.


Four Broncos Headed to NCAA Regionals
Western Michigan Gymnastics Home Page
KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Four Western Michigan gymnasts have qualified for the NCAA regional competition as individuals. WMU missed out on making the regionals as a team, finishing the season ranked No. 39 in the nation, three off the 36-team cut.

Western Michigan will field two of the five at-large all-arounders, seniors Cepeda Carter and Taylor Zondervan. Junior Caroline O'Brien will be making her second trip to the regional in as many years, competing on the uneven bars. After serving as an alternate in her first season, sophomore Lauren Bledsoe is slated to compete on the floor exercise.

As members of the Central Region, the four Broncos will travel to Auburn University to compete on Saturday, April 7 at 7 p.m. (ET) at Auburn Arena.

Six teams, five all-around competitors and one individual event specialist (who are not on qualifying teams) are chosen for the regionals, based on regional qualifying scores (RQS).

The top-18 teams are seeded on a national basis, based on RQS. Teams 19-36 were assigned to a regional site based on geographic proximity. All-around competitors and event specialists are assigned within their respective regions. 

Carter recently earned Second Team All-Mid-American Conference honors after placing third at the MAC Championships with a career-high 38.975. Carter has an all-around RQS of 38.790.

In her only season competing as a Bronco, senior Zondervan was one of WMU's consistent performers in 2012. She was named MAC Gymnast of the Week on Jan. 23, and totaled 11 first-place finishes in various events throughout the regular season. Zondervan did not compete as an all-arounder at the MAC Championships, but had top-10 finishes in two of the three events she appeared in, placing third on floor and eighth on uneven bars. She has an all-around RQS of 38.865.

O'Brien will look to improve on her 18th-place finish on uneven bars at last year's regional. O'Brien collected the MAC Specialist of the Week award on Feb. 6 and had WMU's best finish at the MAC Championships, placing second on bars with a 9.850. She won the bars competition in three regular-season meets and finished runner-up in two others. O'Brien has an RQS of 9.815.

Bledsoe served as an alternate on floor exercise last year and qualifies this year with an RQS of 9.805. Bledsoe also garnered a MAC Gymnast of the Week nod on Feb. 27 and recorded a team-season high and career-best 9.900 on floor during the regular season. Her routine of 9.825 on floor placed her 10th at the MAC Championships.

As a team, Western Michigan finished second in the MAC regular season and third at the conference championships. WMU had an RQS of 194.590, ranking the Broncos 39th in the nation.