2008 GYMNASTICS FACT SHEET #12at NCAA Regionals
Arkansas goes to NCAA Regionals For the fifth time in six seasons, the University of Arkansas earned an NCAA Regional appearance. The 11th-ranked Gym’Backs travel to No. 28 Minnesota taking part in the North Central Regional Championship in Minneapolis, Minn., April 12. In addition to No. 11 Arkansas, the North Central Regional includes No. 2 Utah, No. 14 Arizona, No. 23 Iowa, No. 27 Southern Utah and No. 28 and host Minnesota.
But you’re not in the North Central Right. Arkansas is a member of the South Central Region but finished the regular season ranked high enough (No. 11) to be one of the seeded teams. The top teams in the country are evenly dispersed throughout the nation in an effort to spread out the talent. Arkansas competed in its “own” regional in 2004 and 2006 but took part in the East Regional in 2005 in Durham, N.H; and was in the Northeast Regional last year in Ann Arbor, Mich.
From the NCAA INDIANAPOLIS—Six teams, five all-around competitors (who are not on a qualifying team) and one individual event specialist per event [who has a minimum Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) of 9.4] were named to each of the six regions. 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 Athens, Georgia, April 24-26, hosted by the University of Georgia. In addition, the event winners at the regional championships will advance to the national championships (in that event only) if they are not part of a qualifying team or the all-around qualifiers. All regionals, except for the Southeast, will be conducted at 6 p.m. local time, Saturday, April 12. The Southeast regional is scheduled for 7 p.m. Eastern time, Saturday, April 12.
Ticket InformationTicket Prices: Chair-back seats $13.00 Bench – adults $11.00 Bench – student/seniors $ 7.00 Group (15 or more) $ 5.00 Please contact the University of Minnesota Ticket Office for more information at 1-800-U-GOPHER or (612) 624- 8080.
About NCAA Regionals This year’s event takes place in The Sports Pavilion on the campus of the University of Minnesota. The Sports Pavilion is home to the Gopher men’s and women’s gymnastics teams, the volleyball and wrestling teams. It formerly housed the men’s hockey team until its relocation in 1993. The Sports Pavilion holds 5,700 spectators and is located at 1925 University Ave. SE in Minneapolis.
Arkansas at Regionals The University of Arkansas gymnastics program is just six seasons old but the Gym’Backs have made a mark at the NCAA Regional Championship. The Gym’Backs have qualified for five NCAA Regional Championships in six seasons and have been one of the “seeded” three times – 2005, 2007 and 2008. In addition, Arkansas hosted the South Central Regional Championship in 2006. Arkansas, ranked No. 18, upset No. 9 UCLA advancing to the NCAA Championship for the first and only time in program history.
Arkansas’ best score Arkansas’ best team score came last year in a near-miss at No. 12 Michigan. The Gym’Backs posted a 195.875 finishing second to the host Wolverines who scored 196.050.
From the Regionals come Nationals Arkansas has had a pair of individual all-arounders advance out of the NCAA Regional Championship reaching the NCAA Championship. the first was Dana McQuillin who advanced out of the 2005 East Regional in Durham, N.H. McQuillin was Arkansas’ first-ever NCAA participant and returned with the team in 2006. Last year, freshman Casey Jo Magee advanced as an all-arounder as well. Magee finished as the top all-arounder not on an advancing team and took part in the NCAA Championship two weeks later.
What’s at stake? Just a trip to the NCAA Championship. Arkansas has had two individuals (see note above) who have advanced to the NCAA Championships and the Gym’Backs have gone once as a team in 2006. To advance, a team must finish first or second at the regional championship. Those 12 teams are divided by regional score into two groups for the NCAA Championships. Six teams compete in the afternoon and six more in the evening session with the top three from each session reaching the Super Six for a chance at a national title. The top two individuals on each regional event who are not on a qualifying team also advance to the NCAA Championships.
Arkansas opens on bars Arkansas opens the 2008 North Central Regional Championship on the bars. The Gym’Backs rotate to the beam, have a bye, move to floor, followed by vault and finish the meet with a bye. This is the first NCAA Regional in which the Gym’Backs begin on bars. Arkansas has opened by a bye before floor twice and on the floor exercise twice in their four previous appearances.
About the rotation As mentioned in the note above, the Gym’Backs open the meet on the uneven bars moving to beam, a bye, floor, vault and finishing with a bye. Where does everyone else begin? Arizona opens on vault, Utah opens on the bye before bars, Arkansas on bars, Iowa on the beam, Southern Utah on the bye before floor and the home-team Gophers start on the floor. There is a complete rotation order on page eight of the notes.
Who’s That Girl? The Gym’Backs will rotate with an individual all-arounder from the Air Force Academy this year. Abigail Rogers will practice and compete with Arkansas rotating with the Gym’Backs as if she were a member of the team. Rogers will attempt to advance to the NCAA Championships as an individual all-arounder.
Arkansas’ top scorers at Regionals The balance beam and floor exercise have been good to Arkansas at regionals. Current gymnasts Michelle Stout, Casey Jo Magee and Emily Peacock hold the all-time best marks at a Regional Championship. Stout is tied for the top mark on vault with a 9.90 set last year. Magee posted a 9.90 at year on beam and Peacock scored a 9.80 on floor in 2006. Other event bests include Kathy Thompson on vault with a 19.90 (2004), Melissa Leigh with a 9.925 on bars (2004) and Cassie Drew with a 38.925 (2004) in the all-around.
Who is the team to beat? Well that depends. Second-ranked and top-seeded Utah is statistically the team to beat. The Utes are tough though ranking first in the nation on vault, fifth on bars, second on beam and fourth on the floor. The second-highest seeded team, Arkansas should have its eyes on Utah. However, the Gym’Backs are more evenly matched with the third seed and 14th-ranked Arizona Wildcats. The Wildcats have their sites firmly set on knocking off Arkansas for the second spot to advance to the NCAA Championship.
How do the teams stack up? Evenly. As noted above, Utah is the highest ranked team overall and on each event coming into this weekend. Arkansas and Arizona are much more closely matched and Minnesota will be tough in the Gophers’ home facility. Here’s a quick look at the national ranking of each team.
Arkansas at Minnesota The Gym’Backs have competed at Minnesota once in program history. Arkansas traveled North in 2005 for the season-opener defeating the host Gophers, 194.250-193.800.
About Utah Utah enters the week with a 12-1 mark. The only blemish is a 197.700-196.875 loss to SEC member Florida in Gainesville in mid-March. The Utes have wins over Georgia, Minnesota and Southern Utah this year. Utah’s best score of the season is a 197.750 in a win (197-750-194.100) over Minnesota. Utah is independent and does not compete in a conference for gymnastics. Utah has six all-Americans on the roster led by Ashley Postell with 15 awards. Postell ranks first in the country on vault, tied for first on beam and first as an all-arounder this week. Greg Marsden, college gymnastics’ only 800-win coach, owns an 886-153-5 career record in his 33rd year. He has spent his entire career at Utah and has won a record 10 national championships. Under Marsden, Utah is the only team to qualify for all 26 NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships. His teams have placed in the top three 20 times. Marsden is a seven-time National Coach of the Year.
About Minnesota Minnesota enters the NCAA Regional Championship ranked No. 28 in the country, and is the No. 6 seed in the region. The Gophers have a Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) of 194.885, and finished in sixth place at the Big Ten Championship last weekend.
About Arizona Arizona is the No. 3 seed in the regional meet, and is ranked No. 14 nationally with an RQS of 195.890. The Wildcats finished fourth at the PAC-10 Championship last weekend. Arizona’s best event is the bars where the Wildcats rank 15th this week. They are 20th on vault, tied for 20 on floor and 21st on the beam heading into the Regional Championship. The Wildcats were 6-5 during the regular season prior to the PAC-10 Championship.
About Iowa Iowa is the No. 4 seed in the North Central region, and is currently ranked No. 23 nationally with an RQS of 195.200. The Hawkeyes finished fifth at the Big Ten Championships last weekend, where head coach Larissa Libby was named the Co-Big Ten Coach of the Year along with Michigan’s Bev Plocki. Iowa was 12-4-1 during the regular season prior to its fifth-place finish at the Big Ten Championship.
About Southern Utah Southern Utah is ranked No. 27 nationally with an RQS of 194.890, and is the No. 5 seed in the regional championship. Southern Utah’s best event is the bars where they rank 12th this week.
Arkansas against the field Arkansas is 0-3 against Utah. The teams first met at the NCAA Regional in 2004 and again at the NCAA Championship in 2006. Arkansas traveled to Utah for a quad meet in 2007. Arkansas is 0-2 all-time against the Wildcats of Arizona. The teams met twice in 2004, first in a regular season dual meet and again later that year at the NCAA Regionals. Arkansas is 2-0 against Minnesota and has defeated the Gophers once in Fayetteville in 2004, and again in Minneapolis in 2005. Arkansas has never faced Iowa and is 1-0 against Southern Utah. The teams met last year in a quad meet at Utah.
Win-Loss doesn’t matter but…. Arkansas is a combined 8-10 overall against the NCAA Regional field. The Gym’Backs have wins over West Virginia, UCLA, Penn State, Auburn, Alabama, Michigan State and Kentucky twice. The Gym’Backs have losses against Florida, Georgia and LSU twice, Auburn, Oklahoma, Alabama, Michigan.
SEC sends all seven members to the postseason The Southeastern Conference again sees all seven league members earn a trip to the NCAA Regional Championship. In addition to Arkansas traveling to Minnesota, Alabama travels to Oklahoma, LSU hosts a regional with Kentucky, Penn State hosts Georgia and Auburn and Florida hosts the Southeast Regional. See the list on the right side of the page.
Arkansas remains No. 11 The Gym’Backs remain in the No. 11 spot for the fourth consecutive week in the GymInfo poll. Arkansas had been holding steady at the No. 10 spot but moved one place after the poll went to RQS (from average) a couple weeks ago. Arkansas has been as high as No. 10 in the poll this year.
Arkansas is in the top 16 for each event In addition to the Gym’Backs’ No. 11 team ranking, Arkansas ranks well in the individual event categories. The Gym’Backs are tied for 11th on vault, 14th on bars, 16th on beam and 10th this week on the floor.
The South Central Rankings The Gym’Backs remain in second place in the South Central Regional standings. Number 10 Oklahoma leads the SC, followed by Arkansas. Arizona moved into third while Nebraska is fourth followed by Missouri rounding out the top five in the region. Here’s the complete regional standings:
|11||Texas Woman’s Univ.||193.370||SC||192.150||194.200|
Gym’Backs live on the web All of the 2008 home meets will be streamed live at LADYBACKS.COM. Click on “All Access” and sign up today. Non-subscribers can view live scores on the web as well.
NCAA Regionals are here The NCAA regional selection took place at 5:00 p.m. eastern/4:00 p.m. central Monday March 31. This year’s regionals are as follows:
|Central||LSU||PMAC||Baton Rouge, LA|
|North Central||Minnesota||Sports Pavilion||Minneapolis, MN|
|Northeast||Penn State||Rec Hall||University Park, PA|
|South Central||Oklahoma||Lloyd Noble Center||Nornan, OK|
|Southeast||Florida||Stephen C. O’Connell||Gainesville, FL|
|West||Oregon St.||Gill Coliseum||Corvallis, OR|
|Championship||Georgia||Stegeman Coliseum||Athens, GA|
2009 is approaching Yes, the 2008 season is just starting but the Gym’Backs can look forward to 2009 as well. Arkansas has been selected to host the 2009 NCAA South Central Regional Championship April 4, in Barnhill Arena. It is the second NCAA Regional Arkansas has hosted. The Gym’Backs also hosted the 2006 South Central Regional upsetting UCLA to finish second overall and advance to the program’s first NCAA Championship. The other hosts include Ohio State (Central), Iowa (North Central), TBA (Northeast), North Carolina State (Southeast), Washington (West) and Nebraska (Championship).