FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas has been selected to host an NCAA Regional for gymnastics in 2014, the NCAA announced on Thursday.
The six-team regional is slated to be held in Barnhill Arena on April 5, 2014.
It will be the fourth time Arkansas has hosted a gymnastics regional. Barnhill was the site for regionals in 2006, 2009 and 2012.
"We’re excited to once again be selected," co-head coach Rene Lyst says. "We’ve had good success when we host. We know Razorback fans enjoy it, and will come out and help us perform our best to hopefully qualify for the NCAA Championship."
The first three times the Razorbacks have hosted, they have advanced to the NCAA Championship. Two of those years, in 2009 and last year, Arkansas reached the NCAA Super Six.
"We feel like we provide a good experience for the fans and for the teams coming in, and we expect the same this next time," co-head coach Mark Cook says. "The last two times we’ve hosted, we went on to the Super Six. We hope that trend continues. It’s an honor to be selected to host. Everyone involved does a great job and we’re looking forward to it."
Arkansas’ gymnastics program ranks among the best in the country. In its first 10 years, Arkansas has earned an NCAA Regional bid nine consecutive seasons, advanced to the NCAA Championship six times in the last seven seasons, finished among the top 10 four times in the last five years and reached the Super Six twice.
In 2012, Arkansas hosted a regional and finished second to advance to the NCAA Championship. The top two teams from each of the six regionals advance. The Razorbacks finished third in their NCAA Session II semifinal to advance to the Super Six, and finished sixth in the country. The 2012 squad earned the first No. 1 national ranking in program history, the first No. 1 ranking on an event (bars), and had individuals earn No. 1 national rankings in the all-around, on floor and on bars.
In 2006, the first year Arkansas hosted a regional, the Razorbacks finished second, upsetting No. 9 UCLA, to advance to the NCAA Championship for the first time in school history.
The 2009 squad hosted and won the first regional title in program history and eventually reached the Super six, finishing fifth in the nation.
No. 2 UCLA won last year’s regional in Barnhill with a 197.225, followed by No. 10 Arkansas at 196.825, No. 15 Boise State 196.05, No. 19 Missouri 195.45, No. 34 Maryland 194.40 and No. 29 New Hampshire 193.90. Arkansas’ attendance of 2,713 was the third-best of the six regionals.
Other schools selected for 2014 are Georgia (Athens), LSU (Baton Rouge), Minnesota (Minneapolis), Penn State (University Park) and Washington (Seattle). The NCAA Championship is in Birmingham, Ala.
For this season, 2013 regional sites are at Alabama (Tuscaloosa), Oklahoma (Norman), Oregon State (Corvallis), Ohio State (Columbus), Florida (Gainesville) and West Virginia (Morgantown). The NCAA Championship is in Los Angeles at UCLA.