TUCSON, Ariz. - The NCAA gymnastics committee announced Monday that the University of Arizona women's gymnastics team has qualified for the NCAA Regional Championship on Saturday, April 7. Arizona is the No. 5 seed in the South Central Region. The University of Nebraska is the host institution for the regional, which will be held in the Bob Devaney Sports Center Arena, in Lincoln, Neb., at 6 p.m. MST.
With today's announcement, No. 23 Arizona (6-20) has earned its 15th consecutive postseason berth to the regional championship. The Wildcats will square off against third-ranked Nebraska (18-1), No. 10 Penn State (16-6), No. 15 Washington (16-9-1), No. 19 Oklahoma (11-5) and No. 25 Illinois State (13-9). During the regular season, Arizona competed against both Washington and Oklahoma. Oklahoma defeated the Wildcats twice this season, while Washington topped Arizona three times. Washington finished third at the Pac-10 Championship meet last Saturday, and Arizona posted a sixth-place finish.
The top 18 teams in the nation, based on the regional qualifying score (RQS), were seeded into the six regional championship meets around the nation (three per region). The remaining three regional slots were filled with teams from within the region. The top two teams in each of the six regionals will receive an automatic berth to the NCAA Championship meet in Athens, Ga., on April 19-21. The top two all-around competitors and the individual event winners also will advance to the national championship if they are not members of a qualifying team.
Arizona has qualified for the regional championship every year since 1987, and the Wildcats also look for the chance to reach the national championship meet for the first time in five years. Last season at the 2000 regional championship meet, Arizona finished fourth (194.100) behind first-place Nebraska (196.875) and runner-up Louisiana State (195.650).
South Central Regional Championship (teams listed by seed) Seed Team (RQS) 1 Nebraska 197.285 2 Penn State 196.420 3 Washington 195.960 4 Oklahoma 195.765 5 ARIZONA 195.415 6 Illinois State 195.270