March 31, 2003
Tucson, Ariz. (March 31) - The No. 19 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team has qualified to compete in the 2003 NCAA South Central Regional Championships on Saturday, April 12 in Colombia, Mo. The Wildcats will compete against No. 1 UCLA, No. 12 Oregon State, No. 13 Iowa, Illinois-Chicago and host Missouri in Missouri's Hearnes Center at 6 p.m. Arizona's berth marks the program's 17th consecutive postseason appearance.
The top 18 ranked teams in the nation based on their Regional Qualifying Score (RQS), were placed into six regional championship meets (three per region). The top two teams in each of the six regional meets will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship meet in Lincoln, Neb. on April 24-26. The top two all-around competitors and the individual event winners not from a qualifying team will also receive automatic bids to the national championship.
Arizona has qualified for the regional championships every year since 1987. Last season, Arizona competed in the South Central Regional Championships in Tempe, Ariz., where the Wildcats placed second behind first-place UCLA to earn a trip to the 2002 NCAA Championships. It was Arizona's first berth to the NCAA Championships since 1996. Arizona is looking to qualify for the NCAA Championships for a second-straight year, something that has not been done since 1993.
Arizona will begin competition on beam and will finish on bars.
2003 NCAA Regional Championship Fields:
South Central Region (Columbia, Mo., host Missouri) - No. 1 UCLA, No. 12 Oregon State, No. 13 Iowa, No. 19 Arizona, Missouri, Illinois- Chicago
West Region (Seattle, Wash., host Washington) - No. 2 Nebraska, No. 11 Washington, No. 14 LSU, Boise State, Cal State Fullerton, San Jose State
Northeast Region (Ann Arbor, Mich., host Michigan) - No. 3 Arizona State, No. 10 Michigan, No. 15 Iowa State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, New Hampshire.
Southeast Region (Athens, Ga., host Georgia) - No. 4 Georgia, No. 9 Florida, No. 16 Ohio State, No. 24 North Carolina State, Maryland, North Carolina
Central Region (Tuscaloosa, Ala., host Alabama) - No. 5 Alabama, No. 7 Oklahoma, No. 17 Auburn, No. 21 Kent State, No. 25 Central Michigan
North Central Region (Salt Lake City, Utah, host Utah) - No. 6 Stanford, No. 8 Utah, No. 18 California, No. 20 BYU, No. 21 Denver, No. 23 Minnesota