March 25, 2002
Tucson, Ariz. (March 25) - The No. 12 University of Arizona women's gymnastics team has qualified for the 2002 NCAA Regional Championship on Saturday, April 6, the NCAA gymnastics committee announced Monday. The Wildcats will compete in the South Central Region for a bid to the NCAA Championships. Arizona State University will host the South Central Regional, which will be held in the Wells Fargo Arena, in Tempe, Ariz., at 6 p.m. MST.
Arizona (15-7, 9-4 Pac-10) has earned its 16th consecutive postseason berth to the regional championship. The Wildcats will take on No. 1 UCLA, No. 17 Brigham Young, No. 18 Arizona State, Illinois-Chicago and Cal State Fullerton. During the regular season, the Wildcats competed against both UCLA and Arizona State, splitting a pair of meets with each school. Arizona defeated UCLA on January 25 (195.175-195.100) and fell to Arizona State on March 1 (197.850-196.700). On March 23, at the Pac-10 Championship, UCLA finished in first place (197.625) ahead of Arizona (197.050), and Arizona State finished sixth (194.125).
The top 18 ranked teams in the nation, based on their regional qualifying score (RQS), were placed into six regional championship meets around the nation (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 Tuscaloosa, Ala., on April 18-20. The top two all-around competitors and the individual event winners will also receive automatic bids to the national championship if they are not members of a qualifying team.
Arizona has qualified for the regional championship every year since 1987. The Wildcats have not advanced to the NCAA Championship meet since 1996. Last season at the 2001 regional championship meet, the Wildcats missed reaching the NCAA Championship by .100 of a point. Arizona finished third (194.825) behind first-place Nebraska (196.200) and runner-up Oklahoma (194.925) on April 7, in Lincoln, Neb.
South Central Regional (at Arizona State):
No. 1 UCLA, No. 12 ARIZONA, No. 17 Brigham Young, No. 18 Arizona State, Cal State Fullerton, Illinois-Chicago