Utes gymnastics team earns top seed in NCAA Regionals

Published 03/25 2014 12:11AM

Updated 03/25 2014 12:17AM

© 2014
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) -T he fields for the NCAA Regional Women’s Gymnastics Championships on Saturday, Apr. 5 were announced this afternoon and Utah is the top seed in the Fayetteville Regional in Fayetteville, Ark. Joining Utah in order of seed are UCLA, host Arkansas, Arizona State, Utah State and UC-Davis. The top two teams will advance to the NCAA Championships in Birmingham, Ala., April 18-20.

The meet will start at 4 p.m. Central Time (3 p.m. MT) in Barnhill Arena. Leading up to the meet, the Utes will practice in the Dumke Center on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of this week, and Monday and Tuesday of next week. The Utes will practice in Barnhill Arena on Friday, Apr. 4 from 4:00-5:40 p.m. CT.

Utah, which won the Pac-12 Championship last weekend and is ranked No. 5 in the nation, will meet No. 8 ranked UCLA for the fourth time this season and No. 24 Arizona State for the third time. The Utes are 2-1 against UCLA and 2-0 against ASU in their previous contests. They have not faced any of the other three teams in the Fayetteville Regional this year.

Fayetteville is arguably the strongest of the country’s six regionals, with Utah, UCLA and Arkansas all qualifying into the NCAA Championships for the past six years (Utah has qualified for all 32 NCAA Championships, UCLA for 31 and Arkansas for seven in its brief 12-year gymnastics history).

Utah, UCLA and Arkansas were last paired up in the semifinals of the 2013 NCAA Championships. UCLA tied for second to advance into the Super Six, while Utah (fifth) and Arkansas (sixth) were eliminated after the first round.

Utah’s rotation order, as designated by the NCAA is: bye, bars, beam, bye, floor, vault. Rotating with the Utes will be at-large all-arounder Catherine Dion of Illinois-Chicago.

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