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Utah gymnastics: Utes seeded fourth by NCAA for postseason, headed to Fayetteville for regionals

Published March 20, 2017 6:34 pm

Utah gymnastics • Rowe says the Pac-12 Championships lifted their confidence.
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Even as Utah's gymnastics team turns its focus to the NCAA Regionals, the Utes can't help but look back to what they accomplished on Saturday. Having nearly two weeks in between competitions allows the luxury to relish a sweet victory.

Fresh off their Pac-12 win, the fourth-ranked Utes learned Monday they will compete in the Fayetteville, Ark., regional on April 1 against No. 9 Denver, No. 16 Cal, No. 21 Auburn, No. 27 Arkansas and No. 28 Central Michigan. The top two teams will join the other regional winners and runner-ups at the NCAA Championships April 14-15 in St. Louis.

The Utes are somewhat familiar with Arkansas, having competed and won the regional competition there in 2014.



"From what I remember our performance was a good one and we will talk with the team about that," Utah coach Megan Marsden said. "Some of the athletes were not here at the time, but it will be helpful."

As the top seed at regionals, the Utes should be able to advance to the NCAAs as long as they hit their routines, although Marsden cautioned the team couldn't get too relaxed.

"Every regional is packed with talent and it is difficult to move on if you aren't only hitting your routines but sticking them too at this point," she said. "It only gets greater what it takes to move forward at this point."

The Utes defeated Denver in a quad meet in January and beat Cal both in the regular season and at the Pac-12 Championships.

Auburn, coached by former Utah assistant Jeff Graba, is just the fourth seed, but could be a dangerous team since it logged a season high of 196.55 at the SEC Championships for a sixth-place showing.

As excited as they are to get ready for the regional competition, Utah's gymnasts are taking a few days to recover, and enjoy, their Pac-12 winning effort on Saturday.

The Utes won the Pac-12 championship with a season-high score of 197.925. Utah also won the title in 2014 and 2015 and placed second to UCLA a year ago.

"We feel like its back to its rightful owners," junior Maddy Stover said. "When we won it the first time, it kind of went over my head a bit. This one, we felt like we earned it after going through our trials and triumphs and it is going to be awesome to see the banner hang in the gym. It showed how tenacious this team is and how hard work pays off."

Utah senior Baely Rowe said the win gives the Utes some added confidence.

"We wanted to put a meet together of hitting 24-for-24 and seeing where that took us, and it was a great meet," she said. "We couldn't have asked for anything more. Now we have a couple of days of laying low and getting our bodies over some aches and pains before regionals." —

2017 NCAA gymnastics regionals

(Top 2 teams from each region advance to NCAA Championships, April 14-15 St. Louis)

(Team ranking, Team, regional qualifying score)

Seattle

1. Oklahoma 198.01

12. Kentucky 196.845

13. Washington 196.575

24. Utah State 195.915

32. Stanford 195.695

34. BYU 195.46

Champaign, Illinois

5. UCLA 197.5

8. Oregon State 197.115

17. Iowa 196.51

19. Illinois 196.365

22. Eastern Mich. 195.97

26. Ohio State 195.825

Fayetteville, Ark.

4. Utah 197.55

9. Denver 197.04

16. California 196.515

21. Auburn 196.265

27. Arkansas 195.775

28. Central Michigan 195.765

Lincoln, Neb.

2. LSU 197.865

11. Boise State 196.91

14. Nebraska 196.725

25. Arizona 195.88

29. Iowa State 195.75

36. Minnesota 195.42

Morgantown, W.V.

6. Alabama 197.355

7. Michigan 197.135

18. Southern Utah 196.38

20. George Washington 196.34

23. West Virginia 195.92

31. Kent State 195.72

Gainesville, Fla.

3. Florida 197.635

10. Georgia 197.005

15. Missouri 196.54

30. New Hampshire 195.745

33. Penn State 195.59

35. North Carolina 195.43

 

 

 

 

 

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