March 24, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The No. 7-ranked University of Michigan women's gymnastics team earned its 23rd consecutive berth to the NCAA Regionals on Monday (March 24), getting pegged as the No. 2 seed at the Athens Regional, to be held on Saturday, April 5, inside Stegeman Coliseum on the campus of the University of Georgia. Joining Michigan at the regional will be No. 6 Georgia, No. 18 Central Michigan, No. 22 Ohio State, North Carolina State and Rutgers. The meet will begin at 4 p.m.
The top two teams from each of the six regional sites will qualify for the NCAA Championships, to be held April 18-20 at BJCC Arena in Birmingham, Ala. The top two all-around gymnasts and any event winner not on a qualifying team (including ties) will also receive individual berths into the 12-team field at the national championships. The top two teams from the University Park, Fayetteville and Seattle regionals will compete in one of the semifinals, and the top two teams from the Minneapolis, Athens and Baton Rouge regionals will compete in the other semifinal. The Wolverines have qualified to the NCAA Championships 20 times, including a berth in 19 of the last 21 seasons.
Each of the six regional sites are comprised of three seeded teams that rank among the top 18 in the current rankings by regional qualifying score (RQS). The remaining three spots in each region -- teams ranked No. 19-36 -- are filled in geographically.
Joining the six teams in the Athens Regional are all-around competitors Hope Sloanhoffer (West Virginia), Haley Watts (North Carolina), Brittany Stover (William & Mary), Kayla Carto (George Washington), Nicolette Swoboda (West Virginia) and individual event specialists Chelsea Raineri on vault (George Washington), Alexa Goldberg (West Virginia) on uneven bars, Beth Deal (West Virginia) on balance beam and Chelsea Raineri (George Washington) on floor exercise.
For its rotation, U-M will start on a bye before floor exercise and finish on balance beam. The rotation will go: bye-floor exercise-vault-bye-uneven bars-balance beam.
Michigan has not competed in Athens since March 12, 2011, winning a dual meet, 196.800-196.050. This will be the first time U-M has competed in Athens for an NCAA Regional.
Tickets for the Athens Regional can be purchased through the UGA Ticket Office. To purchase, go to www.georgiadogs.com/tickets or call (877) 542-1231. The ticket office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT.
Contact: Brad Rudner