March 29, 2010
All seven Big Ten women's gymnastics teams have been award bids to regional competitions of the 2010 NCAA Gymnastics Championships, which will take place on April 10 at various sites around the country.
Big Ten Champion Michigan will be the No. 2 seed in the Morgantown Regional, hosted by West Virginia, in Morgantown, W.V. The Wolverines are coming off their fourth-straight conference championship and look to make a return trip to the national competition after advancing three individuals, Beckey Bernard, Kylee Botterman and Sarah Curtis, to the national meet in 2009.
Conference runner-up Penn State will serve as the host for the University Park Regional and will be the No. 3 seed. The Nittany Lions will try to advance to the NCAA Championships for the second year in a row and improve on their ninth-place finish at the national competition. Ohio State joins Penn State in the University Park Regional and looks to advance on to the NCAA Championships after sending Rebecca Best as an individual a year ago.
The Lexington Regional will host two conference schools when Illinois and Michigan State join the field on the University of Kentucky campus. The Illini advanced to their first NCAA Championships in 2009 after finishing second in their regional while Michigan State is coming off its fourth-place finish at the Big Ten Championships and is looking for its first national meet appearance since 1988.
The final Big Ten teams to receive berths were Minnesota and Iowa, who will compete at the Columbia Regional on the University of Missouri campus. The Hawkeyes are coming off a third-place finish at the conference meet, their highest finish since 2004. The Gophers join the Hawkeyes in the search for their third national championship appearance.
The top 18 teams were seeded on a national basis, based on regional qualifying scores. Teams 19-36 were assigned to a regional site based on geographic proximity. All-around competitors and event specialists were assigned within their respective regions.
The top two teams and the top two all-around competitors, who are not on an advancing team, from each regional will receive an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships, which will take place April 22-24 in Gainesville, Fla., on the University of Florida campus.
In addition, the event winners at the regional championships will advance to the national championships for that event if they are not part of a qualifying team or the all-around qualifiers.