April 5, 2009
All seven of the Big Ten women's gymnastics teams were battling for a berth in the NCAA Championships on Saturday in regional competitions. Illinois and Penn State advanced as a team. The Big Ten also saw six individual gymnasts advance to the NCAA Championships in their respective events.
The Nittany Lions will look to advance to the national championships for the first time since 2005 after finishing in second place at the Southeast Regional Championships with a score of 195.800. The Fighting Illini also finished in the runner-up position at the West Regional Championships with a score of 196.700 to earn the program's first NCAA Championships bid.
The top two teams and the top two all-around competitors (who are not on an advancing team) from each regional received automatic berths to the national championships, slated to be held April 16-18 in Lincoln, Neb., hosted by the University of Nebraska. In addition, the event winners at each of the six regional sites advanced to the national championships in their respective events only.
The six Big Ten gymnasts set to vie at nationals in individual competition are as follows:
Allison Buckley, Illinois
Beckey Bernard, Michigan
Kylee Botterman, Michigan
Sarah Curtis, Michigan
Rebecca Best, Ohio State
Brandi Personett, Penn State