Six Big Ten Gymnastics Teams Compete in NCAA Regional Action

April 11, 2007

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Six Big Ten women's gymnastics programs were awarded bids to the 2007 NCAA Regionals to be held in facilities across the country on April 14, as the squads will compete for a berth in the NCAA Championships. The Big Ten has advanced two teams to the national finals in four of the last five seasons and recorded nine top-10 finishes in the last seven years.

Michigan, which collected its ninth Big Ten title in the last 10 seasons and 15th overall, is the No. 2 seed and will host the Northeast Regional. The Wolverines, who are seeking a conference-best 15th NCAA Championship bid, have posted a top-10 finish in 13 of the last 14 seasons, including seven top-five finishes and a top showing of second place in 1999.

As the No. 2 seed, Penn State will travel to Denver, Colo., to take part in the North Central Regional. The Nittany Lions are aiming for their seventh NCAA Championship appearance since joining the Big Ten. PSU will also be joined by fifth-seeded Minnesota, which is vying for its third NCAA berth in school history, and several Iowa standouts, who have qualified as individual competitors in the North Central Region. Katie Turcotte, Kara Pinjuv, and Katie Burke will compete in the all-around, while Jenifer Simbhudas will take part in the vault and floor exercise events.

No. 4 Michigan State and fifth-seeded Ohio State will take part in the Central Regional, hosted by No. 1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Spartans will be looking for their second national final in school history, while the Buckeyes have made six NCAA appearances, most recently in 1990. Illinois, which is seeking its first NCAA berth, is the No. 4 seed and will compete in the South Central Region, hosted by No. 3 Arizona.

Six teams, five all-around competitors (who are not on a qualifying team) and one individual event specialist per event were named to each of the six 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 national championships on April 26-28 in Salt Lake City, Utah, hosted by the University of Utah. In addition, the event winners at the regional championships will advance to the national championships (in that event only) if they are not a part of a qualifying team or the all-around qualifers.