Iowa And Michigan Capture Berths In 2004 NCAA Championships Field
April 7, 2004
2004 NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships
For the third straight season, two Big Ten programs earned a spot in the 12-team field of the 2004 NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships, as both Iowa and Michigan placed second in their respective regionals on April 3. Both teams move on to the national team and individual finals, which will be held Thursday to Saturday, April 15-17, at the Pauley Pavilion on the campus of UCLA in Los Angeles, Calif. In addition, three other Conference student-athletes will compete in the individual competition in Illinois' Cara Pomeroy (uneven bars) and Ashley Williams (all-around) and Penn State's Lisa Clark (floor exercise and vault). The Big Ten will be aiming for its first national title in women's gymnastics, as the League has recorded eight top-10 finishes in the last five years, with the Wolverines placing fifth in 2003.
Michigan, which earned a sixth straight Big Ten Championship on March 20, collected its 12th straight berth in the NCAA Championships and 13th appearance overall to lead all League schools. The Wolverines have registered a top-10 finish in each of the last 11 years, including six top-five finishes and a top showing of second place in 1999. Despite being seeded fourth among six teams in the Northeast Regional last weekend, Michigan placed second with a score of 196.375, just behind five-time national champion Georgia (197.525) and ahead of host school and League-rival Penn State (196.075).
Iowa advanced to the NCAA Championships for just the second time in school history after the program made its first appearance last season. The Hawkeyes produced a tally of 195.725 to edge host Denver (195.500) for the trip to the national finals, as Stanford (196.575) claimed the regional title.
The 2004 NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships will begin with two six-team sessions on Thursday, April 15. Iowa (and PSU's Clark) will compete in the first session, which includes Florida, Georgia, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Stanford. Michigan (and the Illini duo of Pomeroy and Williams) will take part in the second session, which features host school and defending national champion UCLA along with Alabama, Arizona State, LSU and Utah. The top three teams from each session will advance to the Super Six competition Friday, April 16. The top four individuals from each session in each event (plus ties) from the preliminary team and all-around competition will compete in the individual-event competition Saturday, April 17.