The No. 5 Utah Red Rocks gymnastics team will host the Salt Lake NCAA Regional tonight at 6 p.m. MT. Also competing at the meet with the Red Rocks are No. 8 UCLA, No. 17 Washington, No. 23 Southern Utah, Illinois and Utah State. The top two teams from the regional will earn bids to nationals in Fort Worth, Texas on Apr. 15-16. Utah has made a record 40 straight national championship meets and is the only program to have made all 34 NCAA National Championships. This will be the 13th time Utah has hosted an NCAA regional. They have won 11 of 12 regionals held in the Huntsman Center (placing second to Florida in 2010). Overall, Utah has won 28 out of 40 total regional titles (including 25 of 34 NCAA). In the 12 years Utah did not win the regional, they finished second.
Sophomore All-American Maddy Stover will return to the beam lineup after missing the Pac-12 Championship meet with a torn labrum she suffered in the final regular season meet against Georgia. Stover said her shoulder is feeling a lot better after being able to rest it. Breanna Hughes, Samantha Partyka, and Baely Rowe are all slated to compete in the all-around in the regional meet.
Utah hosted an open practice yesterday in preparation for the regional meet. "It was a perfect practice," said co-head coach Tom Farden on the practice. "They looked great." On the practice, senior gymnast Breanna Hughes said, "I think everything went really well. The team had a good rhythm with them."
Utah's rotation for the regional is bye, bars, beam, bye, floor, and vault. Co-head coach Megan Marsden is happy with the rotation. Starting out on a bye allows the team extra time to get ready for the meet, and the second bye will act as a "halftime." She wants it to be a time for the gymnasts to rest and decompress. Utah will also have at-large all-arounder Kalliah McCartney of Sacramento State rotating with them.
The top two teams at the Salt Lake City Region will compete in the second semifinal of the NCAA Championships on Apr. 15, starting at 7 p.m. CT/6 p.m. MT, in Fort Worth against the qualifiers from the Iowa City and Tuscaloosa Regionals.