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Utah Red Rocks Head to Fayetteville Regional

Deena Lofgren

The No. 4 Utah Red Rocks drew the top seed in the Fayetteville, Ark. NCAA regional. At the meet, the Red Rocks will be joined by No. 9 Denver, No. 16 California, No. 21 Auburn, Arkansas, and Central Michigan. Utah co-head coach Tom Farden is familiar with Barnhill Arena from his one year as assistant head coach at Arkansas in 2010. Utah also competed at the Fayetteville Regional in 2014, where they placed first. Utah will see a familiar face at the meet; former Red Rock All-American gymnast Corrie Lothrop is a graduate assistant for Auburn.

“We are excited to be headed to the regional championship in Arkansas. I think it was just two years ago that we were there for a Regional competition as well, so we have kind of been there and done that. As I remember, our performance was a good one. We will certainly talk to the team a little about that. Although we have some athletes that weren’t there, I still think that will be helpful. At this point in the season, our focus with our team is very much inner and not as much a concern about any other team specifically, so I don’t even really want to comment about the other programs there. It is more about what we are trying to get done to move through the qualification process. Certainly every Regional as I watch is packed with talent. It will be difficult to move on unless you are not only hitting your routines but also sticking elements. It has become that competitive at this point. I think that was apparent even at our Pac-12 Championship competition. It only gets greater in terms of what it takes to move forward, “ said co-head coach Megan Marsden.

Utah features two gymnasts ranked in the top five nationally in the all-around, freshman MyKayla Skinner (No. 2), who was the Pac-12 all-around champion, and senior Baely Rowe (No. 5), who finished second to Skinner in the all-around at the Pac-12 Championship. Both Rowe and Skinner are excited to head to Arkansas. Rowe was on the team for the 2014 Regional there, while Skinner has never been to the Natural State.

“I am really excited to go back. We are going to be laying low for a couple days here to kind of get our bodies ready to go. I think that is going to be a great thing for us because heading into Regionals and Nationals those are big meets. We are going to prepare like we do every week going into each meet. I think that is important,” said Rowe.

“We are going to Arkansas, so it is going to be really fun. I am excited. I have never been there. I think we are really excited about it and we are just going to go out there and have some fun,” said Skinner.

Below is the complete press release from the University of Utah, which includes details about the meet, how regionals work, and Utah’s rotation at the meet.

INDIANAPOLIS—The Utah gymnastics team, which moved up one place in the national rankings to No. 4 after winning the Pac-12 Championship on Saturday, is the top seed in the Fayetteville Regional. The Fayetteville Regional is slated for Saturday, Apr. 1 at 4 p.m. CDT/3 p.m. MDT at Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville, Ark. Joining Utah in the field are No. 9 Denver, No. 16 California, No. 21 Auburn, Arkansas and Central Michigan.

Utah features two of the top five all-arounders in the country in freshman MyKayla Skinner at No. 2 and senior Baely Rowe at No. 5. Skinner, the Pac-12 all-around, vault and floor champion, is ranked No. 1 on floor, No. 7 on vault, No. 15 on bars and No. 23 on beam. Rowe is No. 13 on beam and No. 18 on floor.

All six NCAA regional meets will be held on Saturday, Apr. 1 with the top two teams from each regional advancing to the NCAA Championships in St. Louis, Apr. 14-15. The Utes are bidding to extend their record streak of national championship appearances to 42 years.

Utah will start regional competition on bars and finish on a bye. This is the fifth-straight year that Utah has drawn bars as its first competition event at regionals. Utah also opened the Pac-12 Championship on bars last week.

2017 NCAA Regional Fields

Seattle Regional (West)

1 Oklahoma 198.010

12 Kentucky 196.845

13 Washington 196.735

24 Utah State 195.915

Stanford 195.695

BYU 195.460

Champaign Regional (Central)

5 UCLA 197.500

8 Oregon State 197.115

17 Iowa 196.510

19 Illinois 196.365

22 Eastern Michigan 195.970

Ohio State 195.825

Fayetteville Regional (South Central)

4 Utah 197.550

9 Denver 197.040

16 California 196.515

21 Auburn 196.265

Arkansas 195.775

Central Michigan 195.765

Lincoln Regional (North Central)

2 LSU 197.865

11 Boise State 196.910

14 Nebraska 196.725

25 Arizona 195.880

Iowa State 195.750

Minnesota 195.420

Morgantown Regional (Northeast)

6 Alabama 197.355

7 Michigan 197.135

18 Southern Utah 196.380

20 George Washington 196.340

23 West Virginia 195.920

Kent State 195.720

Gainesville Regional (Southeast)

3 Florida 197.635

10 Georgia 197.005

15 Missouri 196.540

New Hampshire 195.745

Penn State 195.590

North Carolina 195.430