The No. 18 University of Minnesota women’s gymnastics team has been assigned to compete at the NCAA North Central Regional Championship in Iowa City, Iowa, on Saturday, April 4. Also competing in the North Central region will be No. 6 Florida, No. 7 UCLA, No. 20 Denver, No. 23 Iowa State, and host team Iowa, currently ranked No. 28.
Every women’s gymnastics team in the Big Ten Conference has qualified for NCAA regional competition this season. Minnesota and Iowa are competing in the North Central Region, Illinois will compete in the West Region, Michigan will compete in the South Central Region, Ohio State and Michigan State will compete in the Central Region, and Penn State will compete in the Southeast Region.
A total of 36 teams have qualified for an NCAA regional championship, and those 36 teams will compete at six sites. The teams finishing in the top two spots at each regional meet will advance to the NCAA Championships, to be held in Lincoln, Neb., April 16-18. In addition to the top two teams, the top two individual all around competitors who are not members of an advancing team will also earn a trip to the NCAA Championship as individual competitors.
The Minnesota gymnastics team has qualified to compete in an NCAA regional meet for each of the past 15 seasons. In 1997 and 2002, the Gophers earned a trip to the NCAA Championships. In 2008, Minnesota hosted the NCAA North Central Regional Championship, and placed third, narrowly missing a trip to the national championship. Last season, Carmelina Carabajal represented the Gophers at the NCAA Championship as an individual all around competitor.