INDIANAPOLIS – The 2014 National Collegiate Women’s Gymnastics Championships regional selections were announced Wednesday by the NCAA. The 14th-ranked Minnesota women’s gymnastics team will be the third seed in its region as it plays host to No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 11 Illinois, California, Southern Utah, and San Jose State at the Sports Pavilion April 5 at 6 p.m.
Six teams were named to each of the six predetermined host sites, of which Minneapolis was one. The Gophers are hosting a regional for the first time since 2008.
The top two teams from each regional will receive an automatic berth to the national championships in Birmingham, Ala., April 18-20, hosted by the University of Alabama and the Alabama Sports Foundation.
The top two teams from the Minneapolis, Athens, Ga., and Baton Rouge, La. regionals will compete in one of the semifinals, and top two teams from the University Park, Pa., Fayetteville, Ark., and Seattle regionals will compete the in the other semifinal.
Minnesota will enter the competition with a 2-1 mark against teams that will be competing at the Sports Pavilion. The Gophers downed Illinois in its first conference meet of the season at home, 196.225-195.350, Jan. 25 and narrowly edged the Fighting Illini for third place at last week’s Big Ten Championships, 196.675-196.625. Oklahoma handed Minnesota its lone non-conference loss of the season to this point, scoring a 198.150 to win a quad meet at Texas Woman’s. The Maroon and Gold placed second with a 196.275.
The Gophers clinched a share of their second-straight Big Ten regular-season title with a 6-1 conference record and finished third at the Big Ten Championships last Saturday with a score of 196.675. Minnesota is 24-4 overall on the season and is 8-4 against teams ranked in the GymInfo Top 25.
In 2012, Minnesota qualified as a team for the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2002 by scoring a 197.100 at the Gainesville, Fla. regional, placing them second. The Gophers then finished fourth in the first semifinal at the NCAA Championships in Los Angeles 196.375-point score.
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