The University of Minnesota women's gymnastics team embarks on its 17th-straight NCAA Regional, which will be hosted by Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Gophers are one of six teams to be selected for this Regional. The others are No. 5 Nebraska, No. 8 Utah, No. 24 Iowa State, Arizona State and San Jose State.
The top two teams and the top two all-around competitors who are not on an advancing team from each regional will receive an automatic berth to the national championships in Athens, Ga.
In addition, the event winners at each regional will advance to the national championships in that event only if they are not part of a qualifying team or an all-around qualifier.
Breaking a Trend
Minnesota snapped its trend of finishing outside of the Top 3 at the Big Ten Championships with grabbing third place two weeks ago. It was the Gophers’ best finish since winning the league title in 2006.
Performing at a High Level
So far this season, the Maroon and Gold have surpassed the 196.000-mark four times, which is the most since the 2004 season.
17 and Counting…
The Golden Gophers have reached the NCAA Regionals the past 17 season. Minnesota has not reached Nationals since the 2002 season.
Vaulting Up the Charts
The Golden Gophers tallied the third-best vault score in school history two weeks ago at Big Tens with scoring a 49.300. Minnesota accomplished this mark by having five Gopher gymnasts record a 9.850 or better.
Slechta Has Experience
Sophomore Kayla Slechta is the lone Gopher to have participated at Nationals. She qualified in the all around last season and finished 29th overall.
Gophers By the Numbers
17 – Minnesota has reached the Regionals the past 17 seasons
12 – NCAA Regional Individual Champions
5 – Appearances at NCAA Nationals
1 – Regional Coach of the Year Award for Stephenson (2002)
The Return of Cherwink: Part II
After suffering a torn Achilles in October, sophomore Justine Cherwink made her return to the Gopher lineup for the first time on March 10 in the bars rotation. Cherwink scored a 9.700 on the routine with her score counting in the Gophers’ score.
Cherwink suffered the same injury before the 2011 season as well but on the opposite leg. She also made a return last spring after rehabbing.
Minnesota has reached Nationals five times in team history and two of them have come under the tutelage of Meg Stephenson. The last time they made a trip to Nationals as a team was in 2002, but the Gophers have had at least one individual make it six of the last 10 seasons.
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