SUU Gymnastics at NCAA Regionals this Weekend
By SUU Strategic Communication
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CEDAR CITY, Utah - Southern Utah University gymnastics will travel to Norman, Okla., this weekend for the NCAA Regionals with a chance to advance to the NCAA National Championship on the line. The Thunderbirds will need to finish in the top two of the strong field of six teams to punch their ticket to nationals.
The meet will feature five other nationally-ranked teams, including No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 11 Stanford, No. 14 Penn State, No. 22 Washington and No. 27 Iowa. Southern Utah qualified for the meet after finishing the regular season in the top 36 in the nation at No. 34.
Southern Utah has only faced one of its opponents this weekend during the regular season, hosting Iowa on March 15 in Cedar City. The Thunderbirds posted a victory over the Hawkeyes with a season-best 196.200 to Iowa’s 195.025.
Fans can follow the meet on Saturday via a live stat link that is anticipated to be online at www.suutbirds.com or by watching a video stream at www.soonersports.tv. The meet is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m. (MT)
Southern Utah University finished fifth at the Western Athletic Conference Championships with a 194.925. Michaela Chernoch and Brittney Jensen earned first-team all-WAC honors with a 9.875 on floor and 9.925 on vault, respectively.
Scouting the Field
The University of Oklahoma will host the meet and enter as the top seed after finishing No. 2 in the nation. The Sooners have averaged 197.335 on the year with season averages of 49.306 on vault, 49.346 on bars, 49.313 on beam and 49.369 on floor.
Stanford will enter the meet No. 11 in the nation, having averaged a 196.368 on the year. The Cardinal carry season averages of 49.208 on vault, 49.073 on bars, 49.085 on beam and 49.003 on floor.
Penn State finished the year No. 14 in the nation and averaged a 195.685 over the course of the season. The Nittany Lions also tallied season averages of 49.085 on vault, 49.065 on bars, 48.729 on beam and 48.806 on floor.
The University of Washington will enter the meet ranked No. 22 in the nation with an overall season average of 195.440. The Huskies also totaled season averages of 48.870 on vault, 48.913 on bars, 48.933 on beam and 48.725 on floor.
The University of Iowa finished the year with a season average of 195.030 and ranked No. 27 in the nation. The Hawkeyes also averaged 48.891 on vault, 49.011 on bars, 48.111 on beam and 49.016 on floor.
Southern Utah University returns as a team to the NCAA Regionals in 2013 after having sent an individual in 2012, Alyssa Click. The Thunderbirds had qualified for regionals each of the previous four season leading up to the break in 2012.
Southern Utah University gymnastics set a new record on bars this season with a 49.175 on Senior Day against San Jose State, Iowa and Ball State.
The Thunderbirds have also tallied three more top-five marks, including two individual performances on vault in a 9.925 by Brittney Jensen (second all-time) and a 9.900 by Rochelle Bernier (sixth all-time) and a top-five team mark on vault in a 49.125 at the WAC Championships (fifth all-time).