Apologies for the absence. It is Spring Break here in Salt Lake City and I’ve taken a few days for myself.

Onward!

The NCAA Regional Assignments have been released and I am looking forward to seeing what happens with this round of competition.

Denver Regional hosted by the University of Denver:

Florida
Arkansas
Boise State
Denver
Arizona
Brigham Young

Individual Competitors:
Vault – Paige Jones (Utah State), alternate Samantha Jones (US Air Force Academy)
Uneven Bars – Nicole Simoneau (Utah State), alternate Rebecca Holiday (Utah State)
Balance Beam – Nicole Simoneay (Utah State), alternate Naomi DeLara (Wisconsin-Stout)
Floor Exercise – Paige Jones (Utah State), alternate Cammi Muhr (Utah State)
All-Around – Jackie Dillon (Utah State), Lyndsie Boone (Utah State), Brittany Dutton (US Air Force Academy), Rachel Vaske (Utah State), Christa Booman (Wisconsin-LaCrosse), alternate Linnea Hance (US Air Force Academy)

Expect Florida and Arkansas to dominate this regional meet, but don’t be surprised if Boise State and Denver make strong attempts to upset the GymBacks or Gators. The Gator’s sole loss this season was at the hands of the GymBacks in Fayetteville back in February. However, Arkansas has been upset by Denver and BYU this season, so with strong meets, the girls from Denver and Provo could sneak into the mix.

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Tuscaloosa Regional hosted by the University of Alabama:

Alabama
Penn State
Illinois
Auburn
Central Michigan
Kentucky

Individual Competitors:
Vault – Nicole Viltz (Eastern Michigan), alternate Kristen Seidowski (Western Michigan)
Uneven Bars – Caroline O’Brien (Western Michigan), alternate Brynn Wienckowski (Western Michigan)
Balance Beam – Kelsey Turnquist (Western Michigan), alternate Caroline O’Brien (Western Michigan)
Floor Exercise – Dawn Christman (Bowling Green), alternate Lauren Bledsoe (Western Michigan)
All-Around – Brittany Emmons (Ball State), Nicole Allen (Ball State), Kristine Garbarino (Western Michigan), Jessice Lieblich (Centenary), Kasey Fillmore (Bowling Green)

Alabama should have no problem winning this region, coming off a win in the very competitive SEC Championship, defeating both Florida and Georgia in the process. Auburn, Penn State and Illinois each have strong chances to join Alabama at the NCAA Championships in Ohio.

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Corvallis Regional hosted by Oregon State University:

Oregon State
Nebraska
Iowa
Southern Utah
San Jose State
Michigan State

Individual Competitors:
Vault – Anna Shumaker (UC Davis), alternate Kailey Hansen (Sacramento State)
Uneven Bars – Dallas Crawford (California-Berkeley), alternate Jessice Rea (UC-Davis)
Balance Beam – Lissa Zamolo (Sacramento State), alternate Erika Van Dyke (UC-Davis)
Floor Exercise – Kailey Hansen (Sacramento State), alternate Michelle Ho (UC-Davis)
All-Around – Alaina Baker (Cal-Fullerton), Marcy Miller (UC-Davis), Madisyn O’Brien (California-Berkeley), Alicia Asturias (California-Berkeley), Shelley Cooper (Cal-Fullerton), alternate Amanda Baluvelt (Sacramento State)

Oregon State has been solid all season long and should remain so through the post season. The battle for the second berth to the NCAA Championships will be between Nebraska and Iowa, with Nebraska having the edge with a few very high scores this season, but Iowa will not go down without a fight from team leader Rebecca Simbhudas.

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Ann Arbor Regional hosted by the University of Michigan:

Stanford
Michigan
Ohio State
Iowa State
Minnesota
Kent State

Individual Competitors:
Vault – Molly Moyer (Pittsburgh), alternate Kamri Riles (Bridgeport)
Uneven Bars – Alyssa Adrian (Pittsburgh), alternate Danielle D’Elia (Rutgers)
Balance Beam – Melanie Standridge (Cornell), alternate Emily Repko (Bridgeport)
Floor Exercise – Danielle D’Elia (Rutgers), alternate Corrine Williams (Temple)
All-Around – Luisa Leal-Restrepo (Rutgers), Monica Mesalles (Bridgeport), Dana Bonincontri (Pennsylvania), Emily Lutfey (Brown), Jenna Zito (Rutgers), alternate Kirsten Strausbaugh (Pennsylvania)

Stanford and Michigan should dominate this region, but Kent State was surprising this season and with a great meet could contend for that second spot to the NCAA Championships, but it would take mishaps from Michigan for that to happen.

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Norman Regional hosted by the University of Oklahoma:

Oklahoma
Utah
Washington
New Hampshire
Missouri
North Carolina

Individual Competitors:
Vault – Brianna Gaddie (Southeast Missouri), alternate Chantel Turk (Illinois-Chicago)
Uneven Bars – Christina Sundgren (Southeast Missouri), alternate Cynthia Lemieux-Guillemette (Illinois-Chicago)
Balance Beam – Taylor Westrick (Southeast Missouri), alternate Hannah Deutsch (Illinois State)
Floor Exercise – Madison Snowden (Arizona State), alternate Brianna Gaddie (Southeast Missouri)
All-Around – Brittany Johnson (Texas Woman’s), Erica Schick (Illinois State), Holly Reichard (Northern Illinois), Andrea Skala (Illinois-Chicago), Beaté Jones (Arizona State), alternate Taylor Westrick (Southeast Missouri)

Oklahoma is undefeated this season and Utah has only dropped three meets (Stanford, Florida, Oregon State). If anyone will contend with the Utes and the Sooners for a berth to the NCAA Championships, it will be Washington, a team that is steadily improving year after year and finished a surprised 3rd at the Pac-10 Championships.

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Athens Regional hosted by the University of Georgia:

UCLA
Georgia
Louisiana State
North Carolina State
Maryland
West Virginia

Individual Competitors:
Vault – Avis Hixon (Towson), alternate Kacy Catanzaro (Towson)
Uneven Bars – Kiera Kenney (George Washington), alternate Kacy Catanzaro (Towson)
Balance Beam – Monique Blount (George Washington), alternate Kacy Catanzaro (Towson)
Floor Exercise – Avis Hixon (Towson), alternate Britney Russel (Tows0n)
All-Around – Leslie DeLima (George Washington), Kayla Carto (George Washington), Betsy Zander (George Washington), Kristina Beck (William and Mary), Melissa Cream (William and Mary), alternate Kristin Milardo (William and Mary).

This seems like the toughest regional. UCLA started off a bit sluggish, dropping a meet to a then-unranked Southern Utah team in Cedar City back in January. The Bruins have since bounced back, but anything could happen with this team. Georgia has had some issues since the retirement of long-time coach Suzanne Yoculan, but they’ve kept their heads up and have worked hard. Look for the GymDogs to thrive in their home arena and make a run for the Nationals. Louisiana State has had ups and downs for a few years, but could sneak into the top two to make the trip to Nationals. I’m thinking UCLA and Georgia will get the spots in Cleveland, but Louisiana State could be there, too.

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Overall predictions:
UCLA
Georgia
Florida
Arkansas (or Boise State)
Oklahoma
Utah
Stanford
Michigan
Oregon State
Nebraska
Alabama
Penn State

I am thinking that UCLA, Florida, Stanford, Oregon State, Utah and Oklahoma make the Super Six, but would be thrilled for any team to make the finals.

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