MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The 2017 National Collegiate Women’s Gymnastics Championships regional selections were announced today, and No. 23-ranked West Virginia University will compete as the No. 5 seed in the Morgantown Regional, inside the WVU Coliseum, on Saturday, April 1, at 4 p.m.
The bid is the 38th regional championships berth for the Mountaineers (13-10, 3-3), their 33rd in NCAA competition, and the team’s third straight qualification. Seeded fifth for the second straight season and the third time in four years, WVU’s national ranking is its highest postseason position since sitting at No. 21 in 2009.
WVU hosts a regional championships for the 10th time in program history. Most recently, the Mountaineers finished fifth at the 2015 NCAA Morgantown Regional Championships with a 195.65 score, the team’s second-best showing at an NCAA Regional Championships.
The Mountaineers have advanced to the NCAA National Championships three times (1995, 1999, 2000) since 1983.
Ranked No. 6 nationally, Alabama earned the region’s top seed. No. 7 Michigan is seeded at No. 2, while No. 18 Southern Utah claimed the No. 3 seed. No. 20 George Washington is seeded fourth, and Kent State is seeded sixth.
“We are so excited to host the 2017 NCAA Morgantown Regional Championships,” Mountaineer coach Jason Butts said. “We have some great teams coming to the WVU Coliseum, and it’s going to be a great experience for the fans and the crowd. I am most excited about getting our incredible team out onto the floor and really pushing hard to qualify through to the National Championships. This team can absolutely do it – they’ve been rocking their gymnastics all year long, and we are going to give it our best shot and have some fun.
“It’s a tough field, but these teams have to travel, and we get to sleep in our own beds. We will have the home advantage. We have to make sure we show up and do our gymnastics. These are some tough teams, but we all have to hit 24-for-24.”
WVU is 1-1 against the field this season. The Mountaineers earned a 195.95-194.875 victory at Kent State on Feb. 4, and lost, 196.375-195.8, to then-No. 16 George Washington, on March 5, at the WVU Coliseum.
The Mountaineers will open the meet on balance beam. The team’s complete rotation order is balance beam, bye, floor exercise, vault, bye, uneven bars.
Six teams, four all-around competitors (who are not on a qualifying team) and two individual event specialist per event [who have a minimum Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) of 9.4] were named to each of the six predetermined host sites.
The top-18 teams are seeded nationally, based on RQS, and placed into the bracket. Teams 19-36 are placed geographically at one of the six regional sites. Seeding determined at the time of regional selections will be maintained throughout the championships. All-around competitors and event specialists are assigned to their respective geographic region.
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 St. Louis, Missouri, April 14-15, hosted by the University of Missouri, Columbia, and the St. Louis Sports Commission. The top two teams from the Champaign, Fayetteville and Seattle regionals will compete in one of the semifinals, and the top two teams from the Gainesville, Lincoln and Morgantown regionals will compete in the other semifinal.
In addition, the event winners at each regional site will advance to the national championships (in that event only) if they are not part of a qualifying team or an all-around qualifier.
Fans can purchase tickets in advance for the April 1 meet, set for the WVU Coliseum, at a special discounted price. Adult tickets are available for $12 each, while tickets for youths 13 years and younger and senior citizens are $8 each. Tickets for groups of 10 or more are available for $10 each.
Tickets are available for purchase at WVUGAME.com
, at the Mountaineer Ticket Office located at the Gold Gate of the WVU Coliseum and by calling 1-800-WVUGAME.
Tickets will also be on sale on Meet Day at the Mountaineer Ticket Office located at the Gold Gate of the WVU Coliseum. Meet Day ticket prices are $15 each, while tickets for youths 13 years and younger and senior citizens are $10 each.
WVU students will be admitted free with a valid WVU Student I.D.
Morgantown Regional (Northeast) (West Virginia University, host)
3. Southern Utah
4. George Washington
5. West Virginia
6. Kent State
1. Majesta Valentine, West Chester
2. Lyanda Dudley, Cornell
3. Caroline Morant, Brown
4. Libby Groden, Rutgers
Alt. – Daisy Todd, Temple
Individual Event Specialists
Vault – Tracey Pearson, Pittsburgh
Vault – Kimberly Stewart, Bridgeport
Alt. – Aya Mahgoub, Temple
Uneven Bars – Taylor Laymon, Pittsburgh
Uneven Bars – Daisy Todd, Temple
Alt. – Kaitlin Green, Cornell
Balance Beam – Brianna Comport, Bridgeport
Balance Beam – Kaitlin Green, Cornell
Alt. – Makenzey Shank, Rutgers
Floor Exercise – Brianna Comport, Bridgeport
Floor Exercise – Maya Reimers, Bridgeport
Alt. – Tracey Pearson, Pittsburgh