March 30, 2005
SALT LAKE CITY -
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A few notes on the upcoming NCAA North Central Gymnastics Regional follow. Please download the accompanying PDF file for the complete release.
The No. 1 ranked Utah gymnasts will host the NCAA North Central Region Championship in Salt Lake City on Saturday, April 9 starting at 6:00 p.m. (MDT) in the Huntsman Center ... The six teams to qualify for the North Central Regional by seed: No. 1 Utah, No. 2 Oregon State, No. 3 Brigham Young, No. 4 Minnesota, No. 5 Southern Utah and No. 6 Iowa ... Five at-large all-arounders and four individual event specialists will also compete ... Utah has won five straight regional championships (see Utah at Regionals) ... The top two finishers at regionals will qualify for the NCAA Championships in Auburn, Ala., April 21-23 ... Utah hopes to continue its record NCAA Championships qualifying streak: It is the only program in the nation to qualify for all 23 NCAA Championships and for the last 29 national championships including the AIAW years.
UTES ARE NO. 1
Utah goes into the postseason ranked No. 1 in the nation. It marks the first time since 1993 that Utah has finished the regular season atop the rankings. The Utes were ranked No. 5 in the preseason poll, but jumped to No. 1 in the first week of competition after upsetting then No. 1 UCLA. Utah held the top spot in eight of the 12 regular season polls this season.
Tickets for the NCAA North Central Regional Championships may be purchased by calling the Ute ticket office at 801-581-UTIX, online at www.UtahUtes.com or at the Rice-Eccles Stadium box office (Huntsman Center day of meet). Ticket prices range from $4-$14. General admission is $5 for adults and $4 for youth. Reserved prices are as follows: rows 1-12 are $14; rows 13-23 are $11 for adults and $9 for youth; rows 24-31 are $6.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah counted a fall just once this year: at Minnesota on Feb. 5 ... The 2005 Utes have posted two of the 10 best scores in school history: 197.85 (eighth) and 197.725 (10th) ... Utah topped 197.00 in its last five meets, including road meets at Georgia and BYU ... Utah's two losses (at Nebraska and at Georgia) were by an average of less than a tenth of a point (.088) ... The Utes won the 2005 women's gymnastics attendance title, averaging 11,300 spectators to their six regular season home meets, including the biggest crowd in the nation to watch a college gymnastics meet this season (14,100 vs. BYU). This season's average is the third-highest attendance average in Utah and NCAA gymnastics history. Utah has won 21 of the last 24 gymnastics attendance titles.
All six teams and the at-large competitors will participate in a mandatory practice session in the Huntsman Center on Friday, April 8. There are two practice sessions and both are open to the pubic, free of charge. Athletes and coaches will be available for media interviews before and after their respective sessions upon request. Friday's practice schedule, by team, follows: 2:00-3:40 p.m. Utah, Southern Utah, Iowa. 4:00-5:40 p.m. Oregon State, BYU, Minnesota.
UTAH AT REGIONALS
This marks the 30th-consecutive regional appearance for the Utes, who have qualified for regionals and nationals every year since becoming a varsity program back in the 1975-76 season ... Utah has won 22 regional titles (19 of 23 NCAA regional titles) and finished second in its region the other seven times (4 NCAA) ... Utah belongs to the North Central region but has been sent out of region three of the seven years under the current format. Utah has participated in three North Central Regionals (2000, 2001, 2003), two West Regionals (1999, 2002) and one South Central Regional (2004)... Utah has won five straight NCAA regional titles (three North Central, one West and one South Central regional) ... Utah is 9-0 in NCAA regional meets held in Salt Lake City, the most recent in 2003.
The event rotation order at the NCAA regional championships was determined by a random draw by the NCAA office. Utah's rotation order will be: Bars, Beam, Bye, Floor, Vault, Bye.
All four of Utah's all-arounders made the top 20 and three cracked the top seven in the final regular season national rankings. Leading the way is freshman Ashley Postell
(39.535 regional qualifying score), who is tied for fourth. Close behind in sixth and seventh place are sophomore Nicolle Ford
(39.53 RQS) and senior Annabeth Eberle
(39.495 RQS). Checking in at No. 19 is sophomore Rachel Tidd
(39.33 RQS). The four have combined to hit an amazing 97 percent of their routines this season (168-174). Postell and Ford have both "hit" 44-45 routines, Eberle is 46-48 and Tidd is 34-36. They have won a combined 13 all-around competitions (including ties), with Postell winning 6, Eberle 3, Ford 2 and Tidd 2.
NATIONALLY RANKED UTES
For the complete top 25 team rankings, please see page 3 of this release. In addition to its all-arounders, Utah has several national individual event rankings. Ashley Postell
(9.96 RQS) is ranked No. 1 on the balance beam and Nicolle Ford
(9.925) is No. 5. Rachel Tidd
(9.93 RQS) is No. 3 on bars and Nicolle Ford
(9.895) is tied for No. 9. Annabeth Eberle
is No. 6 on floor (9.920, tie) and No. 8 on vault (9.915) and Postell is tied for ninth on vault (9.91). As a team, Utah is ranked No. 1 on beam (49.36 RQS), No. 2 on both vault (49.345) and bars (49.285) and No. 6 on floor (49.33).