April 10, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY -
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The 10-time national champion Utah gymnastics team has qualified for a record 31st-consecutive national championship. Utah is the only program to qualify for all 25 NCAA Championships ... The 2006 NCAA Championships will be held in Corvallis, Ore., April 20-22 ... Utah earned an automatic berth by finishing second at the Northeast Regional Championship ... The NCAA Championships begin on Thursday, April 20 with two qualifying sessions. Utah drew the afternoon session (starting at 1 p.m. PDT), along with Alabama, Oklahoma, LSU, Michigan and Nebraska. In the evening session are Georgia, Arkansas, Arizona State, Florida, Oregon State and Iowa State ... The top three teams from each session will advance to the Super Six on Friday, April 21. The all-around champion will also be crowned on Friday. Individual event championships are held on Saturday, April 22.
Utah finished the regular season ranked No. 2 in the nation. The Utes were No. 2 in eight of the 13 polls ... Utah's high score was 197.50 (vs. Brigham Young on Mar. 24) ... Utah was 11-2 in the regular season. Its losses were to No. 1 Georgia and No. 3 Florida ... The Utes won the 2006 women's gymnastics attendance title, averaging 12,747 spectators to their six regular season home meets. It marked the second-highest attendance average in Utah and NCAA gymnastics history. Utah has won 22 of the last 25 gymnastics attendance titles.
Utah has four 39.40-or-better all-arounders: Ashley Postell
(39.65), Nicolle Ford
(39.55), Nina Kim
(39.50) and Kristina Baskett
(39.40) ... Of Utah's 24 routines, eight are by freshmen (Kim and Baskett), six by sophomores (Postell and Jessica Duke
), four by the junior class (Ford) and six by seniors (Gritt Hofmann
, Kristen Riffanacht
, Dominique D'Oliveira
and Gabriella Onodi
). Hofmann accounts for half of the senior class routines ... The Utes lost three gymnasts for the season to injury. Most critical was junior All-America all-arounder Rachel Tidd
, who retired in December due to back problems. In addition to the all-around, Tidd was a first-team All-American on bars (third in 2005) and a second-teamer on vault. Late season-ending elbow injuries took out senior Natalie Nicoloff
and sophomore Katie Kivisto
, who had both led off Utah's bar set at times this year.