INDIANAPOLIS – The University of New Hampshire gymnastics team has earned a bid to the 2011 National Collegiate Women's Gymnastics Championships regional competition, the NCAA announced Monday. The Wildcats will compete in the Norman Regional at the University of Oklahoma's Lloyd Noble Center on Saturday, April 2, beginning at 5 p.m. EDT.
UNH, which is ranked 32nd in the nation, will be the No. 4 seed in the Norman Regional, where fifth-ranked Oklahoma (17-1) is the top seed. The seventh-ranked University of Utah (8-3) is the No. 2 seed, followed by the 17th-ranked University of Washington (16-10) as the No. 3 seed. The No. 5 seed is the 33rd-ranked University of Missouri (9-9), and the No. 6 seed is the 35th-ranked University of North Carolina (18-7), which edged New Hampshire to capture the East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) Championship on Saturday, March 19.
The Wildcats, who are making their 29th NCAA regional trip under the guidance of 32nd-year head coach Gail Goodspeed, posted a record of 17-10 during the season, highlighted by a runner-up finish at the EAGL Championship in Washington, D.C. this past weekend. That marked the school's top finish since capturing its lone league championship in 2003 and also included Goodspeed's 500th career coaching triumph at the University.
"We are excited at the prospect of competing against some of the top teams in the country at the NCAA regional in Oklahoma," Goodspeed said. "After coming so close to winning EAGLs, we know we'll have to step up our game against these top-flight programs."
UNH's rotation, set through a blind draw conducted by the NCAA office, will be uneven bars, balance beam, floor exercise and vault.
Norman is one of six regional sites with other sites including Ann Arbor, Mich. (Michigan), Athens, Ga. (Georgia), Corvallis, Ore. (Oregon State), Denver, Colo. (Denver), and Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Alabama).
The top two teams from each regional will advance to the 2011 NCAA Championship at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, Ohio, hosted by Kent State University and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission on April 15-17.
Six teams, five all-around competitors (who are not on a qualifying team) and one individual event specialist per event [who has a minimum Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) of 9.4] were named to each of the six regions.
The top-18 teams were seeded on a national basis, based on RQS. Teams 19-36 were assigned to a regional site based on geographic proximity. All-around competitors and event specialists were assigned within their respective regions.
Tickets for the Norman regional are $12 for general admission, $8 for youth and $5 for groups of 10 or more. Fans can order tickets online at SoonerSports.com or by calling the OU Athletics Ticket Office at (405) 325-2424 or toll-free at (800) 456-GoOU.