NU WGYM-Huskers selected to Iowa City regional

Posted By: Sports

The 12th-ranked Nebraska women’s gymnastics team has been selected to the NCAA Iowa City Regional, the NCAA announced Monday. The Iowa City Regional will take place at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa, on Saturday, April 2 at 4 p.m. (CT).

Joining the Cornhuskers in Iowa City will be hosts Iowa, top-ranked Oklahoma, No. 13 Arkansas, Kent State and Central Michigan.

“We’re excited to be entering NCAA competition,” said Nebraska Coach Dan Kendig. “I think it’s a very competitive regional. It has the top-ranked team in the country in Oklahoma, but the other four teams are very good as well. It’s going to be really competitive.”

Nebraska has now qualified for NCAA postseason competition in 32 consecutive seasons. The Cornhuskers are 23-4 on the season and have a Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) of 196.635.

“I like the fact that it’s a close trip and we’ve been there this year already,” Kendig said, referring to Nebraska’s dual meet with Iowa in Iowa City on Feb. 6. “We’ve been in that arena before and we know what to expect, and I think that’s going to play in our favor.”

Other NCAA Regional sites include Athens, Ga., Tuscaloosa, Ala., Salt Lake City, Utah, Ann Arbor, Mich., and Minneapolis, Minn.

The NCAA Regionals field consists of 36 teams determined based on their RQS and seeded by the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Committee. Included in the field are 24 all-around competitors and 48 individual event specialists who are not on a qualifying team.

Each regional consists of six teams and four all-around competitors and two individual event specialists on each event who are not on a qualifying team.

The Huskers have won NCAA Regionals five times, including four times during Kendig’s tenure. The last NCAA Regional win for the Big Red came at the 2003 NCAA West Regional in Seattle, Wash., the last of four consecutive NCAA Regional victories.

NU has had 53 individual regional champions in program history, including current senior Hollie Blanske, who won the floor exercise with a 9.925 routine at the NCAA Ames Regional in Ames, Iowa, last season.

The Huskers finished second at last year’s NCAA Ames Regional with a score of 196.950 to qualify for the NCAA Championships, where they finished eighth.

NU finished second at the Big Ten Championships last Saturday in Lincoln with a team score of 196.900. Blanske won the vault title with a score of 9.975 and Grace Williams shared the balance beam title with a score of 9.925, while Blanske, Williams, Danielle Breen, Sienna Crouse and Jennie Laeng were named to the all-championships team.

Advancing from regional competition to the national championships will be a total of 12 teams and 12 all-around competitors and event specialists. 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 addition, the event winners at each regional will advance to the national championships (in that event only) if they are not part of a qualifying team or an all-around qualifier. The NCAA Championships take place April 15-16 in Fort Worth, Texas.