Preview: Champaign, Fayetteville, And Seattle Regionals

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Six berths to the NCAA Championships are on the line this weekend for 18 teams at the Champaign, Fayetteville, and Seattle regionals. The top two teams from each of Saturday's regionals will advance to the first NCAA semifinals session on April 14 in St. Louis. UCLA, Utah, and Oklahoma--the top three seeds in these regionals--will likely be battling it out to advance to the Super Six. The NCAA Championships could also set up the first of two head-to-head competitions for former U.S. elites Maggie Nichols of Oklahoma and MyKayla Skinner of Utah, whose teams did not face off this season.

Urbana-Champaign Regional

Teams: UCLA (No. 5), Oregon State (No. 8), Iowa (No. 17), *Illinois (No. 19), Eastern Michigan (No. 22)


Favorites: UCLA, Oregon State
The two Pac-12 teams are definitely the favorites to advance to nationals. UCLA has a star-studded lineup, though the Bruins have struggled to put it all together at times. UCLA's uneven bars and balance beam lineups are stacked, and there's potential in the Bruins' floor lineup to bring in plenty of big scores. Look for Madison Kocian and Kyla Ross to be solid for UCLA--they have the experience on the big stage, which should serve them well throughout the NCAA postseason. Oregon State is having one of its best seasons and is led by senior Kaytianna McMillan, who was named the Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year. She has scored at least a 9.825 in all 11 meets on floor exercise.  

Dark Horse: Illinois
The Fighting Illini could sneak into the 12-team field for nationals if they replicate their performance at the Big Ten Championships. They posted a season-high score of 196.875 at the conference championships with a clean meet. Illinois' strength comes on balance beam, where the squad is ranked 11th. Sophomore Lizzy Leduc has scored below a 9.850 just once this season. She has scored a 9.900 or better five times. Bridget Hodan has scored at least a 9.800 in all 12 meets.

​How to Watch: 5 PM ET / Live Stream / Live Scoring

Fayetteville Regional

Teams: Utah (No. 4), Denver (No. 9), California (No. 16), Auburn (No. 21), *Arkansas (No. 27), Central Michigan (No. 28)


Favorites: Utah, Denver
Utah is the clear favorite in this regional as the fourth-ranked team in the country. The Utes are coming off a Pac-12 championship win, led by freshman MyKayla Skinner's all-around, floor, and vault titles. Utah has struggled at times on uneven bars and will be looking to find all of its landings throughout the competition. Denver enters as the ninth-ranked team in the country and has steadily improved this season. The Pioneers have a standout freshman of their own in Maddie Karr. The freshman has been stellar on beam, floor, and vault, where she has hit 38 of 39 routines for a 9.800 or better.

Dark Horse: California
The Bears advanced to the national championships last year for the first time in 22 years. California has rebounded well in the second half of the season after losing standout Toni-Ann Williams to an Achilles tear earlier this season. Senior Zoe Draghi has been excellent on beam and floor this season. Her expressive floor routine is one of the highlights for Cal.

​How to Watch: 5 PM ET / Live Stream / Live Scoring 

Seattle Regional

Teams: Oklahoma (No. 1), Kentucky (No. 12), *Washington (No. 13), Utah State (No. 24), Stanford (No. 32), BYU (No. 34)


Favorites: Oklahoma, Washington
Top-seeded Oklahoma is the obvious choice here. The Sooners have been the top-ranked squad since the second week of the season. Led by freshman sensation Maggie Nichols and senior standout Chayse Capps, Oklahoma has not lost a meet all season. Nichols has racked up the big scores all season, including six perfect 10s. She has had a nagging knee injury and has not competed in the all-around since Feb. 17. Nichols was back on vault at Big 12 Championships, though, so it will be interesting to see if she's back on floor as well.

Washington has had a stellar season as well and has the advantage of being at home in this meet. The Huskies are strong on balance beam and will look to keep up the impressive performances. Hailey Burleson has scores of 9.850 or better all but once this season on beam.

Dark Horse: Kentucky
Kentucky and Washington are separated by barely a tenth in RQS, so this is a tough one. Washington's home-gym advantage gives them a slight edge, though. It won't be surprising if the Wildcats advance to the national championships with Oklahoma, especially if their freshman and sophomore standouts hit their routines. Mollie Korth has been a great surprise in the SEC this season in the all-around. She has beautiful form but has struggled with some consistency in the latter half of the season. Alex Hyland is a standout on balance beam--she has scored a 9.875 or better 11 times this season.

​How to Watch: ​7 PM ET / Live Stream 

*Regional Host

Event Finals Qualifiers - 2018 Junior Pan American Championships

Christy Ann Linder

Below are the gymnasts who qualified for the individual event finals at the 2018 Junior Pan American Championships, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The finals will be held Friday, June 15. The top eight gymnasts on each event, with a maximum of two gymnasts per country, qualify for event finals. 

USA, Bowers Strike Gold At 2018 Junior Pan Am Championships

USA Gymnastics

Press release below via USA Gymnastics:

2019 Nastia Liukin Cup Series Qualifying Meets Announced

Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Press release below via USA Gymnastics:

Wong, Bowers Lead Top USA Junior Women In The 2018 Pan American Champs

Christy Ann Linder

The 2018 Junior Pan American Championships takes place this week, with competition starting on June 13 and concluding on June 15 in Buenos Aires. The event includes a team final, all-around final, and event finals for both the men and women. Team USA is sending top juniors Jordan Bowers, JaFree Scott, Tori Tatum, and Leanne Wong. 

Team USA Set For Junior Pan American Championships

Team USA is set to compete at the Junior Pan American Championships this week in Buenos Aires. The men's and women's competition will be held June 13-15 and consists of a team competition as well as individual all-around and event competitions.

A New Mentality For Kyla Ross In UCLA's Title-Winning Season

Kyla Ross has competed on some of the biggest stages in elite gymnastics—the Olympic Games in London, the World Championships in Belgium and China. She was a two-time world all-around medalist and was the silver medalist at back-to-back national championships.

Opinion: The Engaged, Strategic Leadership That USA Gymnastics Needs

© Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

For over a year now, USA Gymnastics has been operating in a state of turmoil from the backlash of Larry Nassar’s horrific crimes. What started as the largest sex abuse scandal in sports history has evolved to show major flaws in the way that the national governing body for gymnastics is run. They have been through a wave of resignations at the highest levels: the president of USAG, the national team coordinator, and the senior vice president of the Women’s Program, to name a few. 

Utah To Host 2018 American Classic And Hopes Classic

Press release below via USA Gymnastics.

More Difficulty Leads To Consistency For Nebraska's Sienna Crouse

Nebraska Athletics

Sienna Crouse’s favorite event is vault.

Most Difficulty In The 2018 NCAA Super Six: Vault Edition

Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

In our fourth and final installment on the most difficulty in the 2018 NCAA Super Six, we are taking a look at vault. Specifically, we're analyzing which teams had the most 10.0 start value vaults. In 2016, the Yurchenko full was devalued to a 9.95 start value, and many teams since then have reacted by upping the difficulty of the vaults their gymnasts compete. We have seen more Yurchenko 1.5s and even Yurchenko doubles.