Senior Hannah Welker and the Illini will host the NCAA Champaign Regional on Saturday, April 7 at the Assemby Hall.
March 26, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS - The NCAA announced regional selections for the 2012 National Collegiate Women's Gymnastics Championships on Monday afternoon, and the 22nd-ranked Fighting Illini earned the No. 4 seed in the Champaign Regional, which they will host on Saturday, April 7 at 4 p.m. at the Assembly Hall. The Illini, who received a regional invite for the ninth year in a row and 25th time overall, will serve as the host school for the first time in program history.
"We are more than thrilled to be hosting one of the six NCAA Regionals," head coach Kim Landrus said. "Regionals is one of those meets where the team all comes together and puts their best out on the floor. The competition is second to none with a certain level of adrenaline and excitement that is different from the regular season. To be able to experience this prestigious event at home will be a memory that will forever be with them."
No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 11 Stanford, No. 14 Denver, No. 24 Kentucky and UIC are the other five teams heading to Champaign for the competition. Illinois is currently ranked 22nd in the nation with a Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) of 195.695. Also joining the teams in the Champaign Regional will be five all-around gymnasts and one specialist for each event from teams that did not qualify for regional competition.
Last season, Illinois earned its second-ever trip to the NCAA Championships following a runner-up finish at the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional. The Illini totaled a 195.925 to edge Penn State (195.850) for the final qualifying spot, while host Alabama won the regional crown with a 197.275. The Orange and Blue went on to achieve the best national finish in program history, as they placed 11th at the NCAA Championships and boasted six All-America honors.
Six teams, plus up to five all-around competitors (who are not on a qualifying team) and one individual specialist per event were named to six regions across the country. Each of the six regionals is made up of three seeded teams that are ranked among the top 18 in the nation. The No. 19 to No. 36 squads in the nation then fill in the remaining three spots in each regional. The other five regional sites include Auburn, Ala., Fayetteville, Ark., Raleigh, N.C., Salt Lake City, Utah, and Seattle, Wash.
Illinois will begin regional competition on vault and will rotate as follows: vault, bye, bars, beam, bye, floor. Individual all-around qualifier Kim Gotlund will rotate with the Illini and compete last at each rotation after all of the Illinois gymnasts are finished.
The top two teams and the top two all-arounders (who are not on an advancing team) from each regional will receive an automatic berth to the National Collegiate Gymnastics Championships April 20-22 in Duluth, Ga. In addition, the event winners at the regional championships will advance to the national championships (in that event only) if they are not part of a qualifying team or the all-around qualifiers.
Live scoring and video of the Champaign Regional will be available at fightingillini.com. Tickets for the event are $10 for adult general admission and $6 for youth general admission and are available through the UI Athletic Ticket Office by calling 1-866-ILLINI-1. A "Fan Village," which will feature a sign-making station, temporary tattoos and a balloon artist, will be open to the public on the main level of the Assembly Hall in Room 133/134 when the doors open at 3 p.m.
Complete regional assignments can be found HERE.
2012 Champaign Regional
April 7, 2012 // 4 p.m. CT // Champaign, Ill. // Assembly Hall
Qualifying Teams (RQS)
No. 2 Oklahoma (197.360)
No. 11 Stanford (196.410)
No. 14 Denver (196.090)
No. 22 Illinois (195.695)
No. 24 Kentucky (195.490)
No. 32 UIC (194.940)