Here are the teams that stand between Utah and another trip to the NCAA women’s gymnastics championships
No. 4 Utah is the top seed in the Washington regional and will be joined in Seattle by some familiar foes.
Early Tuesday morning, the NCAA unveiled the complete bracket for the 2022 NCAA women’s gymnastics championships, in other words the postseason.
From March 30 through April 2, No. 4 Utah will be competing in Seattle, Washington, for the right to qualify for a record 46th consecutive trip to the national championships.
The Red Rocks are the top seed in the Washington regional — there are four regionals in all, one in Alabama, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Washington — and are a favorite to advance.
Here’s how the postseason format for regionals works:
- The first round, set to take place on March 30, will pit the eight lowest-ranked teams to qualify for the postseason against one another in dual meets, or play-in games. In the case of the Washington regional, Stanford and San Jose State will compete in the play-in meet for a berth in the second round.
- The second round, slated for March 31, is comprised of two sessions per regional, an afternoon and an evening session. Utah headlines the evening session in Seattle.
- The top two teams from each session will then advance to day three of the competition on April 2. Known as the Super Regional, the final day will consist of one four-team competition, and the top two finishers in the meet will advance to the national semifinals.
These are the eight teams that stand between Utah and another trip to the national championships.
- Overall rankings are based off the most recent Road to Nationals standings, which include scores through conference championship weekend.
- Event rankings were all determined following conference championship weekend.
Alabama Crimson Tide
- Balance beam — 5
- Floor exercise — 7
- Uneven bars — 3
- Vault — 5
- Luisa Blanco — Ranked No. 8 on bars and No. 9 on beam.
- Makarri Doggette — Ranked No. 11 on bars.
- Lexi Graber — Ranked No. 12 on floor.
- Shallon Olsen — Ranked No. 23 on vault.
The Crimson Tide finished second at the SEC Championships behind only No. 2 Florida, thanks to a 197.825. Alabama started the season slow, with three losses through the first four weeks, but over the last month and a half the Crimson Tide have caught fire and scored a 198 or better twice. The status of Blanco, arguably Alabama’s best gymnast, is unknown after the junior suffered an undisclosed injury during the conference championships.
Michigan State Spartans
- Balance beam — 10
- Floor exercise — 9
- Uneven bars — 15
- Vault — 19
- Skyla Schulte — Ranked No. 18 in the all-around.
- Ashley Hofelich — Ranked No. 23 on floor.
- Gabrielle Stephen — Ranked No. 25 on beam.
- Baleigh Garcia — Ranked No. 25 on beam.
Michigan State is in the midst of one of its best seasons in recent memory and finished second at the Big Ten championships, behind only defending national champion and No. 3-ranked Michigan. The Spartans have scored a 197 or better four times this season, most recently at the conference championships.
Oregon State Beavers
- Balance beam — 8
- Floor exercise — 14
- Uneven bars — 25
- Vault — 10
- Jade Carey — Arguably the best gymnast in the country, Carey is ranked No. 1 in the all-around, No. 3 on floor, No. 11 on beam, No. 2 on bars and No. 6 on vault.
- Madi Dagen — Ranked No. 36 on beam.
Much like Michigan State, the Beavers are in the middle of one of their better seasons in recent memory. Oregon State was co-regular season champions in the Pac-12, along with Utah, Cal and Arizona State. Carey was named both Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year and Freshman of the Year, while OSU head coach Tanya Chaplin was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year. The Beavers scored a 197 or better six times this season, including a 197.250 at the conference championships, good for a third-place finish.
Illinois Fighting Illini
- Balance beam — 17
- Floor exercise — 22
- Uneven bars — 16
- Vault — 20
- Mia Takekawa — Ranked No. 14 on beam, No. 22 in the all-around and No. 27 on bars.
- Arayah Simons — Ranked No. 45 on vault.
Illinois finished eighth at the Big Ten championships, scoring a 195.825. Takekawa, Illinois’ standout junior, was named first-team All Big Ten. The Fighting Illini were overshadowed for much of the year in the Big Ten, but had a solid all-around season, and have caught fire of late, scoring a 197 or better in three straight meets to close out the regular season.
- Balance beam — 17
- Floor exercise — 18
- Uneven bars — 23
- Vault — 25
- Sadie Miner-Van Tassell — The MRGC Gymnast of the Year and Vault Specialist of the Year, Miner-Van Tassell is ranked No. 16 in the all-around and No. 23 on vault.
- Elease Rollins — The MRGC Beam Specialist of the year, Rollins is ranked No. 14 on beam.
- Anyssa Alvarado — Ranked No. 18 on bars.
- Brittney Vitkauskas — Ranked No. 23 on floor.
The Cougars entered last weekend’s Mountain Rim Gymnastics Championships on a roll, having won seven of their previous eight meets. BYU took a step back at the conference championships, however, finishing fourth behind No. 25 Utah State, No. 24 Boise State and Southern Utah. The Cougars have been up and down this season and have scored better than a 197 one time, in a victory at home against SUU.
- Balance beam — 15
- Floor exercise — 42
- Uneven bars — 33
- Vault — 24
- Skylar Killough-Wilhelm — Ranked No. 20 on beam and No. 24 in the all-around.
- Geneva Thompson — Ranked No. 40 on vault.
One of the younger teams in the Pac-12, Washington has generally improved as the season has progressed. Led by star junior Killough-Wilhelm, the Huskies have scored a 196 or better in six meets this season, scoring a season high 197.275 at home in a loss to Utah in late February. Washington finished sixth at the Pac-12 championships, behind Utah, Cal, Oregon State, UCLA and Arizona State.
- Balance beam — 31
- Floor exercise — 17
- Uneven bars — 32
- Vault — 32
- Kyla Bryant — Ranked No. 23 on floor, No. 24 in the all-around and No. 45 on vault.
- Brenna Neault — Ranked No. 65 on beam.
Stanford has been up and down all season, while competing as a mid-tier Pac-12 team. The Cardinal struggled at the conference championships, finishing last with a 196.000, but have scored a 196 or better seven times this season, scoring a season high 196.975 in a loss at home against Arizona State. Bryant has been the standout in her fifth and final season, reestablishing herself as one of the best all-around gymnasts in the country.
San Jose State Spartans
- Balance beam — 32
- Floor exercise — 36
- Uneven bars — 26
- Vault — 41
- Jada Mazury — Ranked No. 29 in the all-around and No. 40 on bars.
- Emma Milne — Ranked No. 25 on beam.
- Lauren Macpherson — Ranked No. 41 in the all-around.
San Jose State is the reigning Mountain Pacific Sports Federation champions after recording a 196.425 — the third-highest score in school history — at the MPSF championships. The Spartans scored a 196 or better five times this season, scoring a season-best 196.625 in a victory over UC Davis in late February.