Pac-12 women’s gymnastics championships
When: Saturday, noon, MDT
Venue: Maverik Center (12,600 capacity; There will be no spectators at the Pac-12 championships outside of student-athletes family/guest pass lists)
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Livestream: Pac-12 Networks Live
- No. 24 Oregon State (3-5, 196.419)
- Arizona (3-7, 195.700)
- Washington (2-8, 195.419)
- Stanford (0-5, 165.863)
Traditionally, the teams in the first session of the conference championships rarely compete for the conference title, and that should again be the case this season. However, Oregon State, but particularly Arizona and Washington, are all in the hunt to make it to NCAA regionals. The top 36 teams in the country qualify for regionals, so the Beavers are an all but a guaranteed participant. Given their ranking they will likely be seeded by geography, unless they somehow found their way into the top 16.
The Wildcats and Huskies, meanwhile, are ranked No. 37 and No. 41, respectively. Both teams will be competing for their postseason lives at the Pac-12 championships. Season high scores could get either program into the postseason — Arizona’s high score is 196.075, while Washington’s is 196.525 — while anything less than that would knock them out of contention.
Madi Dagen (OSU) — Dagen has been the Beavers’ most complete gymnast all year and is ranked No. 40 in the country in the all-around. She has scored a 9.90 or better 11 times this season, including a season-high 9.95 twice.
Maile Hargrove (U of A) — A sophomore, Hargrove has been the Wildcats’ best gymnast. She is one of only two gymnasts on the team to score a 9.900 this season, and has done twice. She has competed every meet on floor, uneven bars and vault, and has competed in the all-around twice.
Amara Cunningham (UW) — There are a few Washington gymnasts who have been vital for the team this season, but none more than Amara Cunningham. Competing on floor and vault, she has earned a team-best five scores of 9.90 or better, including back-to-back 9.950’s on floor the last two weeks.
Chloe Widner (Stanford) — It has been an extremely difficult season for Stanford, going back to the offseason, but Widner has emerged as the team’s most important gymnast. She has competed in the all-around in three of four meets, and has both the team’s best all-around score (39.300) but best event score (9.925 on beam).
When: Saturday, 7 p.m. MDT
Venue: Maverik Center
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Livestream: Pac-12 Networks Live
Radio: ESPN 700
- No. 5 California (7-1, 197.575)
- No. 6 Utah (10-1, 197.469)
- No. 11 Arizona State (5-5, 197.088)
- No. 13 UCLA (6-2, 197.038)
First and foremost, the Pac-12 championship is up for grabs. Utah has won the last two regular season titles, but UCLA is the reigning champion at the Pac-12 championships, having won both in 2018 and 2019. The last time UCLA or Utah did not win the Pac-12 championships was in 2013, when Oregon State took home the crown.
Aside from the conference title itself, Cal, Utah, ASU and UCLA are all currently one of the top 16 teams in the country and as such will be seeded at NCAA regional according to their ranking. Both Cal and Utah are currently No. 2 seeds, but if either team can put up high enough scores at the Pac-12 championship, one of them could potentially end up as one of the four No. 1 seeds, supplanting LSU.
As for the Bruins and Sun Devils, they are No. 4 and No. 3 seeds, respectively. The possibility exists for UCLA to move up to a No. 3 seed, while ASU could fall to a No. 4. seed (a No. 2 seed is out of reach for either team at this point).
Nevaeh DeSouza (Cal) — While there are many standout gymnasts at Cal, DeSouza has been the most complete this season. She is ranked No. 13 in the all-around and No. 14 on vault. She has scored a 39.5250 or better in the all-around competition in three consecutive meets. Also deserving of mention are Kyana George (No. 18 in the all-around and No. 15 on floor), Nina Schank (No. 8 on bars) and Andi Li (No. 14 on bars).
Maile O’Keefe (Utah) — Over the course of the season, O’Keefe has become the next great Red Rock. She is the best gymnast in the country on beam, is ranked No. 9 in the all-around and No. 21 on bars. She has hit every routine this season (34-34), won 19 events, and been named Pac-12 Gymnast of the Week four times. Other Red Rocks in the midst of standout seasons include Abby Paulson (No. 5 on beam), Alexia Burch (No. 9 on vault), Sydney Soloski (No. 11 on floor) and Cristal Isa (No. 17 on beam).
Hannah Scharf (ASU) — A sophomore, Scharf has competed in the all-around every meet this season, and become arguably the Sun Devils’ most important gymnast (Cairo Leonard-Baker has an argument, too). Scharf has competed in the all-around every meet and scored a 9.900 or better nine times, including a season-best 9.950. As for Leonard-Baker, the All-American started the year slowly, but turned it around in a hurry and hasn’t scored below a 9.900 bars or floor since Feb. 14. There is also Anaya Smith (No. 23 on vault).
Chae Campbell or Margzetta Frazier (UCLA) — It is basically a toss up between Campbell and Frazier when it comes to which gymnast has been the most valuable for UCLA this season. Both compete in the all-around and rank No. 17 (Campbell) and No. 18 (Fraizer) in the country. Fraizer is also No. 7 on bars, the highest individual event ranking for any Bruins this season. Other top 25 gymnasts include Nia Dennis (No. 23 on vault) and Samantha Sakti (No. 20 on bars).
Teams across the country will tune in at 3 p.m. MST on Monday, March 22, for the 2021 NC women’s gymnastics championship selection show, which will unveil this year’s 36-team postseason bracket.
Each of those 36 teams will then have a bye the final weekend in March, before NCAA regionals kick off April 1-3 at one of four locations — Georgia, Missouri, Utah and West Virginia.