March 24, 2014
ATHENS-----The sixth-ranked Georgia gymnastics team will be the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Athens Regional on April 5, it was announced Monday. The regional field in order of seeding includes Georgia, seventh-ranked Michigan, No. 18 Central Michigan, No. 22 Ohio State, NC State and Rutgers.
The six teams along with individual competitors will meet at Stegeman Coliseum Saturday, April 5 at 4 p.m. The individual competitors include West Virginia's Hope Sloanhoffer (all-around), Nicolette Swoboda (all-around), Alexa Goldberg (bars) and Beth Deal (beam), North Carolina's Haley Watts (all-around), William & Mary's Brittany Stover (all-around), and George Washington's Kayla Carto (all-around), Chelsea Raineri (vault) and Chelsea Raineri (floor).
UGA is one of six regional hosts along with Arkansas, Minnesota, LSU, Penn State and Washington. 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 Birmingham, Ala., April 19-21. The top two teams from the Penn State, Arkansas and Washington regionals will compete in one of the semifinals, and the top two teams from the Minnesota, Georgia and LSU regionals will compete in the other semifinal.
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.
"We are excited to have five teams coming in that our fans have not seen this year at home," said Georgia head coach Danna Durante. "I think it's going to be a great competition. Coming off SECs there are some things that we did very well and some things that we need to tune up a little bit more as we go into the regional."
Georgia is coming off a 197.150 in the SEC Championship last Saturday. The Gym Dogs' rotation in the regional will be bye, bars, beam, bye, floor, vault.
Ten-time NCAA champion Georgia has won a total of 23 NCAA regionals including 13 in the last 16 years. This marks the ninth time UGA has served as host of an NCAA regional.
The top 18 teams in the 36-team field include No. 1 seeds Florida, Oklahoma, LSU, Alabama, Utah and Georgia, No. 2 seeds Michigan, UCLA, Nebraska, Stanford, Illinois and Oregon State, and No. 3 seeds Auburn, Minnesota, Penn State, Boise State, Arkansas and Central Michigan.
In the latest edition of the GymInfo Top-25 released Monday, Georgia is ranked No. 1 on bars for the 10th consecutive week with a 49.580 RQS. The Gym Dogs are sixth on vault (49.415) and beam (49.240), and 10th on floor (49.280). The Gym Dogs' overall RQS of 197.265 is Georgia's highest RQS entering the regional meet since 2008.
Individually, Chelsea Davis and Lindsey Cheek are tied for second nationally on bars with a 9.945, while Brittany Rogers is tied for ninth (9.92). Kiera Brown is tied for 19th (9.905) and Brandie Jay is tied for 24th (9.895).
On beam, Kaylan Earls is ranked seventh (9.915), while Cheek is tied for ninth (9.905). Cheek is tied for 16th on vault (9.915), and Jay is tied for 21st (9.91). In the all-around, Brittany Rogers is ranked 11th (39.490), and Brandie Jay is tied for 23rd on floor (9.9).
Regional tickets are available for purchase at www.georgiadogs.com or by calling the UGA Ticket Office at 1-877-542-1231. Tickets for adults are $12, while youth tickets are $9.