The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

2018 Regionals Draw

The NCAA made a solid choice with this year’s entirely unnecessary selection show by prerecording it instead of doing it live. And by solid choice, I mean terrible choice, as we were denied all of the “Lymeenis Hall” and “Jillian Wistingly” mispronunciation goodies of past seasons. What’s even the point then?

On the other hand, we did get this definitely complete “sentence” because of the words and the putting them together.

And a five-year-old picture of Macko. BECAUSE RECENT.

So that makes it a little better.

Here’s what we know…

Rotation order is as follows:
Team #1 – begin on floor, end on bye
Team #2 – begin on beam, end on bars
Team #3 – begin on bye, end on beam
Team #4 – begin on bye, end on vault
Team #5 – begin on bars, end on bye
Team #6 – begin on vault, end on floor


MINNESOTA Regional – 4:00 CT

[1] Oklahoma
[12] Kentucky
[13] Denver
Iowa State

Lisa O’Donnell, UW-Whitwater
Tori Erickson, UW-Eau Claire
Brooke Terry, UW-Stout
Samantha Wiekamp, UW-La Crosse
Mikaela Meyer, Utah State
Madison Ward, Utah State
Anna Salamone, Air Force
Brittany Jeppesen, Utah State
Autumn DeHarde, Utah State
Emily Briones, Utah State
Madison Ward, Utah State
Autumn Deharde, Utah State

Thankfully, this season we have avoided the scenario from last year where the entire Air Force team made a regional as individuals because they were the only eligible gymnasts. This year, it’s slightly the entire Utah State team, but with a little Air Force and UW thrown in. The DIII Championship is already over for this season, so there’s no conflict for the UW gymnasts as there has been in years past.

This is a high-quality regional. Be excited. Kentucky v. Denver v. Minnesota at home.

PENN STATE Regional – 4:00 ET

[5] Florida
[8] Washington
[17] Arizona State
West Virginia
Penn State
New Hampshire

Jacey Baldovino, Yale
Jade Buford, Yale
Kelsey Campbell, Bridgeport
Libby Groden, Rutgers
Sahara Gipson, Temple
Jaylene Everett, Temple
Jessica Wang, Yale
Kelli Tereshko, Bridgeport
Makenzey Shank, Rutgers
Kathryn Doran, Bridgeport
Maya Reimers, Bridgeport
Alex Hartke, Penn

This is probably the softest of the six regionals, so Florida won’t really mind that #5 ranking after all. I’d definitely rather have Florida’s regional than LSU’s regional, which makes a ton of sense.

*whispers to self* this is the last year of it, this is the last year of it, this is the last year of it.

UTAH Regional – 4:00 MT

[4] Utah
[9[ Cal
[16] Auburn
Southern Utah

Kelley Hebert, UC Davis
Annie Juarez, Sacramento State
Alexis Brown, UC Davis
Caitlin Soliwoda, Sacramento State
Ellie Pascoe-Long, San Jose State
Taylor Chan, San Jose State
Kaitlin Won, San Jose State
Gabby Landess, UC Davis
Courtney Soliwoda, Sacramento State
Stephanie Reolva, San Jose State
Taylor Chan, San Jose State
Ellie Pascoe-Long, San Jose State

The top seeds in these first three regionals are probably pretty happy with the semifinal placement because this looks like it will be the softer of the two semifinals if everything goes according to the seedings.

Semifinal #1:

NC STATE Regional – 4:00 ET

[2} LSU
[11] Nebraska
[14] Oregon State
George Washington
NC State

Morgan Lane, North Carolina
Mary Elle Arduino, Towson
Katie Waldman, William & Mary
Taylor White, William & Mary
Khazia Hislop, North Carolina
Madison Nettles, North Carolina
Tyra McKellar, Towson
Kaitlynn Hedelund, North Carolina
Khazia Hislop, North Carolina
Gabriella Yarussi, Towson
Khazia Hislop, North Carolina
Mikayla Robinson, North Carolina

I’d say this is the deepest and most challenging regional, not just because of Nebraska and Oregon State but also George Washington and NC State, the two highest-ranked unseeded teams (19 and 20), which both got placed in the same regional because of TEH GEOGRAPHY.

Compare this to the Penn State regional, which doesn’t have an unseeded team ranked above 27. Or Ohio State, where the three unseeded teams are 25, 33, 34.

ALABAMA Regional – 4:00 CT

[6] Alabama
[7] Michigan
[18] Georgia
Central Michigan

Ashley Potts, Northern Illinois
Katherine Prentice, Northern Illinois
Madison Cindric, Arizona
Mikailla Northern, Illinois-Chicago
Kierstin Sokolowksi, Lindenwood
Schyler Jones, TWU
Christina Berg, Arizona
Serena Baker, Illinois-Chicago
Kierstin Sokolowksi, Lindenwood
Mallory Moredock, TWU
Anna Martucci, Northern Illinois
Alexis Brawner, SEMO

Eeeeeeee. This was already going to be a fun one, but add in Missouri and Illinois, two very 196-capable teams, and it gets even better. Now, the most likely scenario is still that Alabama and Michigan run away with it, but it MIGHT not be boring. And we’ll take that.

Also, Central Michigan has to go to Alabama. Because of geography.

OHIO STATE Regional – 6:00 ET

[3] UCLA
[10] Arkansas
[15] Boise State
Ohio State
Kent State

Jovannah East, Bowling Green
Emili Dobronics, Eastern Michigan
Lea Mitchell, Michigan State
Morgan Spence, Western Michigan
Rachael Underwood, Western Michigan
Lauren DeMeno, Bowling Green
Hailee Westney, Michigan State
Kendall Valentin, Eastern Michigan
Laura Mitchell, Bowling Green
India McPeak, Bowling Green
Rachael Underwood, Western Michigan
Tia Kiaku, Ball State

Ohio State has scored really well at home this season, so watch out for that. The second spot in this one could get real.


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