2024 NCAA Regionals Round Up

2024 NCAA Regionals Round Up

2024 NCAA Round Up – Regionals

By Megan Roth


Thursday, April 18th

  • NCAA Championships Semifinal 1 | LSU, Cal, Arkansas, Stanford | 4:30 p.m.
  • NCAA Championships Semifinal 2 | Oklahoma, Florida, Utah, Alabama | 9:00 p.m. ET

Saturday, April 20th

  • NCAA Championships Finals | 4 p.m. ET

Gymnast of the Week 

Congratulations to Cal junior Mya Lauzon and Stanford junior Khoi Young, Inside Gymnastics Gymnast of the Week for Week 14!

Mya Lauzon came up big for Cal in both of their regional competitions, scoring a 10.0 on vault for the Golden Bears to claim their ticket to Fort Worth.

Khoi Young won the All-Around at the MPSF championships with a huge score of 86.350 as well as the parallel bars (14.750) and vault (14.850) titles. 

In what promised to be the most competitive and exciting Regionals to date, we saw stellar performances, questionable judging, and all of the drama and surprise possible packed into five incredible days. Here’s our Roundup as we head to Fort Worth next week!

Ann Arbor Regional

First Round

While neither Ball State or Illinois counted a fall, neither team had their best meet. Illinois advanced, scoring 195.8250, just a half tenth ahead of Ball State’s 195.7750.

Highlights from this meet included Mia Takekawa’s bar routine and Zoe Middleton’s All-Around performance. Takekawa scored a 9.9 on bars here, and in the regional semifinal, she scored a 9.95 to tie for the regional title! Middleton once again showed how consistent of a competitor she is, scoring 9.8+ scores on all events. 

Regional Semifinals

In the first regional semifinal of the weekend, counting a fall on beam meant Michigan would not advance to their home regional final. The Wolverines had solid floor, vault, and bars rotations. However, when they got to beam in the final rotation, Michigan felt the nerves and unfortunately had to count a fall and no scores over 9.825. Michigan will be represented well by Gabby Wilson (All-Around), Carly Bauman (Bars), and Sierra Brooks (Vault and Floor) at nationals, but this was a tough ending for an incredible senior class that not only helped Michigan win their first national championship in 2021 but inspired an entirely new generation of athletes to believe anything is possible. 

Enter Penn State who was able to capitalize off of Michigan’s performance to qualify to the regional semifinal with a score of 196.9250. Amani Herring also qualified as an individual to compete at nationals on beam. Alabama was the second team to advance from this regional semifinal with a score of 197.450. 

In the second semifinal, six-time national and defending champion Oklahoma scored 198.0500 to securely qualify for the regional final. Although head coach KJ Kindler said this was not Oklahoma’s best competition, the Sooners still put up the top score of all regional semifinals. 

Ohio State was the second team to advance, scoring 196.9750. NC State was seeded to advance, but the Buckeyes finished the regular season in 17th with an NQS just 0.01 below NC State’s. The Wolfpack did not have their best meet, counting scores below 9.7. Illinois greatly improved their performance from the first round, scoring 196.7500 and keeping it close with Ohio State up until the final few routines. 

Regional Final 

Oklahoma and Alabama advanced out of this regional fairly comfortably, scoring 198.4000 and 197.5750 respectively.

Oklahoma started the meet with a huge 49.800 beam rotation led off by Audrey Davis’s 9.95. Vault will be the event Oklahoma will look to improve in Fort Worth. The Sooners scored 49.3250 on that event in Ann Arbor, but posted scores above 49.600 on all of the other events. 198.400 was the highest score put up by any team at all of the regionals. 

Led by standout Lusia Blanco, Alabama slightly improved their score from the regional semifinal to hold off Ohio State and Penn State and sailed through to Fort Worth where they’ll meet up with Oklahoma, Florida, Utah, Alabama in Session II. Both the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions had great competitions, but it wasn’t enough to place in the top two. Ohio State’s Ella Hodges ended the meet with a career high 9.975 on floor, a great way to finish her spectacular career.

Qualified teams: Oklahoma, Alabama

Qualified individuals: AA – Gabby Wilson (Michigan), VT – Sierra Brooks (Michigan), UB – Carly Bauman (Michigan), BB – Amani Herring (Penn State), FX – Sierra Brooks (Michigan)

Fayetteville Regional 

First Round

From the word “go” in Fayetteville, it was apparent that all bets were off the table and anything was possible. BYU and Boise State, previously MRGC rivals, competed for a spot in the regional semifinal in a rematch of last season’s competition where Boise State won to advance to the regional semifinal at UCLA.

This meet was very dramatic as the scores were tied in the end, with both teams scoring 195.7500. Using the tie break rules – and about a 20 minute delay to confirm scores – BYU won by counting all 6 scores on every event. Because Boise State had falls they were dropping, counting these low scores allowed the Cougars to advance. 

Regional Semifinals

Arkansas and Kentucky securely qualified from the first semifinal over Nebraska and Arizona. Notably, Arkansas scored higher than Kentucky with a 197.3250, 0.225 ahead of the Wildcats’  197.1000.    

In the second semifinal, LSU and Minnesota comfortably advanced over BYU and Oregon State. Like other teams that advanced from Round 1, BYU had a great competition, keeping it close with Minnesota and Oregon State. Jade Carey won the regional All-Around title with a 39.6750 and advanced as an individual to compete in the All-Around at Nationals.

Regional Finals

This was a packed regional final with all four teams having a real shot at advancing to Fort Worth. After the first rotation, just 0.075 separated the first place team from the fourth place team. 

At the halfway point, LSU claimed the lead with their huge 49.6250 floor rotation, but just 0.150 separated Arkansas, Kentucky, and Minnesota. Kentucky had a few larger balance breaks on beam, but was able to stay in the competition. 

In the third rotation, Kalyxta Gamiao led Arkansas off on beam with a 9.95 and suddenly the momentum shifted big-time to the Gymbacks who put on a show from there! Meanwhile, Minnesota went lights out on bars, scoring a huge 49.500 and keeping themselves right in the running.

In the final rotation, LSU was comfortably in first place, but the second spot was still between Arkansas, Kentucky, and Minnesota. While Kentucky and Minnesota had solid rotations, Arkansas had a spectacular floor rotation to secure their place in Fort Worth. This will be the Razorback’s first nationals since 2018 and the first under head coach Jordyn Wieber

Qualified teams: LSU, Arkansas

Qualified individuals: AA – Jade Carey (Oregon State), VT – Mya Hooten (Minnesota), UB – Courtney Blackson (Boise State), BB – Isabella Magnelli (Kentucky), FX – Raena Worley (Kentucky)

Gainesville Regional

First Round

Clemson and Iowa State competed in an interesting matchup in Clemon’s inaugural season and Iowa State’s first season under Ashley Miles Greig. Iowa State came away with the win, defeating Clemson 195.8750 to 195.6250. 

Regional Semifinals

Utah qualified comfortably from the first semifinal. Maryland kept it close with Michigan State, but the Spartans ultimately advanced. Maryland’s Emma Silberman stuck her intricate round-off full on back pike off vault for a 9.95 and qualified for nationals as an individual!

In the second semifinal, Florida was in complete control throughout, but the competition stayed tight between Missouri and Georgia for the second spot to the regional final. The Tigers had a fall on beam in the last rotation and required Amari Celestine and Sienna Schreiber to come through with big hit routines in order to advance. Georgia had a spectacular performance, but just fell short to Missouri, who advanced by scoring a tenth higher than the Bulldogs. Georgia was incredibly impressive in this meet and freshman Lilly Smith qualified to compete as an All-Arounder at Nationals. Keep your eye on her and this team.

Regional Final

While Florida and Utah were the highest ranked teams in this regional, both Michigan State and Missouri had real chances to advance here. 

The meet started dramatically as Makenna Smith overbalanced a handstand as Utah’s leadoff competitor and scored a 9.500. It was looking like Utah would escape the rotation without counting this score until Alani Sabado fell on her release combination. With the huge scoring potential of the other teams, it was looking like Utah was out of the competition for a spot at nationals. Florida and Missouri went lights out on beam and floor respectively. For Michigan State, Nikki Smith sat down her Yurchenko 1.5, but the Spartans were able to drop her score with huge stuck vaults from Sage Kellerman and Olivia Zsarmani

In the second rotation, Grace McCallum uncharacteristically fell, putting the Utes in a pressure situation, but Utah was able to drop her score and come away with a 49.475 on beam. On bars, Michigan State struggled a bit, not hitting handstands and under rotating dismounts. Because of this, the Spartans had to count three 9.7s. 

In the third rotation, Florida continued to distance themselves from the other teams. Utah had a spectacular floor rotation that allowed them to catch up to Missouri. Unfortunately, Michigan State counted a fall on beam, which took them out of the competition for the second spot to nationals. Going into the final rotation, it was neck and neck between Utah and Missouri.

Utah headed to vault and Missouri headed to beam for the final rotation to determine the second national qualifier. Missouri had a fall in the beginning of their lineup. While they were able to drop it, the Tigers competed tightly and did not put up the big score they needed. Coming back from her miss in the first rotation, Makenna Smith came up big, sticking her Omelianchik vault for a 9.95. Jaedyn Rucker followed up by sticking her Yurchenko 1.5 to secure Utah’s second place finish to advance to Fort Worth.

Qualified teams: Florida, Utah

Qualified individuals: AA – Lilly Smith (Georgia), VT – Emma Silberman (Maryland), UB – Mara Titarsolej (Missouri), BB – Nikki Smith (MSU), FX – Skyla Schulte (MSU)

Berkeley Regional

First Round

Throughout the majority of this competition, it was looking like San Jose State would defeat Southern Utah to advance to the second round. However, San Jose State melted down on beam in the final rotation, allowing Southern Utah to advance with a margin of 0.025. 

Regional Semifinals

The second major upset this weekend came in this semifinal as Arizona State defeated UCLA for a spot in the regional final. The Bruins had a huge floor score in the first rotation and scored similarly to the other teams in the semifinal on vault. When Katelyn Rosen uncharacteristically fell on bars, the Bruins were rattled and had some issues with their dismount landings. In the last rotation, some of UCLA’s most consistent beam workers showed signs of nerves. While Ciena Alipio and Selena Harris hit beautiful routines, it was not enough for the Bruins to advance. 

Arizona State had a spectacular performance and was able to capitalize off of UCLA’s nervous competition. To finish off the meet, the Sun Devils stuck many of their bars dismounts to secure their spot in the regional final. 

Denver also showed nerves in this meet. After the first rotation, the Pioneers were in last place, but they were able to climb back to claim first place in their semifinal. 

Washington also had a great performance in this competition. Skylar Killough-Wilhem won the All-Around in this session and will head to Fort Worth to compete as an individual in the All-Around. 

Another upset took place in the second semifinal with Stanford defeating Auburn to advance to the final. While Auburn is ranked higher than Stanford, the Tigers and Cardinal were scoring quite similarly in the last few weeks of the season, so this wasn’t as shocking as the rankings make it seem to be. Stanford scored ​​197.600 here to advance, just 0.200 behind Cal, the first place finishers. Foreshadowing to the regional final, Stanford also scored higher than both Denver and ASU did in their semifinal. Chloe Widner won the regional All-Around title with a huge score of 39.700. 

Auburn started strong on floor, but did not get the landings they needed on vault. The Tigers showed some nerves on bars and counted 9.7s for a 48.975 on the event. In the final rotation, Auburn was not able to recover from their lower scoring bars rotation and could not catch up to Stanford and Cal the rest of the meet.

Regional Final

In the first rotation, Denver had a much better bars performance than they did in the semifinal, sticking more of their beautiful double layout dismounts. They did have a fall, but the Pioneers were able to drop it to stay tied with Cal after the first rotation. With a 49.150 on vault, Stanford was in last place after the first rotation. After a great floor rotation, Arizona State was just 0.025 behind Cal and Denver. 

In the second rotation, Denver had another fall, this time on beam. While the Pioneers were again able to put up solid routines to drop the low score, some of their performances were more nervous than normal, resulting in a 49.225 on the event. After their lower scoring vault rotation, Stanford came back with a huge 49.475 on bars. Similarly, Cal put up a huge 49.700 floor rotation helped by a 9.95 from Mya Lauzon and a 9.975 by eMjae Frazier. At the halfway point of the competition, Cal had a secure lead, but Stanford and Denver were tied.

Cal continued their momentum on vault, putting up a 49.500, by far the highest score on vault out of any team at the Cal regional. Lauzon stuck her Yurchenko 1.5 for a 10.0 – her first ever on vault!

As the pressure built, Denver had another fall early in the rotation. The Pioneers again showed incredible resilience to put up five solid routines and drop the low score. Stanford came away from beam with a 49.350, anchored by a beautiful 9.95 from Chloe Widner. Arizona State had incredible vaults from Jada Mangahas and Halle Gregoire, but under rotated vaults later in the lineup resulting in a 49.0750 on the event. 

Heading into the final rotation, just 0.100 separated Stanford and Denver for the second spot to Fort Worth. Denver put up the second highest vault score out of any team throughout the Cal regional. Jessica Hutchinson stuck a beautiful Yurchenko 1.5 to bring Denver’s vault score to 49.375, but it was not enough to catch the Stanford Cardinal. Stanford finished their floor rotation with a 9.95 from Anna Roberts and a 10.0 for Widner to secure the Cardinal’s place in Fort Worth. What a crazy moment for Stanford, who had a 193 in their first meet! Both teams and all individuals from the Berkeley regional represent Pac-12 teams, a great moment for the Pac-12 in its final season!

Qualified teams: Cal, Stanford

Qualified individuals: AA – Skylar Killough-Willhem (Washington), VT – Anaya Smith (ASU), UB – Jada Mangahas (ASU), BB – Selena Harris (UCLA), FX – Chae Campbell (UCLA)

Photos by Lloyd Smith for Inside Gymnastics

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