CEDAR CITY- For the sixth consecutive season, the Southern Utah University gymnastics team will be headed to the NCAA Regional Championships. This year the Flippin’ Birds will be traveling just up the road to compete in the Salt Lake City regional hosted by the University of Utah.
Last Time Out
The Flippin’ Birds last competed in the MRGC Championships where they placed fourth with a score of 195.575.
Southern Utah had four gymnasts named to MRGC all-conference teams at the meet. Autumn Jorgensen was named First Team All-Conference on floor and in the all-around. Karen Gonzalez was named to the Second Team in the all-around and Kirsten Yee and Madison Howlett were both named Second Team All-Conference on bars.
No. 15 Boise State took the crown at the championship meet for the fourth year in a row.
The Thunderbirds will come into Saturday’s regional meet ranked as the No. 32 team in the country. If you break the rankings down into individual events, Southern Utah is ranked No. 26 on floor, No. 30 on vault, No. 32 on bars, and No. 34 on beam.
Four Flippin’ Birds are ranked in the top-100 nationally on individual events with Autumn Jorgensen ranked on two separate events. Jorgensen is ranked No. 65 on floor with a RQS of 9.885 and No. 72 on beam with a RQS of 9.865. Kirsten Yee is ranked No. 79 on bars with a 9.860 and the McBride twins are both nationally ranked on an event with Megan McBride sitting at No. 63 on vault and Madison McBride at No. 95 on floor.
Scouting the Salt Lake Regional
The No. 32 Flippin’ Birds will be joined at the Salt Lake regional by the host No. 4 Utah Utes, the No. 9 California Golden Bears, the No. 16 Auburn Tigers, the No. 21 BYU Cougars, and the No. 26 Stanford Cardinal.
The Utes have been a top-five team all season long having been ranked as high as No. 2 earlier in the season. They are ranked in the top-10 on each individual event, finishing the regular season as the No. 3 team on vault, fourth on floor, eighth on beam, and ninth on bars. Utah finished second at the Pac-12 Championships two weeks ago with a 197.350.
The Golden Bears finished third at the Pac-12 Championships with a 196.950 while the Cardinal finished in seventh with a 196.350. Stanford senior Elizabeth Price was named Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year and earned All-American status on floor, bars, vault, and the all-around.
The Tigers finished eighth at the SEC Championships on March 24 with a 195.650. The Tigers will be making the longest trip of any team and will be the only member of the SEC represented at the Salt Lake regional.
BYU finished in second place at the MRGC Championships in Cedar City with a 196.000. Six Cougars were named to the MRGC All-Conference team on three events.
Saturday’s regional meet is set to start at 4 p.m. inside the Huntsman Center on the campus of the University of Utah. The Flippin’ Birds’ rotation order will be vault, bye, bars, beam, bye, and then floor. The top two teams at the end of the meet will advance to the semifinals of the NCAA Championship.
A live stream of the meet will be available at utahutes.com/ncaa. The live stream will be broken up into six streams so that every team will be featured. Live stats will also be available at utahutes.com or suutbirds.com.