INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Ten members of the Air Force women’s gymnastics team were selected to compete at the NCAA Regional Championships, the national office announced this afternoon (March 20). With their third straight selections, senior Kara Witgen and junior Jamie Lewis will lead the record-number of Air Force gymnasts to next week’s regional meet in Nebraska.
Witgen, who has qualified to the regional meet in the all-around during each of the last two seasons, is currently ranked 13th in the North Central with a Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) of 38.820. Lewis, who competed in the all-around during her first two regional appearances, will participant on the vault (9.720), uneven bars (9.640) and floor exercise (9.755) at the 2017 meet.
Sophomore Mariana Murphy qualified in the all-around (38.220) with Witgen, while Lewis is one of five Falcons to earn a spot in multiple events. Sophomore Brittney Reed will compete in three events (uneven bars: 9.710; balance beam: 9.700; floor exercise: 9.685), while senior Darby Germain (uneven bars: 9.660; floor exercise: 9.690), sophomore Riley Hill (vault: 9.685; balance beam: 9.780) and freshman Anna Salamone (vault: 9.725; uneven bars: 9.750) will each participate in two.
Freshman Rita Koenigbauer (9.625) and junior Chelsea Grimison (9.530) will join Hill and Reed on the beam, while junior Casey Bell will headline the Falcons’ lineup on the floor exercise with a RQS of 9.820.
Six teams, four all-around competitors who are not on a qualifying team, two specialists per event and one alternate (who have a minimum Regional Qualifying Score of 9.400) were named to five of the six regional sites – Champaign, Fayetteville, Gainesville, Morgantown and Seattle – while the Lincoln regional will feature six teams, two all-arounders, three-to-four event specialists and no alternates).
Second-ranked LSU highlights the six teams scheduled to compete at the Lincoln Regional. The lineup also includes top-15 squads from Boise State (11th) and Nebraska (14th), as well as 25th-ranked Arizona, No. 29 Iowa State and No. 36 Minnesota.
The top two teams and top two all-around competitors not on an advancing team will earn an automatic berth into the national championships meet in late April, as well as any event winners that are not part of an advancing team or qualified in the all-around.
The Lincoln Regional will take place at 4:00 p.m. (CT) on April 1, inside the Bob Devaney Sports Center.