Ten members of the Air Force women's gymnastics team will travel to Lincoln, Neb., this Saturday (April 1) for the NCAA Regional Championships. The meet, which will take place at 4:00 p.m. (CT) will be held inside the Bob Devaney Sports Center on the campus of the University of Nebraska.
The Lincoln Regional will feature teams from No. 2 LSU, No. 11 Boise State, No. 14 Nebraska, No. 25 Arizona, No. 29 Iowa State and No. 36 Minnesota, as well as the Falcons' lineup of individual gymnasts. Live scoring and video will be available through Huskers.com (direct links are also located on the Falcons' schedule page at GoAirForceFalcons.com. Tickets for the meet, which will be held at the Bob Devaney Sports Center, are $9 for reserved seats and $7 for general admission tickets.
Kara Witgen and Mariana Murphy will compete in the all-around, while Darby Germain (uneven bars, floor exercise), Riley Hill (vault, balance beam), Jamie Lewis (vault, uneven bars, floor exercise), Brittney Reed (uneven bars, balance beam, floor exercise) and Anna Salamone (vault, uneven bars) will compete in the multiple events. In addition, Casey Bell (floor exercise), Chelsea Grimison (balance beam) and Rita Koenigbauer (balance beam) will round out the Falcons' lineup on their signature events.
HOW THIS WORKS
Six teams, four all-around competitors who are not on a qualifying team, two specialists per event who have a minimum Regional Qualifying Score of 9.400 and one alternate 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 specialists per event and no alternates). 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.
WHERE TO FIND THEM
Mariana Murphy will rotate with Boise State and begin on the vault, while Kara Witgen will rotate with LSU and start on the uneven bars. Casey Bell, Rita Koenigbauer and Anna Salamone will follow Nebraska, which has a bye on during the first rotation, while Jamie Lewis and Chelsea Grimison will go around with Arizona, which also on a bye during the opening rotation. Darby Germain and Riley Hill will start on the balance beam as a part of Iowa's rotation and Brittney Reed will rotate with Minnesota.
LAST YEAR AT THE REGIONAL MEET
(Then) sophomore Jamie Lewis and (then) junior Kara Witgen represented Air Force at the NCAA Regional last season, as the pair earned the two all-around bids for the Minneapolis Regional on April 2. Lewis scored a 37.550 to finish 14th in the meet, while Witgen finished 15th with a score of 37.000.
WHAT'S AHEAD FOR THE FALCONS
Air Force concludes the 2017 season next weekend (April 7-9), when it travels to Seattle, Wash., for the 2017 USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships.