2010 NCAA Regional Championships Blog


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sooners Set Sights on NCAA Regional Crown

OU media relations graduate assistant Phillip Rogers will blog live on press row from Rec Hall on the Penn State campus, as top-seeded Oklahoma competes at the University Park Regional.

7:56 p.m. --Vise posts a 9.95 to clinch the regional crown for the Sooners, their first since 2006.  Ferguson will anchor the lineup and look to gain some personal redemption after the fall on bars.  

7:53 p.m. --Great routines from Kelley (9.85) and Smith (9.925)!

7:47 p.m. -- Oklahoma on track with good routines from Kayla Nowak and Natalie Ratcliff to open the roation.Nowak with a 9.75, while Ratcliff posts her best routine of the year under the circumstances with a 9.825.

7:32 p.m. -- LSU comes on strong to end the meet with a 196.400.  Oklahoma will need a 48.65 on beam to overtake the Tigers and ensure a spot at the NCAA Championships.  Sooners (147.775) and Penn State (146.825) still have one event to go.

7:28 p.m. -- OU avoids having to count a fall with solid scores from Kelley (9.85) and Vise (9.9).

7:20 p.m. --Olson (9.85) sticks the double layout full out dismount, but Ferguson follows with a fall. Root posts a 9.8, while Flanery opened with a 9.775.

6:07 p.m. --Sooners back on a bye in the fourth rotation before closing the meet on bars then beam.  With the squads all through two events, OU holds a sizeable lead at 98.600.  Tight battle for second at the moment with LSU (98.075) and PSU (98.050).

6:07 p.m. --Sooners match their floor score with another 49.300 on vault.  Capping the rotation was Natasha Kelley's stuck 9.9.  Small steps from the rest of the lineup but solid amplitude throughout results in the good scores.

6:07 p.m. --Sooner fans are on their feet as Jackie Flanery scores a 9.95 that received a perfect 10.00 from one member of the judging panel.  Kristin Smith right on her heels with a 9.9, while Vise scored a 9.85 en route to a 49.300 team score.

5:55 p.m. -- Mary Mantle and Kayla Nowak post scores of 9.75 and 9.65, respectively.  Megan Ferguson nails her first pass (triple full - best of the season) en route to a 9.85.  Vise up now.

5:45 p.m. --Oklahoma had a bye during the first rotation and will open the competition on floor shortly.  Meet host Penn State has the early lead after a 49.050 on vault in the first rotation, capped off by a 9.95 from Brandi Personett from the anchor position.  No. 2 seed LSU posted a 48.825 after Susan Jackson fell during her opening pass.

3:30 p.m. -- The warm-up session has begun as fans are starting to file into Rec Hall.  A reminder that Penn State will not offer a webcast of the competition, but live scores can be found here: live results

2:50 p.m. -- Ipod's are on as the group focuses on the task at hand on the short drive to the arena.  After passing by Berkey Creamery, a local ice cream hotspot that had a line out the door on this beautiful afternoon, Melanie Root struck up a deal with K.J. Kindler that she could get a scoop for each 9.9 in tonight's competition.  That's two scoops for those counting, as Root is tentatively slated in the vault and bars lineup.  Don't put it past her, as the Cartersville, Ga., native earned a share of the vault crown at last year's NCAA Northeast Regional at Alabama as a sophomore.  

2:45 p.m. -- The traveling party boarded the bus to the competition arena amidst loud cheers of Boomer Sooner from the Oklahoma fans that congregated in the lobby.  The group certainly made the gymnasts feel right at home, as they easily out-cheered any of the fellow squads staying at the hotel.    

8:45 a.m. -- The team has finished eating a light breakfast in a private room at the team hotel.  The group will have a chance to do a bit of shopping before heading back to the hotel for a team lunch at noon.

 

At a Glance: University Park Regional

The second-ranked OU women’s gymnastics squad (17-0) is the No. 1 seed in the University Park Regional on April 10 at 5 p.m. (CT), at Rec Hall on the Penn State campus.  The Sooners will face No. 2 seed LSU and meet host Penn State (third seed) in the only 2010 regional featuring three squads that advanced to last year’s NCAA Championships.

All three of the aforementioned squads competed in the first session of the 2009 NCAA Championships, where LSU advanced to the Super Six team final with its third-place finish in the qualifying session.  Penn State placed fifth, while the Sooners were sixth.

OU is aiming for its third regional title in program history and the first since the 2006 season.  The Sooners also claimed a regional crown in 2004.

Oklahoma clinched its third straight Big 12 title with a team score of 197.175 on March 27 at the Devaney Center in Lincoln, Neb.  OU swept all four team event titles en route to the highest score by a Big 12 Champion since 2001.

The Sooners enter the regional with a RQS average of 197.170 (second only to Alabama - 197.250) and the highest season average of any squad in the country at 196.896. LSU is ranked 11th in the NCAA with a RQS of 196.415, while the Nittany Lions stand 14th with a 196.225 RQS average.  Maryland, Ohio State and New Hampshire round out the University Park field, seeded fourth through sixth, respectively.  

The top two teams and the top two all-around competitors (who are not on an advancing team) from each regional will receive an automatic berth to the national championships in Gainesville, Fla, April 22-24, hosted by the University of Florida.

The Sooners open the regional with a bye, before floor.  Penn State will start the meet on vault, Maryland with a bye before bars, New Hampshire on bars, Ohio State on beam and LSU on floor.

University Park is one of six NCAA regional sites with competition behind held nationwide on April 10.