March 25, 2013
PITTSBURGH - The Pitt gymnastics team has been awarded a NCAA Regional invitation and will compete at Gainesville, Fla., on April 6 at 6 p.m., marking the squad's first NCAA team appearance since 2007. Pitt will face Florida, Minnesota, Auburn, Maryland and Bridgeport in the six-team region.
"We've worked really hard to earn this bid," said head coach Debbie Yohman. "Any of my kids who have advanced to a region as an individual in the past few years will tell you that they would give anything to go as a team instead and now they have that chance. This is going to be a great competition and a great experience for our program. How excited was this team watching that selection announcement…a great site, familiar opponents -- everyone is hyped!!”
The Panthers locked up their bid on Saturday with a third place finish at the East Atlantic Gymnastics League Championship. Pitt's Regional Qualifying Score of 195.065 pits them among the top 36 teams in the nation.
In 2013, Pitt has faced No. 12-ranked Auburn, No. 24 Maryland and Bridgeport. Bridgeport is making history by being just the second Division II school in NCAA history to earn a bid to the regional championship.
The event rotation has also been announced and the Panthers will begin on the balance beam. The will continue with a bye, the floor exercise, vault, a second bye and then finish the competition on the uneven bars.
Six teams will be present at each of the six regions to comprise the field. The top two finishing teams at each region will advance to the NCAA Championship in Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles on April 19-21. Additionally, individual all-around competitors are eligible to advance. The top two all-arounders at each regional, whose teams are not advancing, will be invited to compete at the national championship as an individual.
The meet will take place at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center on the campus of the University of Florida. For ticket information, contact the Florida Ticket Office at 1-800-34-GATOR or order online.
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