Regionals: Defending champ Florida highlight 12 teams to earn national bids

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Morgantown Regional

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Florida claimed the NCAA Morgantown Regional title, held Saturday in front of 1,445 at West Virginia’s Coliseum. The win advances Florida to Fort Worth, Texas, where the Gators will look to defend their 2013 and 2014 NCAA team titles.

The Gators turned in a 197.475 Saturday to take their fourth consecutive NCAA regional title. The top two teams in regional competition advance to the NCAA championships.

Stanford claimed the other berth at 197.00. Illinois was third at 196.675, followed by Arkansas (196.50), West Virginia (195.65) and New Hampshire (194.825).

Ames Regional

AMES, Iowa — For the third consecutive season and 14th time in program history, LSU won an NCAA regional with a 197.175 Saturday night in Hilton Coliseum to punch a ticket to the NCAA championships.

No. 4 LSU (24-2) advanced to the NCAA championships in Fort Worth, Texas, for the 26th time in school history after scoring a 49.050 on bars, 49.200 on beam, 49.450 on floor and 49.475 on vault to finish with a 197.175 and claim the regional title.

“We wanted to come in here, win it and go home, and that’s what we did tonight,” LSU head coach D-D Breaux said. “We started off tight on bars and beam, but our last two events were fabulous and indicative of how good this team is and what we can do.”

Nebraska (26-6) placed second at the regional with a 196.950 to advance to the championships. Denver (19-8-1) finished third with a 195.950, while Michigan State (16-20) finished fourth at 195.375, Iowa State (8-16-1) finished fifth at 195.350 and Washington (7-18) finished sixth with a 193.675.

Norman Regional

NORMAN, Okla. — For the sixth consecutive season, Oklahoma is an NCAA regional champion.

The top-ranked Sooners posted a 197.625 to earn the NCAA Norman Regional title and advance to the NCAA Championships for the 12th consecutive season. Oklahoma won the top team score on all four events and captured individual titles on beam, vault and floor.

It was a fight to the finish for the second-place spot, but Oregon State emerged victorious with a 196.750 behind a 49.350 effort on the vault. Southern Utah took third at 196.275, while Missouri was fourth at 196.100. NC State earned claimed fifth at 195.775 and Penn State placed sixth at 195.150.

Columbus Regional

Columbus, Ohio UCLA went 24-for-24 for the first time this season and scored 197.500 to win the NCAA Columbus Regional and qualify for the NCAA championships. No. 6 Michigan finished in second place with a score of 197.000 to qualify along with the Bruins.

Samantha Peszek won the all-around with a season-high score of 39.675 and also placed first on beam (9.95) and floor (9.925). Christine Peng-Peng Lee won every event in which she competed, tying for first on vault with a career-high 9.925, winning bars with a 9.925 and tying for first on beam with Peszek and Danusia Francis with a 9.95.

Auburn Regional

AUBURN, Ala. — For the 33rd year in a row, and the first under head coach Dana Duckworth, Alabama advanced to the NCAA championships after winning its NCAA-best 30th regional championship in Auburn Arena Saturday night with a 197.575.

“We are so honored to be moving forward to Fort Worth for an opportunity to compete for a national championship,” Duckworth said. “It was a complete and total team effort. We focused on one thing at a time. We focused on the word this week: unbreakable. Tonight in the locker room we said let’s have unbreakable joy, unbreakable belief and unbreakable love and I feel like that is exactly what they did, one routine at a time, and it worked out in our favor.”

With the top-two teams from each of the six regional sites advancing to the national championships, Alabama and host-school Auburn, which scored a 196.900 to take second, will make the trip to Fort Worth, Texas in 10 days.

Berkeley Regional

Berkeley, Calif. — Georgia gymnastics team scored a 197.025 to win the NCAA Berkeley Regional Saturday at Cal’s Haas Pavilion, earning a spot in the 12-team NCAA Championships.

This is the 24th NCAA Regional title in Georgia history and the 31st time the Gymdogs have qualified for the national championships. The Gymdogs’ 197.025 was the sixth-highest score of any teams in the NCAA Regionals on Saturday.

Utah also advanced with a 196.575. Cal placed third with a 196.000, followed by Boise State (195.375), Utah State (195.150) and BYU (194.150).

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