Flippin’ Birds to Compete for NCAA Regional Championship in Oregon

CEDAR CITY, Utah – The No. 24 Southern Utah gymnastics team will be making a seventh-straight appearance at a NCAA Regional Championship when they travel to Oregon State this weekend to compete in the Corvallis Regional on April 5-6.

Last Time Out

The Flippin’ Birds are coming off of a second place finish at the MRGC Championships with a score of 195.900. Boise State won their fifth-straight conference title with a score of 196.950.

Two Thunderbirds earned event champion titles that night as Morgan Alfaro was named Vault Event Champion with a score of 9.900 on the event and Hannah Nipp was named Co-Beam Event Champion, also scoring a 9.900 on that event.

At the conclusion of the meet, Southern Utah freshman Karley McClain was named the 2019 MRGC Freshman of the Year for her performance during the regular season. The South Jordan native was named All-MRGC Second Team on floor and in the all-around earlier in the week after finishing the regular season with a RQS of 9.870 on floor and 39.140 in the all-around. She also currently holds a RQS of 9.835 on beam, 9.785 on vault, and 9.775 on bars.

Overall Southern Utah finished the regular season with five Thunderbirds earning MRGC All-Conference honors. In addition to McClain, Alfaro, Nipp, Shylen Murakami, and Stephanie Tervort all earned MRGC All-Conference Second Team honors on various events with Alfaro and Tervort earning vault honors, Nipp earning beam honors, and Murakami earning bars and beam honors.

Format Changes

The Corvallis Regional will take place from April 4-6, consisting of three days of competition in the new regionals format. The bottom two teams at the regional will compete in a dual meet on April 4 with the winner getting the final spot in the eight team competition on the day two.

On day two, all eight remaining teams will compete in two separate quad meets with the top two teams from each session moving on to day three. Those four remaining teams will then compete in a single quad meet on day three with the top two teams from that meet moving on to the National Championship.

Southern Utah will start their competition on day two in session one as they come into the meet ranked higher than Iowa and Arizona. They will compete against No. 5 Denver, No. 12 Boise State, and No. 18 Washington in their session. No. 4 Florida, No. 13 Oregon State, No. 25 Stanford, and the winner of the dual meet between the Hawkeyes and the Wildcats will compete in the second session.

Scouting the Regional Field

Nine teams will be competing at the Corvallis Regional from April 4-6. Seven of them are ranked in the top-25 with No. 4 Florida and No. 5 Denver coming in as the top two seeds. The Gators had four gymnasts earn NACGC/W All-America honors this season including Trinity Thomas who was also named the SEC Freshman of the Year. The Pioneers also come into the regional with four NACGC/W All-America honorees.

The Broncos will provide a sense of familiarity for the Flippin’ Birds as the two teams compete against each other three times a year. Boise State took both dual meets against Southern Utah early in the season and won their fifth-straight MRGC Conference Championship two weeks ago.

The No. 13 Beavers are making their 45th straight regionals appearance and the No. 25 Cardinal are making their 36th consecutive appearance. This will be the first time hosting for the Beavers since 2013.

Meet Info

Session one of Friday’s regional meet is set to start at 3:00 p.m. Mountain time (2:00 p.m. Pacific time) in Gill Coliseum on the campus of Oregon State. The meet will be streamed for free on Pac-12 Oregon or for a subscription fee on FloGymnastics.

The stream on Pac-12 will be a mixed stream covering every team while the paid stream on FloGymnastics will consist of four cameras focused on each event so fans can see every routine from each team.

Live stats will be available through osubeavers.com.

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Story and Photo by SUU Athletics Strategic Communication

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