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March 25, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The 14th-ranked Penn State women's gymnastics team has been selected as one of six teams to compete in the NCAA Regional Championships, scheduled for Saturday, April 6 in Norman, Okla. The meet will be held on the campus of second-ranked University of Oklahoma at 4 p.m. and will also feature No. 11 Stanford, No. 22 Washington, Iowa and Southern Utah. The Nittany Lions are making their 39th appearance in the NCAA Regional Championships.
"We are excited to be heading to Oklahoma," said head coach Jeff Thompson. It is a great field of teams going to be there. We have our work cut out for us; but, we like our chances. We're glad we get a chance to redeem our performance at Big Tens last weekend.We have a UIC individual with us, Catherine Dion, which means Rachelle and I get to rotate with our long-time friends [and another husband wife team] Peter and Mary Jansson."
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 Los Angeles, California, April 19-21, hosted by the University of California, Los Angeles.
In addition, the event winners at each regional site will advance to the national championships (in that event only) if they are not part of a qualifying team or an all-around qualifier.
Penn State is led by its senior co-captains Sharaya Musser (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Madison Merriam (Gaithersburg, Md.), who both earned First Team All-Big Ten honors. Musser entered the Big Ten Championships last weekend ranked first overall on beam, tied for fifth on bars, 6th on floor, 13th on vault and fourth in the all-around. The senior had one of her best meets of the season, where she put up a 9.9 on vault, a 9.95 on beam, a 9.925 on floor and a 39.650 in the all-around, all season-highs in the senior night meet against Kentucky. Musser's 9.95 beam performance included a perfect 10 from one of the judges. Additionally, the Colorado native tallied a 9.925 on beam on Feb. 23 for her season-high.
Merriam entered the Big Ten Championships ranked fourth on the vault in the Big Ten and has posted 9.95 scores twice on Feb. 16 and March 16. The Maryland native has also been a staple on the uneven bars for the Nittany Lions this season, posting a 9.95 on Feb. 23 and a 9.9 on Jan. 12. Merriam is also a two-time Big Ten Event Specialist of the Week this season.
For tickets and information regarding the National Collegiate Women's Gymnastics Championships, log on to www.NCAA.com/wgymnastics.
For complete coverage of Penn State women's gymnastics, please visit http://www.GoPSUsports.com/sports/w-gym.
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