For the sixth year in the past seven, SUU Gymnastics has qualified to compete in NCAA competition, heading this year to Minneapolis, Minn. for the 2014 NCAA Regionals at the University of Minnesota on Sunday, April 6.
SUU finished the 2014 regular season ranked No. 26 in the nation and will be joined in Minneapolis by No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 11 Illinois, No. 14 Minnesota, No. 19 California and No. 31 San Jose State. The Thunderbirds will be facing all but San Jose State for the first time this year, having bested the Spartans in San Jose on Feb. 28 (195.925-195.775).
SUU's gymnasts come into NCAA competition following a season-high 196.125 third-place finish at the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Championships. The Thunderbirds were the only team at the championships to score a 49-plus on each event en route to its first 196-plus mark this season. Following the conference championship, SUU's Memory Shettles was honored as the 2014 Mountain Rim Gymnastics Co-Freshman of the Year, sharing the honor with Boise State's Diana Mejia.
Southern Utah last made a regional appearance in Minneapolis in 2008 where the Thunderbirds finished fifth. Three-time All-American Elise Wheeler advanced to the NCAA Nationals for the first time in her career following the meet by way of a sixth-place finish in the all-around with a 39.225.
coverage of the meet, scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. (CT), will be available online at suutbirds.com.