Women's gymnastics looks to secure NCAA Championships berth

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The 14th-ranked Penn State women's gymnastics team travels to Norman, Okla. and the campus of the University of Oklahoma for the 2013 NCAA Regional Championships on Saturday, April 6. The meet will feature No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 11 Stanford, No. 22 Washington, Iowa and Southern Utah. The Nittany Lions are making their 39th appearance in the NCAA Regional Championships.

Saturday's meet will be broadcast live on the NCAA website for no cost.

"It's going to be awesome," said head coach Jeff Thompson. "The Lloyd Noble Center is great place to compete. We have been there a lot, lots of times before with previous teams. The competition is going to be fabulous with No. 2 Oklahoma being the one-seed and the host. The No. 2 seed is 11th-ranked Stanford and we are the No. 3 seed. Then you have Washington, Iowa and Southern Utah rounding out the six teams. We have an individual with us as well from the University of Illinois-Chicago, and that is going to be fun for the girls to have an individual with the team for the day."

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 complete coverage of Penn State women's gymnastics, please visit http://www.GoPSUsports.com/sports/w-gym.

Follow Penn State women's gymnastics on Twitter: @PennStateWGYM.

Follow Penn State women's gymnastics on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PSUWomensGymnastics.

Contacts: 
Last Updated April 05, 2013