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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Gymnastics inch closer to the start of postseason competition

By Tony Pizza

Real gymnastics season about to begin

Even though the U gymnastics team’s season officially went underway nearly three months ago, realistically, it is just about to begin.

It’s not that the meets haven’t counted up until now; the Utes wouldn’t be ranked No. 6 in the country and they wouldn’t be poised for a No. 1 seed at the NCAA Regional if they hadn’t. But at this point and through the weekend, the Utes’ record is basically irrelevant.

Unlike college football or basketball, there is nothing subjective about postseason gymnastic invites. Teams either have a high enough Regional Qualifying Score or they don’t get invited to one of the six NCAA Regional sites on April 4.

Given the fact that the Utes have qualified for all 26 NCAA Regionals, the regular season has basically been preparation for the postseason for the Red Rocks.

The Utes have one more regular-season meet against rival school BYU this weekend before the Utes find out April 2 where they will be headed for Regionals.

What is a Regional Qualifying Score?

The RQS is the score that determines the teams that get invited to the NCAA Regional. The score is calculated by adding up a team’s six highest scores — three of which have to be road meets — and subtracting the top score, then averaging the remaining five scores. This score is also used to compute rankings throughout the season.

The home scores used to compute the Red Rocks’ RQS of 196.545 were the 196.725 and the 196.650 that the team scored against Washington and Arizona State, respectively. The road scores used in the Utes’ RQS were the 196.575, the 196.100 and the 196.675 that the team scored against Utah State, Nebraska and Oregon State, respectively. For the Utes to increase their RQS, they need a score higher than 196.100 against BYU.

The highest the Utes’ RQS could be by the end of the season is 196.675. This means the Utes’ No. 6 ranking is the highest they could hope to have at the end of the season.

A class of their own

The Florida Gators and the Georgia Gym Dogs seem to be the favorites for capturing a National Championship this year. Florida and Georgia are the only two teams with an RQS over the 197-point mark. Florida has topped the coveted 197-point plateau seven times while Georgia has done it eight times, including an impressive 198.00 meet against SEC rival and No. 3 seed Alabama.

If Florida were to go on to win the National Championship, it would be the first time in NCAA history that a team not named Utah, Georgia or UCLA would win the women’s National Championship in gymnastics.

Top-ranked gymnasts

Junior Ashley Postell is currently ranked ninth in the country in the All-Around with a 39.405 average. Kristina Baskett is ranked 15th on floor with a 9.895 average. Baskett and Nicolle Ford are also third and fourth, respectively, in terms of national ranking on uneven bars with 9.925 and 9.915 national averages.

Baskett is also tied for No. 4 in the nation on vault with a 9.930 RQS.

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