Women’s gymnastics to compete for NCAA Championships berth

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The 13th-ranked Penn State women’s gymnastics team travels to Raleigh, N.C. and the campus of N.C. State for the 2012 NCAA Regional Championships on Saturday, April 7. Action is set for 4 p.m. in Reynolds Coliseum.

Penn State joins No. 1 Florida, No. 12 Ohio State, No. 20 N.C. State, UNC and Kent State for the meet.

This will be the 28th consecutive trip to the NCAA Regional Championships for the Nittany Lions, who last advanced to the NCAA National Championships as a team in 2009, where they finished ninth overall. Last season, then sophomore Sharaya Musser (Colorado Springs, Colo.) competed at the National Championships to represent the Nittany Lions.

The top two teams and the top two all-around competitors not on an advancing team from each of the six Regionals will receive an automatic berth to the national championships. In addition, individual event winners will also advance if they are not a part of an advancing team or one of the all-around qualifiers. Georgia Tech and the Gwinnett Center will host the 2012 NCAA National Championships on April 20-22.

Penn State will open the 2012 NCAA Regional Championships with a bye before heading to the uneven bars and then beam. After a second bye, the Nittany Lions compete on floor and conclude the meet on vault.

On Saturday, March 24 at the Big Ten Championships Musser was named the Big Ten Gymnast of the Year. She also picked up First Team All-Big Ten honors and was named to the Big Ten All-Championship team. In addition, senior Whitney Becnsko (Pompton Plains, N.J.) and junior Madison Merriam (Gaithersburg, Md.) were both named to the All-Big Ten Second Team.

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