UNH GYMNASTS TO COMPETE IN NCAA CENTRAL REGIONAL

DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire gymnastics team learned Monday afternoon that it will be competing in the NCAA Central Regional to be held at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La on Saturday, April 6. The regional meet is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. CST (7 p.m. EST).

UNH has now qualified for NCAA regional competition in each of the 21 years that the organization has sponsored women's gymnastics. The 'Cats best finish was in 1994, when UNH won the Northeast Regional and finished 12th at the National Championships.

The Wildcats qualified for the regional championship by virtue of its Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) of 193.885, good for fourth in the Northeast. The top 18 seeds in the country are spread among the six regional sites, with the remaining teams in each six-team regional coming from the three-highest schools in each region not among the top 18 nationally.

The other schools competing in the Central Regional include host LSU, Central Michigan, Florida, Illinois State and Iowa State. UNH will open up on balance beam, followed by floor, vault and bars. The top two schools from each regional will advance to the NCAA Championships April 18-20 at the University of Alabama.

UNH is coming off a fifth-place finish in the East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) championships held on Saturday at Towson University. In that meet, junior Michelle Harley (Collegeville, Pa.) became UNH's fourth individual EAGL champion and first since 1998 by tying for the top spot on balance beam with a 9.875 score. Senior Bethany Wagner (Bound Brook, N.J.) placed eighth in the all-around competition with a 39.025 score.

Among the other top competitors for UNH this season are junior Jen Dickson (Salisbury, Md.) and senior Katie Revis (Putnam Valley, N.Y.). Dickson was a second-team All-EAGL selection on uneven bars, floor exercise and in the all-around, and has posted UNH's top all-around score in seven of 11 meets. Revis, a second-team selection on balance beam, tied a Wildcat record on floor exercise earlier this year, posting a 9.925 against Alaska Anchorage.

Last season, the Wildcats placed fourth at the Northeast Regional at the University of Michigan with a score of 194.225, with Suzanne Poretz advancing to the Nationals as an individual competitor in the all-around. UNH also competed at LSU during the regular season last year, competing in a tri-meet against the Tigers and Michigan State.

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