The Alabama Gymnastics team is the No. 1 seed at the NCAA Seattle Regional Championships which will be held in Alaska Airlines Arena Saturday, April 7 at 6 p.m. PDT, the NCAA announced today.
The Crimson Tide goes into the Seattle Regional having won an NCAA-best 26 regional titles. Alabama has also advanced to the NCAA Championships 29 years in a row. The top two teams from each regional move on to the NCAA Championships, which will be held April 20-22 in Duluth, Ga.
"This is the part of the season when we become more like basketball, it doesn't matter what you're ranked or where you're seeded, if you don't do your job on that night, you won't advance," UA head coach Sarah Patterson said. "I have always done a great job I think of keeping that in perspective and I feel like that's we've always done well at regionals."
Alabama will be joined by No. 2 seed LSU, No. 3 seed Arizona, host-school Washington, Iowa and Central Michigan. The top-18 teams in the nation by regional qualifying score are seeded into the six regional sites. The remaining three teams come from within the region. Alabama has already faced LSU twice this season, including at last Saturday's Southeastern Conference Championships.
"Hopefully both SEC teams will advance to the NCAAs, because I think that's how strong our conference is," Patterson said. "But I want to win."
It will be Alabama's first ever trip to Seattle and its first trip to the west coast for a regional since 2006.
"There was a time, seven years ago, when we traveled to Oregon State for regionals, came home for nine days and then turned around and went back to UCLA for nationals," Patterson said. "This year we're looking to go to Washington, have a great regional, come back and then we're just three hours away from nationals. We've been pretty fortunate, we haven't had to travel great distances, but I'd travel any distance to advance to the NCAA finals."
The Tide will start the regional on the uneven bars and will then move to the balance beam before going to the first of two byes. From there the Tide will go to the floor exercise and then vault before finishing on a bye during the sixth and final rotation. It is the same rotation the Tide has had for the last two SEC Championships.