Oregon State coach Tanya Chaplin is expecting a strong show of gymnastics to come out of the NCAA Corvallis regional.
A new format is in place for the regionals this season and the expectation is it will require top flight performances to get through to the national meet.
“I think it will be an exciting weekend of gymnastics, great gymnastics for our fans to come and see,” Chaplin said. “These are some really amazing teams and I think it will make for just a really great start to the first time this type of format is being used. So it’s going to be an exciting time.”
In the past, six teams would land in each regional with the top two going to the NCAA Championships, which would start with 12 teams.
Now the regionals will take place over three days starting with a play-in meet between the two lowest seeds. In Corvallis, those teams are Iowa and Arizona, which compete at 3 p.m. Thursday.
The winner takes a spot in Friday’s 7 p.m. session along with Florida, Oregon State and Stanford. Denver, Boise State, Washington and Southern Utah will compete in the 2 p.m. session.
The top two from each session will meet at 7 p.m. Saturday in the finals with the two best finishers heading to nationals.
The national meet will now consist of eight teams with the top four making up the “Four on the Floor” to come up with a champion.
The new format means a tougher road through the regionals.
“I think it’s cool. I think the new way of them doing things, it’s different, but I think it’s good,” McKenna Singley said. “Having the two days in a row it’s really going to push teams to the limit, it’s going to see if they can go and do well two days in row. I think that makes it so it narrows down the competition even more, it shows the depth of teams. There’s more of it than just performing one day, you’ve got to go two days and do well on both of those. I’m interested to see how it turns out.”
The layout in Gill Coliseum will be the same fans saw for OSU’s senior night on March 15 against North Carolina, Seattle Pacific and Iowa.
The vault runway will go along the north side of the court, with the vault table at the northwest corner.
The beam will be on the west end of the court and the bars on the east end. Floor exercise will take place in the middle.
The Beavers tried a few different layouts before making the call. Chaplin said the decision was made because it seemed to be the best fit for the fan experience.
“It was really challenging for our fans to see vault when it was in the other area,” Chaplin said. “This allows us to move vault over and for the fans to have better viewing of all four events and not just three events. So we wanted to make sure we took that into consideration as we were going into the regional championships.”