In the second-to-last regional analysis, we're taking a look at the Tuscaloosa competition. We'll dissect the matchups, look at who is most likely to advance and see if your picks in the 2016 NCAA gymnastics bracket challenge were smart or not.
It's hard to imagine Alabama not making it to NCAAs, especially since the competition's at home for the Crimson Tide. The team is still playing around with lineups, though, with some gymnasts competing on events at the conference championships for the first time. That's not typical of a major postseason meet, and you start to wonder if the Tide would have picked up its third-SEC championship in a row if it had just put up the best of the best. It's unclear whether Alabama will continue to explore depth at regionals or whether we'll finally see some solidified lineups. Or maybe the team is just waiting to pull out the big guns at nationals and just blow the competition away.
But in terms of advancing, the real excitement will come from California and Boise State. The Broncos have been quite consistent all season and fell out of the top 12 at the very end. While the team had nearly every competition in the 196s or 197s, California's highs were just higher, allowing the Golden Bears o jump ahead at the end. Boise is strongest on bars, lead by Krystine Jacobsen who is tied for the top spot in the uneven bars rankings with Oklahoma's McKenzie Wofford. So she's pretty good at the event. The Broncos also excel on floor, but Cal is better with Toni-Ann Williams and Zoe Draghi as the one-two punch in the lineup. Beam can be an issue for California at times but if the team hits, it'll be in a good position to advance. The Bears start on beam, so fans will get a good idea of where they stand after the very first rotation.
As for individual all arounders looking to qualify to nationals, there are a number that can make the trip. If Cal advances as a team, Boise's Shani Remme or Sandra Collantes are capable of hitting a high enough score. Jacobsen could also qualify as a bars specialist and Maddie Krentz is capable of putting up a big score on floor along with Collantes. If Boise qualifies as a team and Cal is left at home, Toni-Ann Williams could make it if she competes in the all around. However, Williams will most likely miss nationals even if she qualifies because it is the same weekend as the 2016 Rio Olympic Test Event. She'll be attending in the hopes of qualifying to the Olympics to represent Jamaica. Draghi is also a star on beam and floor and could advance depending on what Alabama's lineups score. Kentucky has two strong all aroudners as well in Sidney Dukes and Alex Hyland, who both could see trips to Fort Worth. There's also Arizona State's Taylor Allex, who is a phenomenal vaulter and floor worker as well as West Virginia's Kirah Koshinski who is a regular season All-American on vault.
Days until the 2017 National Championships