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Auburn gymnastics thinks best to come in NCAA Regional
March 23, 2015

Megan Walker and Auburn in the SECs, and now it's time for an NCAA Regional

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. -- The best scores, highest rankings and the first appearance in the night session of the SEC Championship all belong to Auburn gymnastics this season, but Bri Guy there's plenty left for the Tigers to prove when they host an NCAA Regional on April 4.

"We have such great meets, but none of them have been what we think is our best. This upcoming meet is another chance we can do that," Guy said.

The NCAA announced Monday the field for the regional in Auburn Arena: Alabama is the top seed, followed by No. 2-seed Auburn, then Minnesota, Iowa, Maryland and George Washington. The competition will start at 6 p.m. The top two teams from each of the six regionals advance to the NCAA Championships in Fort Worth on April 17-19.

Auburn has two weeks to prepare for the regional after finishing fourth in the SEC Championships over the weekend. Rival Alabama won there, and Guy says welcomes the chance to try to beat the Tide in the regional.

"We like to challenge ourselves. We do have that rivalry," Guy said. "We're trying to better ourselves and best them."

Alabama earned the top seed with a Regional Qualifying Score of 197.490. Auburn's RQS is 197.045, the eighth best in the country. Rounding out the Auburn regional are Minnesota, with a 196.450; Iowa, with a 195.790; Maryland with a 195.505; and George Washington, with a 195.490.

The regional provides Auburn coach Jeff Graba to show his Tigers can compete with the elite teams, just as they did in the SEC Championship.

"This is what we've been shooting for ever since I got here: To put ourselves in a position where we can have a regional where we can match up against the top team.

"The best case scenario is you match up against the top team, because if you match up against them, then you feel pretty comfortable you can beat the other teams in the session as well."

Graba says Auburn has room to improve.

"We've set a lot of records this year and the girls have done a really good job, scored really high, got ranked really highly. But none of us have been happy with any of our performances," he said. "We've been really pleased with a few, but, if you really break it down, we've really felt with each performance we've left stuff on the table.

"The team is still trying to prove itself to ourselves and to our fans and to the general public.

"The night session for the SECs prepares you immensely better than almost any other competition for what we're going into."

General admission tickets are $5 and reserved tickets are $8 and can be ordered online through the Auburn ticket office.

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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