April 6, 2012
BERKELEY - Juniors Madisyn O'Brien, Mariesah Pierce and Nicolette Lew will represent the California women's gymnastics team at the NCAA Regionals this Saturday, April 7, at 4 p.m. inside Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle.
O'Brien and Pierce will each compete as individuals in the all-around, while Lew will perform on the balance beam.
Pierce was the Golden Bears' top all-around competitor through the first seven meets of the season, however the junior suffered an injury that limited her to just one event the following meet and sidelined her for the past four meets. She has not competed since Feb. 24. Pierce has averaged a score of 38.464 in the all-around with a regional qualifying mark of 38.545. Her top event is the vault where she has averaged a score of 9.771 this season. The junior has also averaged a 9.696 in the floor exercise, a 9.545 on the beam and a 9.444 on the bars. Pierce scored a career-best mark of 39.150 in the Bears' first home meet of the season against then top-ranked UCLA. She also posted career-high scores of 9.850 on the vault, 9.800 on the bars and 9.800 on the beam during the regular season.
O'Brien earned her second-straight selection to the NCAA Regionals, after scoring a 38.625 (9.650 on vault, 9.700 on bars, 9.575 on beam and 9.700 in the floor exercise) in the all-around in the NCAAs last season in Corvallis, Ore. She competed in the all-around in six of the Bears' 11 meets this season, including each of the last three competitions. She has averaged a score of 38.338 with a regional qualifying mark of 38.200. Her top event is the vault, where she has recorded a 9.730 average this season. She is also averaging a 9.617 on the bars, a 9.500 on the beam and a 9.425 in the floor exercise. The junior is coming off of a career-best score of 39.025 in the all-around in the Pac-12 Championships. She recorded a career-best mark of 9.850 twice on the vault and once on the bars during the regular season.
Lew competed on the beam in 10 of Cal's 12 meets this season with an average score of 9.650. Her regional qualifying score in the event is 9.765. Lew posted a career-high score of 9.850 on the beam at home against Stanford earlier this season.
O'Brien will begin the competition on the beam, and then move on to the floor exercise, then vault and finish on the bars. Pierce will begin on the bars, then move to the beam and then the floor exercise before finishing the day on the vault. Lew will compete on the bars during the fifth rotation of the event.
Seattle is one of six regional sites around the nation taking place on Saturday. Alabama, LSU, Arizona, Washington, Iowa and Central Michigan will compete as a team in the event. The top two teams and the top two all-around competitors who are not on an advancing team from each region will receive an automatic berth to the national championships in Duluth, Ga., April 20-22.