SACRAMENTO, Calif. --- Two days after winning its first Western Athletic Conference title, the Sacramento State gymnastics team received its official invitation to compete at the 2006 NCAA West Regional. The Hornets will travel to Stanford for the April 8 meet and will face Alabama, Boise State, Oregon State, San Jose State and Stanford.
The six teams in the competition are all ranked among the 35 in the nation. The group is led by Alabama as the Crimson Tide enters the regional ranked fifth. Stanford is currently eighth while Oregon State is tied for 16th. Boise State is 26th, Sacramento State 31st and San Jose State is 35th.
The appearance will mark just the second time that Sacramento State has qualified for the NCAA postseason. The Hornets also advanced in 1999 and finished sixth at the regional hosted by Oregon State. The top two teams will advance to the National Championships at Oregon State beginning on April 21.
This season, however, the team enters the meet as the fifth seed in the West and owns its highest regional qualifying score in school history.
Last week, Sacramento State claimed its fifth conference title in the last six years. That streak began with a pair of Western Independent Conference titles in 2000 and 2001, continued with three Mountain Pacific Sports Federation crowns in 2002, 2003 and 2005. The Hornets moved to the WAC this season and scored 193.950 to edge Boise State for first place.
This season, the team has already faced four of its five regional opponents. The Hornets suffered a loss against Oregon State in the first meet of the season in Oahu, Hawaii. The team also was defeated by Stanford on Jan. 15. However, Sacramento State was able to beat San Jose State at that same meet and finished the year 3-1 against the Spartans. The team was 1-1 against Boise State, losing to the Broncos on the road before defeating them at the conference meet.
COMPLETE NCAA REGIONAL ASSIGNMENTS
West Region -- April 8 in Stanford, Calif. (Stanford)
3. Oregon State
4. Boise State
5. Sacramento State
6. San Jose State
North Central Region -- April 8 in Ames, Iowa (Iowa State)
1. Iowa State
2. Arizona State
South Central Region -- April 8 in Fayetteville, Ark. (Univ. of Arkansas)
6. Southeast Missouri State
Central Region -- April 7 in Baton Rouge, La. (LSU)
3. Penn State
5. Michigan State
6. Ohio State
Northeast Region -- April 8 in Ann Arbor, Mich. (Univ. of Michigan)
4. New Hampshire
Southeast Region -- April 8 in Athens, Ga. (Univ. of Georgia)
4. West Virginia
5. North Carolina
6. North Carolina State