The Utah women’s gymnastics team will host defending national champion UCLA and compete against two Big Ten schools and three Southeastern Conference programs in 2019, when the NCAA will use a new format to determine the national champion.
The Utes will open the season in January against Penn State, according to the framework of the schedule announced Tuesday — with exact dates in many cases to be determined by the Pac-12 Networks’ television schedule. The meet vs. Penn State at the Huntsman Center is booked for Jan. 4 (Friday) or 5 (Saturday). Other meets could be held on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays.
UCLA’s visit is scheduled the weekend of Feb. 22-24. Utah upset the Bruins last season in Los Angeles, before finishing fifth in the NCAA meet.
The Utes also will host Arizona, California and Michigan. They will visit BYU, Oregon State, Arizona State, Stanford and Georgia in dual meets and join LSU, Missouri and Stanford in the Mardi Gras Invitational on Feb. 15 at St. Charles, Mo.
The NCAA is moving away from the Super Six format at nationals after 25 years, staging a four-team final. That switch brings a change in the region system. Four three-day meets (at Michigan, Georgia, LSU and Oregon State) will determine the eight qualifiers for the NCAA meet, with the top 16 teams receiving first-round byes at regionals. The national meet is April 19-20 at Fort Worth, Texas.
UTAH GYMNASTICS SCHEDULE
Jan. 4 or 5 – Penn State.
Jan. 11 – at BYU.
Jan. 18, 19 or 20 – at Oregon State.
Jan. 25, 26 or 27 – at Arizona State.
Feb. 1, 2 or 3 – Arizona.
Feb. 8, 9 or 10 – California.
Feb. 15 – Mardi Gras Invitational at St. Charles, Mo.
Feb. 18 – at Stanford.
Feb. 22, 23 or 24 – UCLA.
March 1 or 2 – Michigan.
March 15 – at Georgia.
March 22 – Pac-12 Championship (TBA).
April 4-6 – NCAA Regionals.
April 19-20 – NCAA Finals.