April 5, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State will be represented by three gymnasts this weekend at NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional at the University of Alabama. Freshman Lisa Burt will compete in the all-around competition, while sophomore Alina Cartwright is an alternate for the event. Cartwright will compete on the balance beam and senior captain Taira Neal will see action on the vault.
The events at Coleman Coliseum will begin on Saturday, April 6, at 7 p.m. ET and each individual will be paired up with a team for the events.
Burt notched a career-high of 39.325 in the all-around at Penn State earlier this season. The freshman has earned an RQS of 38.835 and averages a 38.625. On vault, she has notched a high of 9.750, while on bars she has a high of 9.900 where she finished second at the Big Ten Championships. Burt has an event-high of 9.925 on the balance beam and a 9.850 on floor. She sits at 14th in region in the all-around and 15th in the Big Ten.
On beam, Cartwright marked a career-high of 9.850 against Michigan on March 2. She averages a 9.611 and registered a 9.820 RQS this season. Cartwright is an alternate in the all-around which she marked a career-high of 39.125 on at the 2013 Big Ten Championships and averages a 38.664 in. Cartwright has regional experience as last year she competed for MSU in the vault, bars and beam at the NCAA Auburn Regional.
Neal, second-team All-Big Ten selection, sits at sixth in the Central Region with a 9.900 RQS and 9.848 average on vault. She sits at seventh in the MSU record books with a career-high of 9.925 that has been matched six times in her career, twice this season. This season Neal was awarded first place six times and second place once on the vault. At last year’s Regional, Neal tied for fourth on the vault with a 9.900; after for 13th in the event at the 2010 regional with a 9.775.
Tickets for the NCAA Regionals can be purchased through the University of Alabama website, rolltide.com. Prices for tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children.
The top two teams, along with the top two all-around competitors not on an advancing team, will receive automatic berths to the NCAA Championships at UCLA on April 19-21. In addition, the event winners at each regional site will advance to the national championship in that event only if they do not qualify as part of a team or as an all-around competitor.