Second, more elite-level gymnasts are making the decision to compete in college rather than taking sponsorship money that would make them ineligible for NCAA athletics.
“More and more gymnasts are staying in and working toward college gymnastics,” she said. “It’s on TV more, you’re seeing it more, and gymnasts love what they see. They love the team aspect of college gymnastics. They don’t get that at all from the elite or Olympic level. In fact, they get the exact opposite of that. It’s me, me, me and always trying to climb the ladder and step on the girls that is going to get them to the Olympic team, to that chosen few.”
And finally, the rules for college gymnastics haven’t changed in many years. That means fans are very educated about the sport.
“There is more and more parity in college gymnastics, and people are doing more and more difficult skills,” Marsden said. “Because our rules have not changed in a number of years, it’s not that difficult to start at a 10.0 (level of difficulty), and when you’re able to do that, instead of the rich just getting richer, it makes it so everybody has a fair chance, everybody has a chance to win.”
And the gymnasts and coaches believe that this season especially, any of the 12 teams involved in Friday’s semifinals has the opportunity to earn a national title.
“I don’t think there is an easier session,” said Lofgren. “It’s such a level playing field. Whoever hits that night, it’s theirs.”
How to Follow the NCAA Gymnastics Championships Links to Live Video, Scoring LOS ANGELES—The semifinal rounds of the NCAA Gymnastics Championships on Friday, April 19 will be live streamed on NCAA.com (see direct link below). Utah's semifinal starts at 6 p.m. PDT (7 p.m. MDT). The Super Six on Saturday, April 20 and Individual Event Finals Sunday, April 21 will be broadcast online on ESPN3.com.
Commentary during Utah’s sessions will be provided on Twitter (https://twitter.com/utahathletics).
There will also be live scoring for the entire tournament. Links for Friday’s video streaming and live scoring for every day are below. The links will go live shortly before each session starts.
Live Online Video Friday, April 19 (Free on NCAA.com) First Semi: 12:00 p.m. PDT/1:00 p.m. MDT http://www.ncaa.com/championship/liveplayer/player?gameId=291184&date=2013/04/19 <http://www.ncaa.com/championship/liveplayer/player?gameId=291184&date=2013/04/19>
Second (Utah) Semi: 6 p.m. PDT/7 p.m. MDT http://www.ncaa.com/championship/liveplayer/player?gameId=291185&date=2013/04/19
Live Scoring Links Friday, April 19 – Semifinals First Semi: 12:00 p.m. PDT/1:00 p.m. MDT http://www.uclabruins.com/livestats/w-gym/20130419-1.htm
Second (Utah) Semi: 6 p.m. PDT/7 p.m. MDT http://www.uclabruins.com/livestats/w-gym/20130419-2.htm
Saturday, April 20 – Super Six Team Finals 4:00 p.m. PDT/5:00 p.m. MDT http://www.uclabruins.com/livestats/w-gym/20130420.htm
Sunday, April 21 – Individual Event Finals 1:00 p.m. PDT/2:00 p.m. MDT http://www.uclabruins.com/livestats/w-gym/20130421.htm
Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles
First session (1 p.m. MDT): Illinois, Florida, Stanford, LSU, Minnesota, Georgia
Second session (7 p.m. MDT): Oklahoma, Alabama, UCLA, Michigan, Utah, Arkansas
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