After easing our way into the 2018 season last weekend, NCAA is now back at full steam ahead with a million meets this weekend beginning tonight with Boise State hosting Southern Utah.
This MRGC rivalry will be the first meet of the year for both teams. Boise State, ranked 11th at the end of the regular season last year, got so close to a nationals berth last year, coming within half a point but getting upset by Nebraska. Like Oklahoma coming into the 2016 season after narrowly missing out on the national title the season prior, Boise State has a lot to fight for this season and they’re coming in with one of their strongest teams ever, led by redshirt seniors Sandra Collantes and Mary Frances Bir. I look forward to seeing what they can do in 2018, and hope this is the year they take a quickly rising program to the next level.
On Friday, No. 1 LSU will travel to No. 7 Florida, with the Gators expected to improve on a weak opening performance while LSU will want to build on a strong start. We’ll also see the first meet from Georgia, under new head coach Courtney Kupets Carter. The GymDogs probably won’t have any major immediate impact under Kupets Carter due to lack of lineup depth when they face off at No. 9 Alabama, but it’ll be the beginning of what I’m sure will be an incredible renaissance for the program.
Also in the SEC, No. 6 Kentucky travels to No. 11 Arkansas, and No. 23 Auburn hosts Missouri. Additionally, we’ll see No. 10 Arizona at No. 12 Iowa State, which could be a super fun one to watch, No. 17 BYU will host California, and No. 21 NC State will travel to North Carolina for an always exciting in-state rivalry.
Finally, Friday night will see the season debut for Washington, which made an incredible impact with its appearance at nationals last year. Led by senior dream team Hailey Burleson, Joslyn Goings, and Zoey Schaefer, and strengthened by fantastic sophomore and junior classes, Washington will hope to make even greater improvements this season, kicking it off at Sacramento State.
No. 5 Michigan gets to host again this weekend, as Big Ten rival No. 29 Ohio State will travel to Ann Arbor. OSU has a lot to work on after a rough start at UCLA last weekend, but the Wolverines started off strong and have only little clean-up areas and improvements to make going forward.
We’re excited to see if No. 3 Central Michigan (yes, they’re ranked third!) will continue to stand out as a top program as they hit the road to face off at No. 31 Eastern Michigan, No. 17 Penn State hosts Nebraska’s season debut, No. 19 New Hampshire will host Division II Bridgeport, No. 20 Maryland will compete at a quad meet at Minnesota that also includes No. 33 Northern Illinois and Division III Winona State, and we’ll get the season debut of Oregon State at Pittsburgh as well.
Sunday’s most exciting meet is the Elevate the Stage quad in Reno, Nevada. The meet, which will put the teams on a podium, will feature four Pac 12 teams, including No. 2 Utah, No. 4 UCLA, Stanford, and Washington, making it the meet of the weekend for me, especially as the Red Rocks and the Bruins so rarely get to challenge each other on neutral ground outside of postseason. Without host team advantages, we’ll get a nice early look at how the teams compare, which is always awesome.
Additionally, No. 8 Denver will host No. 27 Air Force after both teams got off to an excellent start last weekend, No. 13 Temple travels to No. 24 Towson with William & Mary, No. 14 Arizona State will travel to No. 16 West Virginia, and No. 15 Ball State will compete at No. 25 George Washington’s quad meet that also features Cornell and Penn.
Georgia will get a second opportunity to impress this weekend as they host back-to-back reigning national champions Oklahoma on Monday afternoon in the Sooners’ first meet of the season after coming in ranked number one in the preseason poll. Led by an incredible team of experienced competitors that includes senior AJ Jackson, junior Brenna Dowell, and sophomore superstar Maggie Nichols, this polished program is looking for a threepeat at nationals this April.
The full schedule is below. All times listed are ET, the first team listed is the host team, and we’ll update any links as they are updated on each program’s schedule. Once the meet is finished, we’ll add results. Enjoy!
|THURSDAY JANUARY 11|
|9:00 pm||Boise State 196.225, Southern Utah 194.350||Results|
|FRIDAY JANUARY 12|
|7:00 pm||Whitewater 188.175, Eau Claire 183.500||Results|
|LSU 197.250, Florida 197.125||Results|
|NC State 194.650, North Carolina 194.375||Results|
|Stout 180.350, Oshkosh 178.200||Results|
|7:30 pm||Iowa State 195.450, Arizona 194.975||Results|
|La Crosse 187.875, Gustavus 174.275||Results|
|S.E. Missouri 193.300, Illinois State 191.175||Results|
|8:00 pm||Kentucky 196.950, Arkansas 196.525||Results|
|Auburn 196.625, Missouri 194.875||Results|
|Texas Woman’s 193.525, Lindenwood 191.625||Results|
|8:30 pm||Alabama 196.525, Georgia 194.525||Results|
|9:00 pm||BYU 196.025, California 194.350||Results|
|10:00 pm||Washington 195.350, Sacramento State 191.450||Results|
|UC Davis 193.125, Seattle Pacific 191.325||Results|
|11:00 pm||Alaska 188.875, Cortland 182.675||Results|
|SATURDAY JANUARY 13|
|1:00 pm||Illinois 195.100, Yale 191.550, Rutgers 191.525, Southern Conn. 187.650||Results|
|West Chester 189.825, Ithaca 186.150, Springfield 185.800, Ursinus 184.925||Results|
|2:00 pm||Bowling Green 194.825, Utah State 192.975||Results|
|4:00 pm||Nebraska 195.550, Penn State 195.050||Results|
|5:00 pm||Minnesota 194.200, Maryland 194.025, Northern Illinois 193.575, Winona State 184.750||Results|
|Bridgeport 192.950, New Hampshire 191.750||Results|
|6:00 pm||Central Michigan 194.525, Eastern Michigan 194.125||Results|
|Michigan 197.550, Ohio State 194.925||Results|
|Oregon State 194.850, Pittsburgh 194.125||Results|
|7:00 pm||Iowa 193.400, Michigan State 192.900||Results|
|SUNDAY JANUARY 14|
|12:00 pm||Brown 188.400, Rhode Island 174.550||Results|
|1:00 pm||George Washington 195.325, Ball State 191.775, Cornell 190.550, Penn 190.375||Results|
|Kent State 195.050, Centenary 178.875||Results|
|Arizona State 196.475, West Virginia 195.875||Results|
|Western Michigan 193.425, Illinois-Chicago 192.975||Results|
|2:00 pm||Whitewater 186.850, Hamline 185.175||Results|
|Towson 194.725, Temple 191.575, William & Mary 190.475||Results|
|4:00 pm||Denver 196.800, Air Force 191.750||Results|
|5:00 pm||UCLA 197.200, Utah 196.975, Washington 195.725, Stanford 195.350||Results|
|6:00 pm||Alaska 190.975, Cortland 183.200||Results|
|MONDAY JANUARY 15|
|2:00 pm||Georgia vs Oklahoma|
|5:00 pm||S.E. Missouri vs Lindenwood|