The Bowling Green State University gymnastics team has announced its competition schedule for the 2013 season, with the Falcons hosting five home meets - including the season opener against Ohio State on Jan. 5 in Anderson Arena.
Along with the increase in home competitions, the Falcons will host a triangular meet featuring Mid-American Conference opponents Ball State and Eastern Michigan on Feb. 23. Two other MAC opponents will make trips to Bowling Green - Kent State on Feb. 2 and Western Michigan on March 16, along with non-conference opponent Texas Woman's University on Jan. 12.
"The 2013 gymnastics schedule is filled with opportunity," BGSU head coach Kerrie Beach said. "We are pleased to be hosting five home meets this season - the most home contests we have hosted throughout my time at BGSU."
On the road, BGSU will get an early preview of postseason competition format, as they travel to Raleigh, N.C. on Feb. 16 to take part in a six-team meet with North Carolina, George Washington, Pittsburgh, William & Mary and host NC State. With byes worked in to the rotation order, the meet will have the same feel as a postseason championship.
Other road meets include MAC competition at Northern Illinois on Jan. 19, Eastern Michigan on Jan. 26 and Central Michigan on March 2. On March 8, the Falcons travel to Lexington to face the University of Kentucky at home for the third consecutive year and on Feb. 9 Bowling Green will compete at Lindenwood University - a program in its first year of existence. The matchup will be only the second home meet in history for the LU gymnastics squad.
"Along with our outstanding MAC opponents, we will have the opportunity to meet with some excellent programs such as Ohio State, NC State and Kentucky," Beach said. We are also fortunate to be traveling to and supporting Lindenwood in its inaugural year of its gymnastics program."
In order to qualify to the NCAA postseason in gymnastics, a team's Regional Qualifying Score must place them in the top 36 in the nation. The RQS is determined by averaging a team's six highest scores at the end of the season (at least three of which must be away), with the high score thrown out of the equation.
The Falcons' schedule features six NCAA Regional qualifiers from 2012 - NC State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Central Michigan, Kent State and Kentucky and one NCAA Championship qualifier - the Buckeyes, who finished tenth in the nation last year.
"This schedule will truly prepare us for success at the MAC Championships and in our endeavor to qualify this team to the NCAA postseason," Beach said. "We look forward to packing Anderson Arena with our incredible fans!"
Last year, Bowling Green finished 48th in the national rankings, with an RQS up from 190.865 in 2011 to 193.630 - one of the largest jumps in the country.
The 2013 Falcon roster sees the return of BGSU's school record four NCAA Regional qualifiers: Megan Harrington, Gina Locigno, Danielle Wishart and MAC Freshman of the Year Jamilah Ali. The young team graduated only one gymnast in 2012, Dawn Christman, and gains three freshman athletes, including standout all-arounder Alyssa Nocella.