University of Michigan men’s gymnastics team
© Michigan Athletics

ANN ARBOR, Mich., and WEST POINT, N.Y., April 5, 2009 – The University of Illinois–Champaign, the University of Michigan and the University of Illinois–Chicago earned automatic berths in the men’s National Qualifier on April 16 by winning their respective conference championships on April 3-4. Illinois – Champaign and Michigan tied for the team title at the Big Ten Championships, held at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Illinois – Chicago earned the team crown at the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships, held at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. The remaining teams and athletes for the NCAA Qualifier will be determined on Tuesday, April 7.

A total of 12 teams will compete in the National Qualifier on April 16. The Big Ten Conference and Eastern College Athletic Conference champions receive automatic berths, and the remaining teams are chosen according to the National Qualifying Average (NQA). The top six all-around competitors who are not members of a qualified team, and the top six individuals on each event not selected as part of a team or for the all-around will also compete in the National Qualifier. No more than 12 competitors may represent any one institution.

The NQA is based on a team’s, an all-around competitor’s and an individual event specialist’s four best regular-season meet scores, two of which must be contested at an away meet. The high score is eliminated and replaced with the conference meet score, which is included twice. These five scores are averaged to obtain the NQA.

The last time the Big 10 has a tie for the team championship title was in 1983 when the University of Illinois tied with Ohio State University with identical scores of 276.650.

NCAA Championships. The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, is hosting the 67th National Collegiate Men’s Gymnastics Championships at the Sports Pavilion. The first day of competition is the National Qualifier, which has two sessions. The top three teams from each National Qualifier session advance to team finals for a total of six teams. The top six all-around gymnasts (three from each session) who are not members of a qualified team and the top six gymnasts for each apparatus (three from each session) who are not selected as part of a team or the all-around also advance to the championships.

The competition schedule for the NCAA Championships is: April 16 – National Qualifier, 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.; April 17 – team finals and all-around finals, 7 p.m.; and April 18 – individual event finals, 7 p.m.

Both all-session and single-session ticket packages are on sale now through the University of Minnesota Athletics Department. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the ticket office at Mariucci Arena, over the phone by calling 612-624-8080 or 800-UGOPHER, or online at On competition days, tickets can be purchased at the Sports Pavilion ticket window. All-session adult tickets, which include four competition sessions, are priced at $35, with all-session student tickets available for $25. Single-session tickets are priced at $15 for adults and $8 for students. Special single-session packages for groups of 15 or more are also available and are priced at $5 per ticket.

For more information on the qualification procedures and format for the men’s championships, view the 2009 NCAA Men’s Gymnastics Championships Handbook at