EAST LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – The Michigan State Gymnastics team is heading to the NCAA Seattle Regionals next week after qualifying as a team for the first time since 2016.

The Michigan State Gymnastics program has gone through a dramatic improvement in the past four seasons. From a 1-7 record in 2018 to now being ranked 12th in the country and having a record of 13-4, the Spartan seniors have led the charge in changing the culture.

“We don’t want Michigan State Gymnastics to be an underdog anymore we don’t want…people to go into meets thinking this is an easy win and I think that is so special about this year is that our class has changed the fact that Michigan State comes into every meet with a force to be reckoned with,” said senior Ashley Hofelich. “That’s something my class has talked about since the day we stepped in here and it’s nice to see it actually coming to life.”

“It’s kinda crazy to think about like this really is just the beginning but I’m so excited to see where this team and program takes us,” said reigning Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Year, Skyla Schulte.

This historic season has kept building as the Spartans started early in the year by breaking the school record with a program-high overall score of 197.425. Less than a month later Skyla Schulte set the new individual all-around program record with a 39.675.

Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year, Mike Rowe, told us about the new standard for his Spartans.

“We used to say qualifying for Regionals was the standard, not anymore,” said Rowe. “I mean we’ve set this bar and they wanted to come out of the gates you know beginning of the season you know already breaking a program record and we did so it’s…it’s pretty fun.”

“Regional was always a goal but it was never a standard and I think that’s really the difference about this year,” said Hofelich. “Now that we’ve accomplished that it’s where we hold what Mike calls it the green line and that’s just it should be achieved every year and that’s just where we should be.”

The Spartans will fly out to Seattle next Tuesday afternoon to get acclimated to the west coast before competitions begin in Regionals on Thursday, March 31.