Gophers women’s gymnastics win a quad meet to start season

Freshman Lexy Ramler made her collegiate debut and finished in first place in the all-around category.

Senior Ciara Gardner leaps during her floor routine. Gardner scored a 9.725 and placed fourth overall on her floor exercise during a home meet on Saturday, Jan. 13.

Easton Green

Senior Ciara Gardner leaps during her floor routine. Gardner scored a 9.725 and placed fourth overall on her floor exercise during a home meet on Saturday, Jan. 13.

Erik Nelson

Lexy Ramler began her collegiate gymnastics career on Saturday in a quad meet. 

She didn’t disappoint.

Ramler, a freshman from St. Michael, Minnesota, finished first in the beam portion and tied for first in the vault portion. She also finished first in the all-around category, earning a score of exactly 39.

Even though she ended up taking home multiple first-place finishes, the freshman wasn’t thinking about winning.

“My focus is to do the best that I can and help my team as much as I can,” Ramler said.

Minnesota (1-0, 1-0 Big Ten) finished first overall in the team category with 194.2 points, edging out Maryland by less than a point. Maryland finished with 194.025. Minnesota faced Maryland, Northern Illinois and Winona State at Maturi Pavilion in the season opener.

Sophomore Ivy Lu finished in first place on bars, earning a score of 9.9 out of 10. It was Minnesota’s best event, as the Gophers registered a score of 48.950 to finish first.

Head coach Jenny Hansen said there were more positive takeaways from the season opener than negative ones. She wished that Minnesota performed better in the floor event, though.

“I was pleased with how we did on the other three events,” Hansen said. “We got a lot to take away from this in a good way and a lot to build on for next week.”

Sophomore Paige Williams finished in first place in the floor exercise, earning a composite score of 9.8. Minnesota finished first in every event. Senior Hannah Hitchcock earned a score of 9.775 on two bar exercises, which was good for a share of third best on the team alongside senior Rachel Rowland. Hitchcock averaged 9.7 points on her two vault exercises. 

“[Hitchcock is] very steady for us,” Hansen said. “We count on her for not only her performances but also her leadership.”

Now Ramler has gone through one collegiate meet. She hopes the team will improve in preparation for Minnesota’s meet against the Spartans while continuing to build on strengths.

“We had a really strong bars and beams,” Ramler said. “I’m super excited about that. We could work on our floor [next week].”

Minnesota’s next meet is on Saturday against Michigan State at Maturi Pavilion at 4 p.m.

Hansen didn’t expect the first meet to be this close, but she’s optimistic that Minnesota will learn from its season opener.

“You never know where everybody’s at. This is the first time for our athletes to perform and a lot of them are [competing] for the first time for us,” Hansen said.