Gophers finish sixth at Big Ten championships

Lexy Ramler received Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors.

Lexy Ramler performs her beam routine at the Maturi Pavilion on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018.

Jack Rodgers, Daily File Photo

Lexy Ramler performs her beam routine at the Maturi Pavilion on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018.

by Erik Nelson

Freshman Lexy Ramler won the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award on Saturday, but Minnesota couldn’t take home the Big Ten championship trophy in Champaign, Illinois. 

The Gophers finished sixth in the night session of the Big Ten championships, earning a score of 196.225. Michigan won the title for the fifth consecutive season on Saturday.

Head coach Jenny Hansen said Minnesota had a consistent performance.

“We didn’t perform as well as we wanted in a few areas,” Hansen said. “At the Big Ten Championships, it’s all about who does it that day. What you’ve done during the regular season doesn’t matter.”

Sophomore Ivy Lu tied for the bars title with a score of 9.950. Lu has scored 9.900 or higher on bars 10 times this season. She is the first Minnesota gymnast to win or share the bars title at the Big Ten Championships since 2002.

Lu said it felt great to win the bars title along with Ohio State’s Olivia Aepli and Michigan’s Brianna Brown.

“It was fun to be out there competing with everyone else,” Lu said. “I was consistent all season. To see myself compete and perform at Big Tens was cool.”

Sophomore Paige Williams finished fourth on vault with a score of 9.850. This was Williams’ highest score this season. She also finished fourth on floor, receiving a score of 9.900. 

Ramler’s score on floor was 9.850.  She also earned a 9.825 on beam. Ramler said she was excited when she was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

“I’m very honored to receive that award,” Ramler said. “We’ve all been working hard. We’re very excited for regionals.”

As its name was announced, No. 23 Minnesota entered the Big Ten championships between two machines blowing fog into the air. Lu said the fog made the atmosphere more exciting.

“It was a fun way to walk in,” Lu said. “Everyone was loud, everyone was cheering, everyone was having fun.”

Minnesota hosts the NCAA Regionals on April 7. Hansen said the team plans to focus on small details in practice in the next few weeks.

“We finished sixth, but we were three or four tenths from finishing third,” Hansen said. “At this point, the details are what separate the teams. The little things make a difference.”