Gophers women’s gymnastics drops final meet of season to Illinois

The Gophers’ dominant performance on beam wasn’t enough to sneak away with a win in the team’s last meet of the regular season.

Lexy Ramler finishes her balance beam routine at the Regional NCAA Gymnastics Championship on Saturday, April 7, 2018 in Minneapolis.

Ellen Schmidt

Lexy Ramler finishes her balance beam routine at the Regional NCAA Gymnastics Championship on Saturday, April 7, 2018 in Minneapolis.

by Michael Lyne, Sports Reporter

The No. 7 Gophers women’s gymnastics team lost its final meet of the season on the road against No. 21 Illinois 197.625-196.850 in a close battle Saturday afternoon to finish the season with a 6-3 record.

Once again, senior Lexy Ramler put on a dominating performance. For the seventh consecutive week, she won the all-around meet title, scoring a total of 39.725 and earning a perfect 10 on the beam.

“I was just excited to anchor for such an amazing lineup,” Ramler said. “It always feels so good to nail a routine for my team and run back to them all cheering.”

Senior Ona Loper has also been a consistent performer across for the Gophers. She finished in third place for the all-around, scoring a total of 38.975. However, she had an uncharacteristic fall on the beam, scoring a 9.275. It was dropped and did not affect the teams’ final score.

A key turning point in the Gophers losing the meet took place on the bars. Junior Tiarre Sales and senior Lexi Montgomery made costly mistakes, scoring 9.100 and 8.725. These two errors were too much to overcome as only one of them was dropped.

“We are really proud of how our team finished tonight,” Gophers head coach Jenny Hansen said. “We had some uncharacteristic mistakes but never gave in. We also made some changes in our beam lineup and those athletes really came through today.”

Bars — Team Score = 48.650

The Gophers bars team suffered two costly mistakes from Sales, whose mistake counted in the team’s total (9.100) and Montgomery (8.725).

However, Ramler and Loper performed well as both of them scored 9.925 to tie for second place.

Senior Hannah Wilmarth finished in fifth, scoring a 9.875, while freshman Mya Hooten finished in eighth place, scoring a 9.825.

Vault — Team Score = 49.300

Redshirt sophomore Maddie Quarles led the Gophers’ vault team, scoring a 9.900 to finish in second place.

Hooten tied her career-high on the vault, scoring a 9.875. Ramler also scored a 9.875. They tied for fifth place.

Loper finished in sixth place, scoring a 9.850, while freshman Gianna Gerdes earned a career-high, scoring a 9.800.

Floor — Team Score = 49.300

Hooten continues to shine for the Gophers’ floor team. After posting her first career perfect 10 a week ago, she had a magnificent performance that scored 9.950 to win her the floor title.

Ramler and Loper provided their consistency as usual on the floor, both scoring 9.925.

Freshman Emily Koch and sophomore Mallory LeNeave also competed on the Gophers floor team, scoring 9.800 and 9.700.

Beam — Team Score = 49.600

Led by a spectacular performance by Ramler, the Gophers beam team put on a show in Urbana-Champaign, scoring a total of 49.600. This total tied for third in program history.

“Beam was definitely a highlight of the meet,” Ramler said. “Our beam team really used the opportunity to go out and perform.”

Ramler scored a perfect 10, the third of her career, to earn the beam title.

Redshirt senior Mary Korlin-Downs, Koch and Sales all scored matching 9.925s, tying for fourth place.

Montgomery also competed for the Gophers’ beam team scoring 9.825.

What’s up next

The Gophers return to the Maturi Pavilion next week to host the Big Ten Championship on March 20. The meet will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network.