Gophers women’s gymnastics stars Ramler, Loper returning for 2022 season

The Gophers will now have all three of their 2021 All-Big Ten athletes next year in Ramler, Loper and Hooten.

Courtesy+of+Gopher+Athletics

Kelly Hagenson

Courtesy of Gopher Athletics

Michael Lyne

After leading the Gophers women’s gymnastics team to a historic season, seniors Lexy Ramler and Ona Loper are returning to the program for their fifth collegiate season in 2022.

“We are absolutely thrilled that Ona and Lexy have decided to take another year with our program,” Gophers head coach Jenny Hansen said. “Since their arrival on campus, they have helped build this program to what it is today. Their influence not only on our gym but in the classroom and as role models for our team and our fans is unmatched.”

Ramler and Loper earned the opportunity to compete for another season after the NCAA announced that all spring athletes could have an extra year of eligibility after the 2020 season was cut short due to COVID-19.

‘Not being ready to say goodbye’

“While there was a lot of time taken into deciding to return for another season, it ultimately came down to not being ready to say goodbye to the sport of gymnastics,” Ramler said. “I have been so grateful for my past four years here at Minnesota and even more grateful to have the opportunity for another year … I cannot wait to return next year and compete again in the Pav.”

Ramler is one the most decorated student-athletes in University of Minnesota history. During her 2021 season, she accumulated a multitude of accolades.

Ramler was the recipient of the prestigious AAI Award, earned the Big Ten Gymnast of the Year title for a third consecutive year and achieved the Big Ten Gymnast of the Week title six times.

She was also named First Team All-Big Ten, set a new Gophers program record in the all-around with a 39.850 and achieved perfection on the vault and beam.

But the accolade list does not stop there for Ramler. Earlier this season, she won the all-around title at the Athens Regional Final, earned event titles on the bars, beam and the all-around at the Big Ten Championships, won 31 individual event titles, and was named a WCGA All-American in the all-around, vault, bars and beam.

‘An unforgettable journey’

Like Ramler, Loper had a tremendous senior season for the Gophers. She was named First Team All-Big Ten, earned WCGA All-American honors on the vault, WCGA Second Team All-American honors on the floor and the all-around, scored two perfect 10s on the vault, and accumulated 12 individual event titles.

Loper said she was also grateful for the chance to be with the program for another season.

“These past four years have been an unforgettable journey and I have learned so much throughout this process,” she said. “It has been so fun to be a part of a program filled with driven and passionate people. I cannot wait to see what is in store for next year.”

Loper was the Big Ten Floor Champion, the Athens Regional Vault and Floor Champion, and earned a career-high all-around score at the NCAA National Championships after scoring 39.675.

Ramler’s 2021 Rankings
Vault – Tied for No. 5 (National Qualifying Score, NQS = 9.950)
Bars – No. 3 (NQS = 9.963)
Beam – Tied for No. 1 (NQS = 9.975)
Floor – Tied for No. 28 (NQS = 9.925)
All-Around – Tied for No. 2 (NQS = 39.756)

Loper’s 2021 Rankings
Vault – Tied for No. 3 (NQS = 9.956)
Bars – Tied for No. 17 (NQS = 9.919)
Beam – Tied for No. 112 (NQS = 9.863)
Floor – Tied for No. 10 (NQS = 9.944)
All-Around – No. 13 (NQS = 39.556)

The future

The Gophers finished their historic 2021 season with a 6-3 record and advanced to the NCAA National Championships for the first time since 2016.

This announcement is massive news for the program. The return of Ramler and Loper should put the Gophers back into very similar territory next season.