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Published April 19, 2024

Gophers gymnastics dominates Iowa and bounces back to join the 198 club

For the first time in program history, the Gophers gymnastics team eclipsed the 198 point mark in their team total score.
Image by Shannon Doyle
Lexy Ramler leaps in her floor exercise at the Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championships at Maturi Pavillion on Saturday, March 20. Ramler won the individual titles for uneven parallel bars and beam, won the individual all-around title, was named Big Ten Gymnast of the Year and contributed to the team’s win of 2021 Big Ten Championship title.

Fueled by dominating performances from every lineup Friday evening, the No. 8 Gophers gymnastics team totaled 198.025 to defeat No. 13 Iowa (196.375), marking the first time in program history Minnesota has eclipsed 198 points as a team.

“I’m just so proud of the way we responded. We had a couple of meets [recently] that we weren’t ourselves. We talked a lot as a team and we really focused on what we could control,” said Gophers head coach Jenny Hansen, who recorded her 150th career win and 50th Big Ten win with the victory. “I feel like they did an excellent job of not thinking about anything else, except just being aggressive and doing their routines. They did exactly that tonight. It was so fun to see them from start to finish be aggressive and have fun.”

Most notably, fifth-year Lexy Ramler continues to show the world why she ranks No. 1 in the collegiate scene in the all-around as she won the title after scoring 39.775 to tie her third-best score in program history. The total also marks her second-best all-around score this season.

Ramler recorded a perfect 10 on beam for the fourth time in her career to win the event title. The Minnesota veteran also took home the bars title after scoring 9.950. She rounded out her all-around performance by adding 9.950 on floor and 9.875 on vault.

For the second time this season on floor, sophomore Mya Hooten achieved a perfect 10 to earn the event title and cement the 198 point mark. She also helped the Gophers floor team total 49.650, which marked their third-highest vault team score in program history.

Before [going], the crowd was screaming. I was like, ‘I got this. This [routine] is going to be so fun.’” Hooten said. It’s just so much fun to be out there and be in front of the big crowd and my team.”

Outside of her perfection on floor, Hooten tallied a career-high 9.975 on vault to win the event title. She rounded out her evening with a 9.875 on bars, which ties her career-best.

Alongside Ramler’s title-winning performance, her fifth-year counterpart Ona Loper had a bounce-back meet for the Gophers as she tallied 39.625 in the all-around competition. Along the way, she tied her season-best on beam, scoring 9.900.

“To see her bounce back means so much,” Ramler said of Loper. “Honestly, for me personally, competing with her every single time for this last year means so much. There’s not a lot of words to describe it.”

After the beam team produced their worst two-team totals this season in Minnesota’s past two meets, they returned to form to score 49.425, their highest team this season.

Senior Tiarre Sales, who made her season debut on beam on Feb. 19, scored a season-best 9.875 on beam outside of Ramler’s perfect 10 and Loper tying her season-best. Sophomores Emily Koch and Gianna Gerdes rounded out the lineup, producing 9.850 and 9.800, respectively.

“We’ve been doing a lot more pressure sets,” Hansen said of helping the beam team build their confidence. “And it works. They’re nervous and they’re feeling those jitters…[what] we’ve really been talking to them about is just going aggressive.”

The vault team opened up the meet for the Gophers producing their second-highest team score this season of 49.400. Joining Hooten, sophomore Gianna Gerdes also recorded her career-best en route to earning 9.875 from the judges.

Then the Minnesota bars team followed the vault team’s strong start by totaling 49.550, which is their second-highest score in program history. Fifth-year Hannah Willmarth tallied her season-best of 9.900 and junior Halle Remlinger recorded her career-high at 9.875.

The floor team closed out the historic night for the Gophers. In the apparatus, Remlinger tied her career-best of 9.925 as all five of the scoring routines for Minnesota scored at least 9.850.

“I think it’s super important to really go out there being super confident and just going after it,” Ramler said of the vault team, who set the tone for the rest of the meet. “Then, we snowballed and continued that throughout the rest of the night to finish with a 198.”

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