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Published April 19, 2024

Ramler, Loper fuel Gophers gymnastics to Norman Regional final

Fifth-years Lexy Ramler and Ona Loper totaled matching 39.675s in the all-around to share the all-around title.
Image by Kelly Hagenson
Courtesy of Gopher Athletics

Fifth-years Lexy Ramler and Ona Loper shined for the No. 8 Gophers gymnastics in the second round of the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships Thursday evening. The veterans matched each other in the all-around competition as they scored 39.675 to share the all-around title.

Combining for 79.350, Minnesota’s dynamic duo helped them total 197.825, which marks the fourth-highest team total in program history, to secure a first-place finish in the second round and session one of the Norman Regional.

The Gophers, along with No. 9 California (197.375), finished in the top two over Utah State (196.825) and Boise State (196.425) to advance to the Norman Regional final and keep their 2022 seasons alive.

“It was a fantastic day, really on every event,” head coach Jenny Hansen said. “Floor, we just do what we do there and vault was fantastic. We stuck a couple of really big vaults and there was a lot of energy that we were able to carry into the rest of our events…I am really proud of the team and the way we just keep doing exactly what we know how to do.”

Loper and Ramler not only tied each other in the all-around, but the duo also shared the vault title as they tallied 9.950s. Ramler also took home the beam title (9.950), while Loper took home a share of the bars title (9.925).

To round out their all-around winning performances for the Gophers, Ramler scored 9.900 on bars and 9.875 on floor, while Loper recorded matching 9.900s on floor and beam.

As Ramler and Loper combined for four first-place individual event titles, sophomore Mya Hooten took home the floor title (9.950) as Minnesota swept all five of the individual event titles.

Hooten’s strong meet for the Gophers did not end there. She earned a career-high 9.900 on bars and matched that score on vault to total 29.750 for the competition.

Minnesota never trailed at any point throughout the meet. Its No. 2 ranked floor team opened up the competition by scoring 49.550 as four of the five scoring routines were at least 9.900. Junior Halle Remlinger (9.925) and sophomores Gianna Gerdes (9.900) and Emily Koch (9.875) rounded out the rotation alongside Hooten, Loper and Ramler.
The middle rotations, vault and bars, saw similar success as they kept the Gophers’ momentum going. The vault team produced 49.525, which ties the third-highest score in program history, and the bars team continued the first-place pace with 49.400.

Senior Tiarre Sales slipped off the higher of the two uneven bars, scoring 9.350. To avoid having her score count in the lineup, Ramler (9.900), in the anchor spot, got the Gophers back on track heading into the final rotation.

“You couldn’t ask for anybody else to be in that position,” Hansen said. “[Ramler’s] our anchor and that’s why we know we can count on her. She did the routine like she always does, so that was pretty great.”

With the beam team closing out the meet, Hansen has put them through pressure sets in preparation for big meets like this as they have struggled at points throughout the season, most recently at the Big Ten Championships.

And the pressure sets paid off as Minnesota’s beam team totaled 49.350, led by Ramler and Loper. Koch tied Loper, and her season-high, after scoring 9.900. Gerdes and senior Abbie Nylin rounded out the lineup with matching 9.800s.

Minnesota will compete against California and the top two teams out of No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 16 Arizona State, Arkansas, and Arizona from session two of the second round on Saturday, April 2, at 5 p.m. in the Norman Regional final. The top two teams from the Regional final session will advance to the NCAA Championships.

“This is the first year where they added a day off between [meets], so we’re pretty excited about that,” Hansen said. “We’re focusing on recovery, getting their bodies to feel good and taking time to relax a little bit before we turn our focus to our competition for Saturday.”

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