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Gophers gymnastics gets awards, titles after conference championship

Minnesota reached its second-highest mark in program history at the Big Ten Championships.
Image by Gopher Athletics (courtesy)
The Gophers are set to compete in the Arkansas Regionals after their Big Ten Championships performance.

The No. 15-ranked Gophers gymnastics team finished second in the Big Ten Championships with a score of 197.500, a tenth of a point behind the champion Michigan State Spartans.

Senior Mya Hooten had a spectacular performance, collecting three individual titles. Hooten won her second career title on the vault (9.975), third on the floor (9.950) and first on uneven bars (9.925).

When asked about the Big Ten Championship weekend, Hooten was ecstatic.

“[The weekend] was amazing, I still feel like I’m on cloud nine right now, I can’t believe it,” Hooten said.

Hooten added that her teammates’ “love and support” made her feel amazing.

A Woodbury, Minnesota native, Hooten was named to the All-Championship team along with five of her teammates: senior Gianna Gerdes, senior Ella Sirjord, senior Katie Horak, junior Lauren Pearl and sophomore Sarah Moraw.

Gerdes finished second on the bars, top-five on the beam and vault and tied her career high on the floor. She said she feels the team is only going to get better as the season goes on.

“We are never going to peak,” Gerdes said. “We are just on that rise, and we’re going to continue to rise all the way through to the end.” 

Minnesota posted a season-best 49.375 on the bars after two 9.850 performances from sophomore Siera Johnson and freshman Jordyn Lyden.

The Gophers finished with a 49.375 on the beam. Moraw ended with a 9.925, while senior Emily Koch scored a 9.800.

The Gophers scored slightly better on the floor, totaling 49.475 after performances by freshman Leah Gonsiorowski (9.875), and Koch and Johnson (9.850). 

Five Gophers, including junior Marissa Jencks and freshman Sophia Nguyen, rounded out the events on the vault for the Gophers with a 49.225 total score.

Four Gophers were named to the All-Conference teams after the tournament. Hooten and Gerdes were named First Team, while Pearl and Sirjord made Second Team. 

Head coach Jenny Hansen said the team has seen steady improvement “each and every week” of the season.

“These last few meets have been outstanding,” Hansen said. “We still feel like we have a little bit left in us.”

Hansen is in her 10th season as the Gophers gymnastics head coach and has been extended through 2028. During Hansen’s seventh season, she led the Gophers to their first Big Ten Championship since 2006.

Minnesota’s next competition will be in the Fayetteville Regional, scheduled for April 3-6, at Bud Walton Arena. They are set to compete on April 4 in the second round against No. 2 LSU, No. 18 Oregon State and the winner of the play-in matchup between Boise State and BYU.

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