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Gophers women’s 2024 gymnastics season ends in the NCAA regional finals

Senior Mya Hooten will head to Fort Worth, Texas for the NCAA Championships on the vault.
Image by Gopher Athletics (courtesy)
Senior Mya Hooten is the first Gopher since Lexy Ramler to qualify individually for the NCAA Championships.

The No. 15 ranked Minnesota Gophers women’s gymnastics team lost in the Fayetteville Regional Finals in Arkansas with a score of 197.400 April 6. 

The Gophers finished regionals with a season-best 49.500 on bars, 49.400 on the floor, 49.250 on vault and 49.225 on beam. 

Senior Mya Hooten was the top performer for the Gophers, scoring 9.950 on the floor, a season-best 9.950 on the bars and a 9.850 on the vault. 

When asked about the role Hooten has played in pushing the team forward, head coach Jenny Hansen had high praise for her star senior.

“She’s one of those athletes that you just want to watch,” Hansen said. “She has that infectious smile, but also has that respect from her team.”

The Woodbury, Minnesota native has a long list of honors and awards that garner the respect of her teammates. She has been named to the All-Big Ten first team three times (2021, 2023, 2024) and second team once (2022). 

Hooten is a three-time Big Ten floor champion (2022, 2023, 2024), a two-time Big Ten vault champion (2023, 2024) and a Big Ten uneven bars champion (2024). 

Hooten has nine perfect 10s on the floor in her career, with the most recent coming this season on March 17.

Hansen said five student-athletes are paying on their own to head to Texas to watch their teammate compete at the NCAA Championships. 

Senior Katie Horak had her first season of competition this year and performed well in Fayetteville. She scored 9.850 on the beam. 

Horak did not compete the last three years, with last year being cut short due to a knee injury that required surgery. 

Despite the turmoil throughout Horak’s career, she has been able to stay positive and look towards the future. 

This year Horak was finally able to show how hard she had been working for the past three years, with a career-high of 9.850 on beam. 

“It’s not always an easy path, but sometimes you have to stay in it for the long run to see the outcome that you want to see,” Horak said. 

Horak has already decided to end her collegiate career with plans to take the medical college admission test. 

Senior Emily Koch competed on beam and the floor in Arkansas. She scored 9.725 on the beam and 9.875 on the floor. 

Koch recalled her favorite memory from her career happening just a week ago. 

“Regionals this year was really fun,” Koch said. “We were kind of the underdog going in, no one really knew what we were capable of. So finishing on a high note was very fun.”

Koch has another year of eligibility but has not yet made a final decision on her future. 

After her 10th season as the head coach of the Gophers, Hansen has made a regional appearance each year of her career excluding 2019, when the season ended early because of COVID-19 health concerns. 

Hansen attributes the year-after-year consistency to not only herself but also her staff and team. 

“I’d say we are a team that has pretty high standards,” Hansen said. “As a coaching staff, what we expect is a lot, but I think that is what leads to having that consistency.” 

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