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Utah is back in the women's gymnastics rankings in Week 8

Utah is back in the women's gymnastics rankings in Week 8

 


NQS has kicked off with less than a month to go before the conference championships begin, meaning there's a lot of movement in the national team and individual standings. However, Oklahoma remains a fixture at the top, leading in every event except the floor where it is second to LSU. Given the Sooners' record-setting performance on Friday night, in which they posted a 49.7-plus score on three events, we don't expect them to relinquish the top spot(s) anytime soon.

They weren't the only team to make history in Week 8, though: 21 teams tied or set program records in Week Eight, according to stats wizard Drew Porche. Despite the overscoring, teams across the board produced some of their most outstanding gymnastics performances this weekend.

Teams

1.Oklahoma, 198,675
2. California, 198,400
3. Utah, 198,075
4. Florida, 198,150
5.LSU, 197,950
6. State of Michigan, 197,275

We probably sound like a broken record at this point, but Oklahoma and California clearly remain the top two thanks to the unparalleled polish and consistency they've shown all season. Both teams set new program record totals this weekend, proving they will only get sharper as the season progresses.

Meanwhile, the Utes have put themselves firmly back in the championship conversation after finally surpassing the 198 mark. It's no coincidence that their star is everywhere and former Olympian Grace McCallum also appears to be back in top form, as evidenced by her perfect 10 on floor. The Gators have also gotten into the chat, extending their current streak of rising scores by recording their first 198 of the season.

While the Tigers fell to home team Florida, they did themselves a huge favor by posting their highest road total of the year (and easing concerns that they couldn't match their home scores on the road). A conference loss is undoubtedly painful, but LSU's performance was good enough to move up to third in the NQS rankings.

The Big Ten held their decisive regular-season Big Five meets this weekend, with the Spartans walking away as back-to-back conference champions when all was said and done. They and intrastate rival Michigan, which posted the league's highest total of the week, remain the Big Tens' best bet for a 2024 championship run.

Honorable mentions: Ball State
The Cardinals may have been scoring in the 1980s thanks to the infamous Tennessee Classic, but the program's first scoring run in the 1970s shouldn't go unnoticed. Showing its full potential, Ball State especially shined on vault, where Victoria set up Henry's 9.950 teammate Suki Pfister for a near-perfect 9.975.

Everywhere

1. Haleigh Bryant, LSU, 39,750
2. Leanne Wong, Florida, 39,875
3. Jordan Bowers, Oklahoma, 39,800
4. Mya Lauzon, California, 39,700
5. Raena Worley, Kentucky, 39,350
6. Sierra Brooks, Mich., 39,650

In Week 8, Wong cemented her status as one of the all-time greats by becoming the fifteenth gymnast in NCAA history to earn a Gym Slam with a walk-off 10 on floor to overtake SEC rival LSU. Wong rightfully claimed top honors Friday night, but Bryant continued to prove she is the most consistently outstanding in the field with her fifth consecutive score of 39.700 or better.

PREVIOUS RANKINGS:Preseason|Week 1|Week 2|Week 3|Week 4|Week 5|Week 6| Week 7

Future SEC gymnast Bowers also made history, joining the legendary Maggie Nichols and Anastasia Webb as the only Oklahoma gymnasts to reach the 39.800 mark. Lauzon appears to be back in top form, helping Cal to a record victory over host UCLA Bruins thanks to an impeccable beam set. Likewise, Brooks continues to shine on her top two event bars and floors, leading the Wolverines to win their session of Big Fives.

Worley had a relatively bad week, struggling to control her landings on vault, bars and beam. But considering she was as exceptional on floor as ever, it was safe to bet her still-respectable 39.350 was just a one-off performance.

Honorable Mentions: eMjae Frazier, California
If Lauzon is the rock of the Golden Bears, then Frazier is their spark. She followed up last week's 39.350 with a personal and program record of 39.825, including a perfect 10 on floor. Performances like these are what California needs to secure a trip to Four on the Floor in April and challenge the Sooners.

Safe

1. Wise Kellerman, Michigan State, 9,900
2. Haleigh Bryant, LSU, 9,925
3. Mya Lauzon, California, 9,900
4. Makenzie Wilson, Kentucky, 9,875
5. Jordan Bowers, Oklahoma, 9,900
6. Sierra Brooks, Mich., 9,875

A week after falling into the 9.8s for the first time, Kellerman got back on track this week and helped the Spartans to their second straight Big Ten regular season title. Teammate Nikki Smith also scored 9.975 for her flourishing Yurchenko one and a half.

Bryant and Lauzon continue to perform, as neither has dropped below 9.9 on vault in 2024. It's the guaranteed hits that the Tigers and Golden Bears have relied on to finish second and fourth nationally on vault, respectively.

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A low box on the landing kept Wilson's scoring a bit low this week, but her stick was one of the highlights for the Wildcats in their upset road loss at Arkansas. Brooks jumped a step and a half back on her Yurchenko and Bowers a step ahead of hers, but each showed their signature clean form to minimize deductions elsewhere.

Honorable Mentions: Daisy Woodring, 9,950
Division II Texas Womens competed against a trio of D-I programs during Friday's quad meet, but it made no difference for Woodring. With a Yurchenko full, she achieved a perfect 9.950, posting the best vault score in TWU history and showing why she has been nominated for the AAI Award.

Rods

1. Audrey Davis, Oklahoma, 9,950
2. Jordan Bowers, Oklahoma, 9,975
3.Selena Harris, UCLA, 9,950
4. Leanne Wong, Florida, 9,950
5.Raena Worley, Kentucky, 9,825
6. Emily Lopez, Boise State, 9,925

The top-ranked Sooners continue to dominate on the bars, led by the exceptional Davis and Bowers. Given the judging in the salon, it is unfathomable that a bartender of Davis' caliber has not yet scored a 10. Even with the cowboy double dismount at the front, she is head and shoulders above the class in terms of performance.

Speaking of gymnasts on perpetual 10-guard, Harris took a small step back on her double layout, but her always-precise pirouettes led her to a fourth consecutive 9.950.

SETTING RECORDS: LSU's Haleigh Bryant becomes 14th women's gymnast to set a career gymnastics slam record

Wong was perfect a few weeks ago and delivered a nearly identical set this week, but even a stuck teardown couldn't break through the surprisingly tight bars in Gainesville.

Worley's landings were a bit off across the board this weekend, including the full-twisting double tuck with a substantial step forward that capped off her otherwise solid bars routine. On the other hand, Lopez drilled the landing of her double layout to complete her third straight bar routine, earning a 9.925 or better.

Honorable Mentions: Kara Houghton, Sacramento State | Gigi Mastellone, Southern Connecticut State
The Hornets outscored more than a few Power Five programs this week with a school-record 196,825, thanks in part to sophomore host Houghton's 9,975 on bars. On the East Coast, Mastellone closed the Owls' doubleheader with her third 9.850 in four meets. What was the fourth score? A cool perfect 10, the first in school history at any event.

Ray

1. Ragan Smith, Oklahoma, 10,000
2.Faith Torrez, Oklahoma, 9,975
3. Maile OKeefe, Utah, 9,975
4.Abby Paulson, Utah, 9,975
5. Mya Lauzon, California, 10,000
6. Syd Morris, LIU, 9.950 and 9.825

Fierce doesn't even begin to describe the level of competition we saw on beam this season, as the star duos of Sooners and Red Rocks make figuring out the power rankings a near-impossible task: a second straight perfect routine from Smith keeps her and Oklahoma teammate Torrez is stuck at the top this week over Paulson and OKeefe.

Lauzon rebounded from last week's 9.875 with her second career bar 10, while Morris dipped below 9.900 for the first time this season in the Sharks' second outing of a dual meet weekend. However, their 9.950 from Friday ensures they retain a spot in the top six.

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Honorable Mentions: Chloe Widner, Stanford
Widner's performance shouldn't surprise anyone, as the fifth-year has always been a standout beamer and she has a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships to prove it. She has only competed on beam three times this season, but has two scores of 9.950 or better.

Floor

1. Raena Worley, Kentucky, 9,975
2. Mya Hooten, Minnesota, 9,975
3.Sierra Brooks, Michigan, 9,975
4. Aleah Finnegan, LSU, 10,000
5. Gabby Wilson, Michigan, 9,950
6.Jocelyn Moore, Missouri, 9,950

Worley's landing woes didn't follow her to the floor, where her signature combination of amplitude and precision notched a third consecutive 9.975 and a share of the event victory alongside Arkansas Frankie Price. Similarly, Brooks and Hooten came out on top among the Big Five, narrowly edging out Wilson and Ohio States Ella Hodges in their respective sessions.

Finnegan essentially copied and pasted her routine from a week ago and recorded her second straight 10 on the floor, this time in enemy territory. She has a nagging wrist injury, but you'd never know it from watching her tumble.

Moore was red hot at Auburn's Pink Meet, holding her huge double layout after slightly overcooking it last week. As she continues to improve the level of control on her jumps and landings this season, keep an eye out for the seemingly inevitable 10.0 coming her way.

Honorable Mentions: Retoshia Halsell, Elise Tisler | Towson
Towson is consistently one of the top mid-major programs in the country, but took it to the next level this week with an all-time high of 197,425. The Tigers' floor rotation recorded an impressive 49.650, punctuated by a pair of 9.975s from Halsell and Tisler. The angled full-in is an exceptionally difficult skill to perform well, but we could look at Halsell's version in a loop.

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.ncaa.com/news/gymnastics-women/article/2024-02-26/utah-re-enters-week-8-womens-college-gymnastics-power-rankings

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