Fans of the Minnesota Golden Gophers women’s gymnastics team got some fantastic news on Tuesday morning when it was announced that seniors Lexy Ramler and Ona Loper had decided to return to school for a fifth season of eligibility in 2022. The pair helped Minnesota get to the NCAA semifinals this season and win the Big Ten Championships for just the second time in program history.
Ramler will get one more season to continue to add to her legacy as one of the most decorated student-athletes in University of Minnesota history. Ramler has won three consecutive Big Ten Gymnast of the Year awards and after this past season was named the AAI Award as the best senior gymnast in the nation. She set a new program record in the all-around with a score of 39.850 and recorded a pair of perfect 10’s this season, one on the vault and one on the beam. Ramler ended the regular season tied for No. 1 in the nation on beam, No. 3 on bars, tied for No. 5 on vault, tied for No. 28 on floor and No. 2 overall in the all-around. She won Big Ten championships on bars, beam and in the all-around, Ramler will get one more chance to hopefully compete for a NCAA Championship—the lone piece of the puzzle in her storied career. At the NCAA National Championships in April, Ramler tied for 5th on beam and 11th in the all-around and was named an All-American on beam, while also recording second-team honors on bars, vault and in the all-around.
Loper is coming off her best season as a Gopher which was punctuated by a third place finish on the vault and a fourth place finish in the all-around at the NCAA Championships in April. Loper kicked off her 2021 season by winning an all-around title and Big Ten Gymnast of the Week honors during the first week of the season and would go on to win 12 individual event titles on the year. Loper matched Ramler by recording a pair of perfect 10s on the vault including one in the NCAA Tournament in the Regional Semifinal . At the conclusion of the regular season, Loper was ranked tied for No. 3 on vault, No. 10 on floor, No. 17 on bars and No. 13 in the all-around in the nation. She only continued to impve when the stakes were the highest winning the Big Ten Floor Championship and Athens Regional Vault and Floor Championships leading up to her two top-five performances and All-American honors at the NCAA Championships.
“We are absolutely thrilled that Ona and Lexy have decided to take another year with our program. Since their arrival on campus, they have helped to build this program to what it is today. Their influence not only in the gym, but in the classroom, and as role models for our team and our fans is unmatched. We are incredibly grateful to have them for one more year!” said Gopher Head Coach Jenny Hansen in a press release announcing their return.
With the return of Ramler and Loper, the Gophers will be one of if not the favorite to win the Big Ten Championship and once again should have a strong NCAA contending team. Minnesota will only lose three gymnasts who were in the regular rotation this season for Minnesota with Lexi Montgomery, Hannah Wilmarth, and Mary Korlin-Downs graduating and retiring from competitive gymnastics.
Along with Ramler and Loper the Gophers will return freshman phenom Mya Hooten who was electric this season on the floor earning All-American honors, and will return second team All-American on the vault in Maddie Quarles.