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Minnesota Gymnastics: 2023 Season Preview

The Gophers open the season Friday night with their Best of Minnesota Meet

Kelly Hagenson

The Minnesota Gophers gymnastics team kicks of their 2023 season Friday night at The Pav when they host their annual Best of Minnesota meet. Joining the Gophers for the quad meet will be Hamline, Gustavus and Winona State. The meet begins at 6 PM and will stream live on BTN+.

Minnesota enters 2023 with a less rosy outlook than they had the previous few seasons, and thats only because two of the best gymnasts in Gophers history have now graduated and moved on. Gone are All-Americans Lexy Ranler and Ona Loper who led Minnesota to back to back NCAA Top 8 finishes including a program best 6th place finish last spring. But the Gophers still have several athletes who have contributed to the team’s success over the past two years back and have added several newcomers who are expected to make immediate impacts. The cupboard is far from bare.

Minnesota was ranked #16 in the Preseason WCGA Poll with only Michigan and Michigan State ranked ahead of the Gophers. Minnesota was predicted to finish in fourth place in the preseason Big Ten Poll behind the Wolverines, Spartans and Ohio State. Minnesota has two gymnasts named by the fellow coaches at Gymnasts to Watch in 2023—Junior Mya Hooten and senior Hailie Remlinger.

Hooten is the most awarded Gopher to return to the team in 2023. Her best event by far is the floor where she recorded three perfect 10’s in 2022, bringing her career total to four. Her 2022 accolades are extensive, as she added NCAA Championships First Team All-American honors on floor, Second Team accolades on vault, as well as WCGA First Team All-American honors on floor and Second Team honors on vault. She also won a Big Ten event championship title on floor in March. Hooten will be asked to become an All-Around leader for the Gophers in 2023 adding the balance beam to her other three events.

Remlinger enters 2023 as another all-around threat for the Gophers. She earned Second Team All-Big Ten honors last season. She set numerous personal records in 2022, tying her career-high 9.925 on floor at Illinois – and also at the Big Five Meet in February – only to reset that record with a 9.950 at Utah in early March. She bested her career high on bars twice as well, posting a score of 9.875 against Iowa and at the Big Ten Championships.

Other major returning pieces for Minnesota from their teams include a trio of 5th year seniors in Maddie Quarles, Abbie Nylin and Tiearre Sales. Quarles was hampered by injuries in 2022 but returned in time for the post season and recorded a career high 9.975 on vault at the NCAA Regional Final. In 2021 she was a vaulting maven earning Second Team All-Big Ten, WCGA Second Team All-American and NCAA Second Team All-American honors on vault. She also made her debut in floor for the Gophers in 2022 and scored a career best 9.950 against Ohio State at the Pav.

Nylin competed on the beam for the Gophers last year and averaged around a 9.800 for the season. She will be looked to take a step upward in 2023 and increase those scores to give Minnesota a legitimate threat on the beam now that they will miss Ramler’s excellence on the apparatus.

Sales compled and scored on both the bars and beam for the Gophers last season. She tied her career high with a 9.925 on bars at Utah and a 9.925 on beam at the Big 5 meet.

Other gymnasts who competed for the Gophers last season who return are 5th year senior Ali Sonier who competed on beam for the Gophers, senior Mallory LeNeave who competed on both bars and floor, and junior Gianna Gerdes who competed on vault.

The Gophers bring in four freshmen who are expected to compete for lineup spots right away in Brooklyn Rowray, Megan Steensland, Sarah Moraw and Seria Johnson.