With the gymnastics season coming to an abrupt end, the Collegiate Gymnastics Association awarded regular season All-American awards to the top eight finishers in each event and the all-around, including ties. Gymnasts could also be placed on Second Team All-American for gymnasts who rank Nos. 9-16, including ties.
For the Gopher women's gymnastics team, that meant juniors Lexy Ramler and Ona Loper both received All-American awards.
Ramler is familiar to this award as she has been an All-American since her freshman year at Minnesota. She received First Team All-American honors on bars, beam and in the all-around. In her first two seasons, she was on the first team for just beam. This was her first honor for bars and all-around.
“It’s pretty cool. Coming into college gymnastics I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to be able to do. But being able to be consistent and to be able to achieve these awards is a lot,” Ramler said. “To be able to represent Minnesota in that way is pretty cool.”
This was a cap on a very impressive season for the junior as she finished the season ranked No. 1 on beam, No. 6 on bars and No. 8 in the all-around. She also became the first Gopher in program history to score back-to-back perfect 10s on beam. On top of that, she became the first Gopher to score a perfect 10 at Maturi Pavilion.
“The first one, being able to hit that routine, was just pretty cool. I stuck the landing and having the whole team run to me and actually see the ten flash’, that was a very cool experience that I will definitely cherish forever,” Ramler said. “Being able to score a 10, bringing that to my home crowd was an even more incredible experience.”
Loper, like her teammate, had an outstanding junior season. On top of earning her first ever regular season All-American, she notched career highs in every event, including the all-around this season.
“This year has been the best year for me overall with gymnastics and finally reaching what I’ve always wanted to reach. [All-American award] has always been something I’ve had on my mind, but didn’t have a ton of confidence in getting it because I always had two events that were never my strongest,” Loper said. “So getting it for all-around is especially exciting for me.”
Though she wasn’t able to earn a first-team spot, she finished as the No. 12-ranked gymnast in the all-around with a NQA of 39.495. She finished with 12 different event titles and joined Ramler with a perfect 10 of her own on vault in what turned out to be the last meet of the season.
“It definitely makes ending [the season] a little more okay. Just overall the way the team ended, we can all look back and be proud of that meet,” Loper said. “Ending on that 10 was very surreal, that was my ultimate goal in college, so to actually achieve that, was super cool.”
Ramler also was able to post new career-highs this season. In addition to her career-high on beam, she set new records on vault and bars. Both juniors played a key role in the Gophers’ unfinished season.
“This season we were definitely super consistent. I think that’s definitely what stood out the most is we came in and we were confident,” Ramler said. "Seeing people believe in themselves and go out there and perform what we practiced was really cool.”
The gymnasts still don’t know when they will be able to get back together as a team and start practicing again for next season. Loper is looking forward to that reunion.
“We don’t know how long we’re gonna be away from each other, so as soon as we’re back with the girls we’re all just gonna realize that we can’t take anything for granted,” Loper said. “The last year just really soaking in everything and just really appreciating the sport and everything I’ve learned along the way.”