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Claire Billman and Brandis Heffner, College Gym News | January 17, 2023

Oklahoma, Florida and Michigan lead the women's gymnastics Week 2 power rankings

2023 NCAA women's gymnastics preseason preview

After a dramatic Week 1 that saw 16 teams earn their highest-ever opening meet scores, Week 2 maintained that momentum: We’re already seeing flashes of postseason readiness across the nation as evidenced by the six perfect 10s awarded and numerous program records set.

There’s naturally going to be some shuffling in the power rankings as teams experiment with lineups in pursuit of their ideal six, and this week is no exception with a blend of old and new faces in the mix. A second weekend of competition gives us a bit more to go off of, but since hard data is scarce so early in the season (and scores rarely tell the whole story, anyway), we’re taking other variables — like skill difficulty and competitive stakes — into consideration when honing our picks. 

Note: For the purpose of these rankings, we define competitive weeks as Monday through Sunday. Gymnasts who compete after Sunday will be considered in the following week’s power rankings.

College women's gymnastics team rankings

  1. Oklahoma, 197.925 last meet
  2. Florida, 197.825
  3. Michigan, 198.125
  4. Utah, 197.750
  5. UCLA, 197.850
  6. California, 197.525

The Sooners hold onto the top spot in the power rankings this week despite having the weekend off (Oklahoma competed against LSU on Monday, Jan. 16) by virtue of their near-198 at Super 16 still being the most complete performance of the season.

No doubt, the Gators have been outstanding so far, with stars Trinity Thomas and Leanne Wong contributing a cool four perfect 10s in two meets. After delivering back-to-back KOs at home, Florida needs to prove it can replicate that level of performance under less favorable conditions. Beating a formidable Crimson Tide squad next week in Tuscaloosa would go a long way toward silencing the naysayers. 

2021 NCAA champion Michigan turned in a perfectly respectable 197.400 in Week 1 but upped the ante by being the first team to crack 198 this season thanks in part to a trio of 39.600s from all-around Sierra Brooks, Abby Heiskell and Gabby Wilson. The beam is still a bit of an unknown quantity, but the Wolverines are officially in the hunt for that top spot. 

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Utah reenters the power rankings after a dominant performance at the Best of Utah meet. The Utes also reclaimed their place atop the national beam rankings thanks to a 49.675 rotation led by a perfect 10 from Olympic alternate Kara Eaker. 

UCLA came within a hair’s breadth of a 198 this week, scoring 49.500-plus on every event except vault. Granted, we’re working off of only two data points, but the Bruins seem to be thriving under first-year head coach Janelle McDonald.

California sneaks into the final spot thanks to its strong showing at the Wasatch Classic, but Auburn is hot on its heels. The Golden Bears are already leaning heavily on their top seven gymnasts while the Tigers seemingly have room to grow this season. 

On the Move: Denver continues to exceed expectations, turning in a lights-out 49.550 on its weakest event, vault, even without former All-American Lynnzee Brown’s 10.0 start value in the rotation. That number is a program record for the Pioneers.

Women's gymnastics vault rankings

  1. Sierra Brooks, Michigan, 9.950 last meet
  2. Jade Carey, Oregon State, 10.000
  3. Trinity Thomas, Florida, 9.925
  4. Derrian Gobourne, Auburn, 9.900
  5. Mya Lauzon, California, 9.925
  6. Rosie Casali, Denver, 9.975

Brooks takes over the top spot after a nearly stuck Yurchenko one and a half, one of three 9.950s posted by the Wolverines en route to a nation-high 49.650. Her consistently explosive blocks and controlled landings have been a staple of Michigan’s vault dominance the last few seasons.

Carey’s Yurchenko double full is back and better than ever. She snagged a 10 on the event for the first time in her career, putting her just a perfect beam routine away from a Gym Slam and vaulting her up the power rankings. California’s Lauzon also sneaks in this week, with her back-to-back 9.925s the stabilizing force of the Golden Bears’ revamped vault lineup.

Admittedly, both Thomas and Gobourne received generous scores from the judges in Gainesville despite questionable landings, but their respective Yurchenko one and a halves were about as good as it gets in the air. 

Casali obliterated her previous 9.850 career high — and the Pioneers’ vault record — with a massive Yurchenko one and a half stuck cold. It’s a testament to the brilliance of this vault that Casali outscored the entire Michigan lineup on its home turf.   

Honorable Mention: Is there a bigger, bolder Yurchenko one-and-a-half than that of Missouri’s Jocelyn Moore? The Tigers’ home vault scoring is notoriously stingy compared to other SEC schools, but Moore’s huge, flared out vault still managed a well-deserved 9.875 despite a lateral hop on the landing. 

Freshman to Watch: UCLA’s Selena Harris’s dynamic Yurchenko one and a half has no built-in deductions, but she has yet to dial in the landing in collegiate competition. She's going to be a force to contend with when she does—just give her a few more reps.

Women's gymnastics bar rankings

  1. Leanne Wong, Florida, 10.000 last meet
  2. Natalie Wojcik, Michigan, 9.975
  3. Trinity Thomas, Florida, 9.975
  4. Jordan Chiles, UCLA, 9.950
  5. Andi Li, California, 9.925
  6. Grace McCallum, Utah, 9.975

Gators Wong and Thomas were two of seven 9.950s that clogged up the top of the charts Week 1, but they separated themselves Week 2 with Thomas’s near-flawless routine setting up Wong for the first bars 10 of 2023. Michigan’s Wojcik came close to perfection yet again, notching a 9.975 for the second consecutive meet with her trademark Deltchev.

In many ways, Chiles’ jam-packed set with multiple releases is the antithesis of Li’s short and sweet routine that highlights her smooth swing, but both broke 9.900 this week to follow up their 9.975s from the debut weekend. The Pac-12 duo retain their spots at the top of the conference power rankings along with Chiles’ Olympic teammate McCallum, whose grit and precision continues to pay dividends for the Utes.

Honorable Mention: North Carolina’s Lali Dekanoidze averaged 9.913 in her opening week doubleheader, including a sensational 9.975 routine at home (we’re still trying to find the deduction). A hoppy dismount kept Sunisa Lee out of this week’s top six, but her elite-level difficulty and pristine execution still warrant acknowledgment. 

Freshman to Watch: Georgia’s JaFree Scott—a former top-three recruit—started the season shrouded in uncertainty after injuries marred much of the end of her club career. However, Scott has posted a 9.875 and a 9.925 in her first two collegiate bar routines and looks better than ever on her signature event.

Women's gymnastics beam rankings

  1. Maile O’Keefe, Utah, 9.950 last meet
  2. Kara Eaker, Utah, 10.000
  3. Helen Hu, Missouri, 9.925
  4. Sienna Schreiber, Missouri, 9.925
  5. Leanne Wong, Florida, 10.000
  6. Sunisa Lee, Auburn, 9.875

The Utes have finished the regular season ranked top three on beam for the entirety of O’Keefe’s college career, and as expected, the senior is doing everything in her power to extend that streak. Casual back-to-back 9.950s from her plus a complimentary 10 from teammate Eaker in the last meet have put Utah back on top in the beam rankings.

Missouri is not far behind in third, with its own duo of upperclassmen leading the way: Hu’s elegance and flexibility paired with Schreiber’s difficulty and composure have proven to be a relentless one-two punch, and neither has gone lower than 9.925 so far this season. 

Wong rode the momentum of her perfect score on bars onto beam, earning her first 10 on the event and putting herself within reach of a Gym Slam in just her sophomore season. The Gators have endless lineup options on beam, but Wong just cemented her spot for the foreseeable future. 

PREVIEW: The ultimate 2023 women’s college gymnastics season preview

Competing on beam while a sold-out O’Dome roars for a Trinity Thomas floor 10 is enough to challenge even an Olympic champion’s composure, so Lee retains her place in the power rankings for now despite anchoring the Tigers’ lineup with “just” a 9.875. 

Honorable Mention: Raena Worley is best known for her powerful tumbling and her dynamic bars work, but beam is where the All-American has stood out this year. Worley shows no signs of wear after carrying Kentucky’s beam lineup last season, posting 9.900 and 9.950 so far.

Freshman to Watch: Known for her steadfast ability to hit at the elite level, Florida freshman Kayla DiCello has transitioned beautifully to NCAA gymnastics, especially on beam. She’s earned a 9.900 and 9.925 so far, and—as an emerging star—expect those scores to keep growing.

Women's gymnastics floor rankings

  1. Chae Campbell, UCLA, 9.950
  2. Leanne Wong, Florida, 9.975
  3. Trinity Thomas, Florida, 10.000
  4. Derrian Gobourne, Auburn, 9.950
  5. Jade Carey, Oregon State, 10.000
  6. Sierra Brooks, Michigan, 9.900

It’s not only Campbell’s massive full-in that’s earned repeat 9.950s and landed her atop the floor power rankings again: Her intricate, energetic dance and charisma is virtually unmatched, allowing her to fend off a bevy of imposing floor workers to retain her spot one more week. 

Wong followed up her back-to-back 10s with an electric floor routine that brought her perilously close to making it three in a row. Her opening piked double Arabian to stag leap alone was worth a bump in the rankings. Teammate Thomas—also in her season debut on the event—subsequently scored her fifth consecutive perfect 10 on floor and secured the highest floor score in the nation for the Gators. One rotation earlier, self-proclaimed floor queen Gobourne delivered yet another masterful performance that even won over the Florida home crowd. 

It’s hard to stand out in a floor lineup as stacked as Michigan’s, but Brooks continues to shine.  Her closing double tuck was slightly underrotated, necessitating a hop forward, but the routine as a whole—particularly her high-flying tucked full-in—keeps her on our list for now. 

True to form, Carey rebounded from a somewhat shaky Week 1 performance with a commanding offering on floor that secured her second 10 of the meet. Fans debated the validity of the score, but Carey’s seemingly effortless tumbling merits recognition. 

Honorable Mention: Georgia senior Amanda Cashman has scored back-to-back 9.925s after not having competed the event since 2021, all the more impressive for having been scored on the road. A pair of home meets coming up could see her scores climb even higher.

Freshmen to Watch: Seniority rules on floor so far, with only three freshmen—UCLA’s Selena Harris, Oklahoma’s Faith Torrez and Ohio State’s Payton Harris—managing to crack the top 25.

Women's gymnastics all-around rankings

  1. Jordan Chiles, UCLA, 39.725 last meet
  2. Leanne Wong, Florida, 39.825
  3. Trinity Thomas, Florida, 39.725
  4. Sunisa Lee, Auburn, 39.525
  5. Abby Heiskell, Michigan, 39.600
  6. Jade Carey, Oregon State, 39.775

Chiles built upon her impressive Week 1 outing by nearly a tenth, helping the Bruins to their highest road score since the 2019 season. Though she currently boasts the nation’s highest all-around average, her new career high on beam proves the Olympian still has room to improve on her already-impressive results 

Florida's dynamic duo of Wong and Thomas made the most of their first all-around performances of 2023; Thomas’ eye-catching 39.725 was overshadowed by Wong’s 39.825, the highest individual four-event score we’ve seen so far. The intra-team battle between these two world-class athletes may end up being more compelling than some of Florida’s team duals this season.

Lee slides a bit this week after being bested in Gainesville by Wong and Thomas despite a tenacious performance. Moving the other way up the rankings is Heiskell, who’s been the leader of a Michigan squad synonymous with stellar all-arounders.

After the worst meet of her collegiate career in which she still scored 9.800-plus on every event, Carey makes her first appearance in the all-around power rankings thanks to bookend 10s and the second-highest total score of the young season. Expect her to be a fixture from here on out.

Honorable Mention: After moving on from UCLA in the offseason, Arkansas fifth-year Norah Flatley is unquestionably the most impactful transfer of the year. Her poise and experience are shining through as she’s steadied numerous shaky lineups for the Razorbacks and snagged a top 10 all-around ranking in the process. 

Freshman to Watch: Seria Johnson made her all-around debut for Minnesota over the weekend, earning a 9.900 in her first floor routine of the year for a respectable 39.350 total. The Golden Gophers had significant lineup turnover from last season, so expect Johnson to get plenty of chances to demonstrate her full potential (and expect the team’s ceiling to rise as Johnson’s does).

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