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Claire Billman and Brandis Heffner | College Gym News | January 31, 2023

Oklahoma posts season's best score, remains atop Week 4's women's gymnastics power rankings

What to know for the start of the 2023 women's college gymnastics season

After a bit of a lull last week, the dramatic, high-scoring gymnastics that rang in the season were back in Week 4 as multiple top 10 teams set new season-high scores. The top six teams held firm this week, but there was some last-minute shuffling in the individual event power rankings to close out the first month of the 2023 season. 

Although there are still a couple of weeks before NQS fully kicks in, the season is well and truly underway, and clear frontrunners are starting to emerge on every event. That said, scores are only one part of the equation, so we’re taking other variables—like skill difficulty and competitive stakes—into consideration when honing our picks.

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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

Women's gymnastics team rankings

  1. Oklahoma, 198.425
  2. Florida, 197.900
  3. Utah, 197.975 
  4. Michigan, 197.975 
  5. UCLA, 197.275
  6. Auburn, 197.175 

Oklahoma remains in a class of its own, posting a new nation-leading total that’s a full three tenths better than the mark set by Michigan in Week 2. With ringer Olivia Trautman making her much-anticipated season debut, the Sooners showed a glimpse of what they can do at full strength. It’ll be hard for any other team to match the barrage of 9.900s they can produce on all four events. 

Florida, Michigan and Utah all came within a tenth of that magic 198 this week on their respective home turfs, but so far the Utes are the only one of the three to crack 197.500 on the road. Expect these three teams to continue jockeying for second, third and fourth place in the coming weeks. 

Despite counting a fall on beam, the Bruin renaissance continues. UCLA’s home opener against Oregon State controversially ended in a tie after multiple score revisions, but its total was still enough to leapfrog Auburn to take the No. 5 spot. Meanwhile, the Tigers continued their slow burn in Week 4 but need to start cleaning up the details sooner rather than later if they hope to challenge any of the top four teams. 

On the Move: Kentucky notched a program record 197.825 against No. 13 Alabama, nearly a tenth higher than its previous best. The Wildcats are a perennial NCAA championship bubble team but certainly proved that they have the depth and scoring potential to challenge for a spot in the top eight when they hit.

Women's gymnastics vault rankings

  1. Sierra Brooks, Michigan, 9.950
  2. Jade Carey, Oregon State, 9.900, 9.950*
  3. Trinity Thomas, Florida, 10.000
  4. Haleigh Bryant, LSU, 9.950
  5. Katherine Levasseur, Oklahoma, 9.975
  6. Jordan Bowers, Oklahoma, 9.900

*Competed twice this weekend.

Though Brooks has yet to exceed 9.950 this season, she remains the most consistent and technically sound vaulter on the list. In fact, her only non-9.950 score of the season is a still solid 9.900. So far, Carey is the only vaulter to regularly challenge her score wise. 

👀: Watch Florida's Trinity Thomas, Alabama's Makarri Doggette reach perfection (again)

Thomas slid out of the vault rankings last week after plateauing at a 9.925 but started her night against Georgia with a definitively stuck Yurchenko one and a half to score her 23rd career perfect 10 (the fourth-most in NCAA history). Elsewhere in the SEC, a small hop on the landing prevented Bryant from hitting perfection for the second weekend in a row.

With a 9.975, LeVasseur formally overtakes teammate Bowers and makes her season debut in the vault rankings. Typically a three-event specialist, Levasseur has been limited to vault only up until this week due to a back injury, but has established herself as the Sooners’ most consistent during that span.

Honorable mention: Michigan’s Naomi Morrison notched the fifth 9.975 on vault of her career with an explosive Yurchenko one and a half against Ohio State. If she can keep sticking, it’s only a matter of time before the junior earns her first perfect score.

Freshman to watch: Utah’s vault lineup has made significant improvements this season, thanks in no small part to Makenna Smith’s Omelianchik. Her knack for secure landings has resulted in a trio of 9.900 or better scores, making her one of the Red Rocks’ leading vaulters. 

Women's gymnastics bars rankings

  1. Leanne Wong, Florida, 9.975
  2. Trinity Thomas, Florida 9.975
  3. Jordan Chiles, UCLA, 9.975
  4. Andi Li, California, 9.950
  5. Sunisa Lee, Auburn, 9.950
  6. Mara Titarsolej, LIU, 9.950

There may be no stronger duo anchoring bars than Thomas and Wong, who have Florida ranked first in the country on the event in both average and high score. The pair brought in identical 9.975s this week to punctuate yet another hit rotation. 

Chiles just keeps getting better and better, posting her second 9.975 of the season. Come for the difficulty, but stay for the deliberate handstands, which wouldn’t be out of place in the Gators’ lineup. 

Li’s precise pirouettes and stuck dismounts continue to land her in the top five, as she’s yet to score lower than a 9.925 this season. California is a longstanding powerhouse on bars, and Li’s textbook execution is critical to maintaining that standard. 

Auburn dropped off a bit from its 49.550 season high posted last week, but Lee still turned in a flashy set with only a minor adjustment on her dismount separating her from her first bars 10 of the season. 

Titarsolej’s pirouettes are some of the crispest in the NCAA, and it’s truly a testament to her skill that she’s going score-for-score with some of the sport’s biggest names while competing for a mid-tier program. 

Honorable mention: Alabama’s first 10 of the year came from Makarri Doggette, who was questionable heading into the weekend after sitting out Week 3. Doggette’s return heralded an impressive 49.625 event total for the Crimson Tide, nearly a point higher than last week’s score. 

Freshman to watch: Don’t sleep on Towson, folks! Isabella Minervini scored her second 9.900 to lead the team to a 49.350, its second-highest bars total in program history. 

RELATED: A closer look at Fisk gymnastics and what makes it different

Women's gymnastics beam rankings 

  1. Maile O’Keefe, Utah, 9.975 
  2. Jade Carey, 9.975/9.925*
  3. Natalie Wojcik, Michigan, 9.975
  4. Mia Takekawa, Illinois, 9.925 
  5. Kara Eaker, 9.900
  6. Helen Hu, 9.875

*Competed twice this weekend.

Despite scoring just a 9.900 this week, sophomore Eaker’s capacity for perfection makes her the ideal gymnast to set up anchor O’Keefe. The Utah senior may be the most consistently excellent gymnast on any event right now: She’s earned back-to-back 9.975s on beam to follow up her season-opening pair of 9.950s. Even with her difficult side aerial to layout stepout flight series, the judges are struggling to find deductions. 

If you disregard Carey’s opening meet score of 9.800, her season average jumps to 9.944, second only to O’Keefe’s. She’s looking more poised and polished than ever, as evidenced by her two beam titles from Week 4. 

After only scoring a 9.800 in Week 3, Wojcik bounced back in a big way with her second near-perfect score of the season. Always an essential part of the Wolverines’ lineup, the super senior has an incredible beam resume that includes a career-high of 10 and just one fall — her first beam routine of the 2020 season.

Takekawa continues coming in clutch, hitting a crucial routine for the Illini to avoid counting a fall on beam for the second week in a row. Gorgeous acro and dance skills aside, that persistent ability to hit in pressure situations is what makes her so good. 

Though Hu had a deep landing that necessitated a step on her dismount, her score also arguably suffered from the tighter non-Power Five judging at Lindenwood. This was her first significant beam error of the season, so we’re considering it a fluke for now. 

Honorable mentions: Kentucky’s three-event specialist Isabella Magnelli is having a breakout season, and her 9.975 was an integral part of the Wildcats’ historic win over Alabama. Oklahoma’s Ragan Smith followed a pair of 9.950s from teammates Katherine Levasseur and Olivia Trautman — both making their season debuts on beam — with her first perfect 10 of the year, giving the Sooners a monster 49.725 total, the third highest in program history. 

Freshman to watch: Beam has not been kind to Minnesota, but specialist Brooklyn Rowray’s combination of grace and power has been a rare bright spot. She finally broke the 9.900 barrier this week and led the Gophers to their first 49-plus total of the season. 

Women's gymnastics floor rankings

  1. Derrian Gobourne, Auburn, 9.975
  2. Jade Carey, Oregon State, 9.975
  3. Chae Campbell, UCLA, 9.950 
  4. Trinity Thomas, Florida, 9.925
  5. Mya Hooten, Minnesota, 9.975
  6. Sierra Brooks, Michigan, 9.925

Gobourne is yet to earn a perfect score in 2023, but she inched closer in Week 4 with a 10 from one judge. Last week she shared the spotlight with her brother Derric — who helped choreograph her routine — after he went viral for his Tiger drip and smooth moves of his own.

Carey and Campbell went head-to-head for the first time this season (but presumably not the last). Carey was undeniably cleaner with near-flawless landings on both of her difficult tumbling runs, but Campbell remains the queen of artistry. 

Thomas was initially slated to rest on floor this week but petitioned her way into the lineup after exceptional performances on vault and bars. She had a rare fumble during her leap series but still managed a share of the event title along with teammate Victoria Nguyen. 

After a slow start by her standards, Hooten has officially hit her stride. Her opening tucked full-in has improved each meet (as have her scores), and this week she absolutely nailed it. We’re calling it now: Hooten’s first perfect 10 of the season is imminent. 

Brooks is tied with teammate Naomi Morrison in the national rankings but gets the edge here thanks to her exquisite leaps. You’d be hard pressed to find a better tour jeté half in collegiate competition. 

Honorable mention: In the penultimate spot in the floor lineup, Jordan Chiles snagged her second 9.975 of the evening. In a routine jam-packed with impressive difficulty, her perfectly stuck double layout was the highlight. 

Freshman to watch: After a week off, California’s eMjae Frazier returned to lineups on three events, including on floor with her dazzling routine with statement double layout. Just a handful of meets into her rookie season the Golden Bear already has a career-high of 9.950 on every event but bars.

Women's gymnastics all-around rankings

  1. Jade Carey, Oregon State, 39.775
  2. Trinity Thomas, Florida, 39.688 season average
  3. Sunisa Lee, Auburn, 39.675 season average 
  4. Selena Harris, UCLA, 39.650
  5. Leanne Wong, Florida, 39.650
  6. Jordan Bowers, Oklahoma, 39.700

Carey moves into the top spot after snagging her third consecutive score of 39.775 or better Sunday night at UCLA. That number is all the more impressive coming from Carey’s second meet of the weekend and under less-than-favorable circumstances (see the aforementioned scoring debacle that concluded the meet). 

Lee and Thomas only competed three events each this week but were both on pace for their usual 39.6-plus scores. In addition to surpassing the legendary Maggie Nichols and Kyla Ross on the list of all-time career 10s, Thomas became the first gymnast in NCAA history to earn four Gym Slams — a set of 10s on each event. 

The most dominant freshman this year has easily been former five-star recruit Harris. She’s not just the best of her class, she’s currently one of the best period. Harris competes with the confidence and composure of an upperclassman and threatens for an event title every time she salutes. 

Sophomores Wong and Bowers rise up the rankings this week after confident performances on all four events. Both gymnasts seem to have outgrown the inconsistency that plagued their respective freshman campaigns; these days, they’re challenging for 10s more often than not. 

Honorable mentions: Featuring 9.950s on beam and floor, Raena Worley earned a season-high 39.675 to lead Kentucky to its highest score in program history. And, with the energy of a home crowd behind her for the first time this season, Chiles rebounded from an off Week 3 with a resounding 39.700.

Freshmen to watch: Nikki Smith continues to shine for Michigan State, contributing a solid 39.350 in a half-point win over Big Ten rival Maryland. Across the conference at Ohio State, Payton Harris hasn’t scored anything lower than a 9.800 since Week 2.

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