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Claire Billman and Brandis Heffner | College Gym News | February 7, 2023

Women's gymnastics rankings: The top 6 teams and individuals for Week 5

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

College gymnastics is nothing if not unpredictable, and Week 5 supplied more than its fair share of excitement and controversy as judges awarded a staggering 11 perfect 10s across four conferences. Though some of those routines were arguably more perfect than others, there’s no denying this week was one for the books. 

As we inch closer toward the postseason, 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. As always, 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

(last week's rankings in parentheses)

  1. Oklahoma, 198.225 (1) 
  2. Michigan, 198.300 (4)
  3. Utah, 198.200 (3)
  4. Florida, 197.875 (2)
  5. UCLA, 197.450 (5)
  6. Auburn, 197.700 (6)

It’s fitting that Oklahoma is the first team to notch back-to-back 198s in 2023, as it’s seemed virtually unstoppable since eking out a win at LSU in Week 2. Head coach KJ Kindler has the Sooners looking championship-ready ahead of next week’s Metroplex Challenge, where they’ll face off in neutral territory against Alabama, Arkansas and Stanford. 

Utah and Michigan both turned in their best scores of the season, bolstered by 49.75-plus rotations on beam and vault, respectively. However, the tie break goes to the Wolverines for turning in such a commanding performance on the road. If they continue hitting beam at a mid-49 level, even the Sooners won’t be immune to the pressure. 

The Gators remain undefeated thanks to a strong performance at Arkansas, but again came up shy of that magic 198 after a mediocre floor rotation. On paper, Florida has all the necessary components (and then some) to challenge any team in the nation, but it has yet to prove that it can convert that massive potential into measurable results. 

UCLA’s comparatively modest 197.450 against Utah was overshadowed by the parade of 198s, but make no mistake: This was an impressive performance. A sub-par vault rotation and Chae Campbell’s absence derailed the Bruins’ bid to upset the Utes, but they walked away with a viable road score and season high beam total.

Similarly, the Tigers lost a nailbiter to in-state rival Alabama but broke out of the mid-197s for the first time this season and earned an invaluable road score in the process. Auburn outscored seventh-ranked California by a tenth, and so it hangs onto its spot in the power rankings for now.  

On the move: Alabama was a preseason favorite to make this year’s NCAA championships, but it hasn't ranked inside the top 10 since the opening week. The Crimson Tide finally showcased the potential the preseason voters saw, winning the gymnastics edition of the Iron Bowl with the nation’s fifth-highest score of the season.

Women's gymnastics vault rankings

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

Brooks has been exceptional in 2023 but finally achieved perfection in Week 5, leading the Wolverines to a jaw-dropping 49.750 on the event. Her teammate Wilson makes her 2023 power rankings debut thanks to an outstanding Yurchenko one and a half of her own. 

Bryant’s floaty front handspring pike half is one of the most spectacular pieces of gymnastics being competed on any event, and she dialed in the landing for the third week in a row to claim her fourth consecutive event title. 

Carey continues to dominate the Pac-12 with her second consecutive 9.950 on vault. However, it’s worth noting that Jordan Chiles debuted her own Yurchenko double twist this weekend and earned a 9.975 for her effort. This is shaping up to be an in-conference battle of Olympic proportions. 

Bowers climbs to the No. 4 spot thanks to her catlike ability to find the landing on her Yuchenko one and a half. A tendency toward softness in the knees has kept her from snagging a 10 so far this season, but given the height and distance she generates out of her block, perfection is absolutely within her reach. 

Thomas botched the block on her Yurchenko one and a half, affecting her height and necessitating an obvious hop on her landing. She still managed a 9.900, a testament to the strength of her baseline form and technique. 

Honorable mention: Abby Heiskell’s Yurchenko one and a half has always been a bit of a coin flip, but it came up heads this week as the Michigan fifth-year earned her second career 10.

Freshman to watch: Former five-star recruit Ava Piedrahita anchored Penn State’s vault lineup with a gorgeous, stuck Omelianchik that earned her a career high 9.925.  

Women's gymnastics bars rankings

  1. Leanne Wong, Florida, 10.000
  2. Sunisa Lee, Auburn, 10.000
  3. Jordan Chiles, UCLA, 9.950
  4. Trinity Thomas, Florida, 9.975
  5. Audrey Davis, Oklahoma, 9.975
  6. Lali Dekanoidze, North Carolina, 9.950

Officially, there’s no such thing as an assist in gymnastics, but you wouldn’t know that from watching Florida’s bar lineup. In what’s become a recurring theme, fifth-year Thomas was nearly flawless, setting the stage for sophomore Wong to achieve perfection. 

PERFECT 10 BREAKDOWN: A college gymnastics judge analyzes 3 of January’s perfect 10s

It’s impressive enough that Lee has incorporated so much of her elite difficulty into her college routine, but if you need proof that she’s among the world’s best bar workers, look no further than her routine from this weekend: Even the judges in Tuscaloosa couldn’t find a deduction as she nailed the full-twisting double tuck dismount she recently added back into her set.  

Chiles is one of the few college gymnasts capable of rivaling Lee’s level of difficulty and execution, yet she’s also one of the most consistent with a stellar season low of 9.925.  
 
Davis’ pristine piked Jaeger and immaculate pirouettes have had Sooner fans clamoring for a 10 for the entirety of her career. She came within striking distance yet again in Week 5 with her second 9.975 in as many meets.

During weeks like this, it’s easy to forget that scores in excess of 9.900 are far less common outside the Big Four gymnastics conferences. Like her EAGL cohort Mara Tatarsolej from LIU (who was on bye the week), Dekanoidze routinely outscores the competition from bigger programs with her impeccable execution and composure. 

Honorable mention: California boasts one of the country’s best bar squads, and sophomore Maddie Williams’s 9.975 paved the way for the team’s highest total of the season. It’s hard to make the ubiquitous Maloney to Pak composition stand out, but Williams’s next-level form does just that. 

Freshman to watch: While Kayla DiCello hasn’t exploded for any massive numbers on bars, she’s impressively earned a 9.925 in four of Florida’s five meets. Her other score? Just a 9.900.

Women's gymnastics beam rankings 

  1. Maile O’Keefe, Utah, 10.000
  2. Leanne Wong, Florida, 10.000
  3. Sunisa Lee, Auburn, 10.000
  4. Kara Eaker, Utah, 9.975
  5. Helen Hu, Missouri, 9.950
  6. Jade Carey, Oregon State, 9.950 

Lee and Wong have both battled the occasional bout of nerves this season, but they’re two of the most technically sound gymnasts in the NCAA: They have no built-in deductions to speak of, and minute details like finger extension and unfailingly pointed toes set them apart when they hit. The pair pressed their full advantage this week, each earning back-to-back 10s on bars and beam. 

đź‘€: Auburn's Suni Lee records pair of Perfect 10s

Not to be outdone, O’Keefe notched a 10 of her own to secure a stratospheric 49.775 event total for the Utes. Utah’s beam lineup continues to put on a weekly clinic: O’Keefe’s set was preceded by another exceptional offering from sophomore Eaker, whose rhythm and presentation are nothing short of hypnotic.   

A lead-off fall cascaded into a series of unfortunate errors for the Tigers' beam lineup, but senior Hu remained as unflappable as ever, finessing her way through a minor readjustment or two with total composure.  

Carey isn’t the most natural beamer on the list, but she has developed a sleek, assertive style and a routine construction that plays to her strengths. The combination is clearly working for her, as she’s currently ranked third in the Pac-12 behind O’Keefe and Eaker. 

Honorable mention: An uncharacteristic early season fall has so far kept Alabama senior Luisa Blanco down in the national rankings, but she returned to form against Auburn with the second perfect 10 of her career. 

Freshman to watch: Pittsburgh’s Reyna Garvey snuck into the power rankings in Week 1 after an eye-catching 9.950 on beam to kick off her collegiate career. After a few freshman fumbles, she’s back in that early groove; she’s scored above 9.800 in the Panthers’ last three meets, including an impressive 9.925 against West Virginia.

Women's gymnastics floor rankings 

  1. Mya Hooten, Minnesota, 10.000
  2. Jordan Chiles, UCLA, 9.950
  3. Trinity Thomas, Florida, 9.950 
  4. Derrian Gobourne, Auburn 9.925
  5. Raena Worley, Kentucky, 9.950
  6. Sierra Brooks, Michigan, 9.925

RELATED: Jessica Hutchinson scored a perfect 10 with parts of her mom's 1992 Olympic routine

We called it in last week’s power rankings: Hooten soared through her tumbling and leaps with absolute ease to earn her first perfect 10 of 2023, the fifth of her career.  

Competing in enemy territory seemingly had no effect on Chiles, who extended her streak of 9.95-plus scores to three. The icing on the cake? Her ’90s hip-hop routine has officially gone viral. Chiles’ ascension bumps Thomas down a spot this week, but don’t worry—her double layout is as floaty and flawless as ever.

Gobourne’s routine may not have won over the Alabama home crowd, but it certainly earned the judges’ approval. No surprise given that she hasn’t scored below a 9.900 in nearly a year. 

Massive full-ins from Brooks and Worley round out this week’s rankings. Brooks has been the constant in an always high-scoring Wolverine six while Worley has been the anchor in negating early mistakes for Kentucky.

Honorable mention: LSU’s Aleah Finnegan and Denver’s Jessica Hutchinson earned their membership to the 10.0 club this week: Philippine national team member Finnegan uses a variation of her own elite routine while Hutchinson’s choreography is an ode to her mother’s—legendary Bulgarian gymnast Silvia Mitova—1992 Olympic floor set.

Freshman to watch: Lauren Williams has been steadily improving for Arkansas week by week, starting her season with a 9.875 and tying Thomas’ 9.950 in her most recent effort. Her opening full-in would be welcomed in any floor lineup in the country.

Women's gymnastics all-around rankings

  1. Sunisa Lee, Auburn, 39.825 
  2. Leanne Wong, Florida, 39.7750
  3. Jordan Chiles, 39.7750
  4. Trinity Thomas, Florida, 39.700
  5. Sierra Brooks, Michigan 39.7250
  6. Jade Carey, Oregon State, 39.675 season average  

Even amidst a disappointing loss for Auburn, Lee stole the show with a pair of 10s to bookend her competition and match the NCAA-high all-around total set by Wong and Carey. Speaking of Wong, the Florida sophomore also opened and closed her meet with perfect scores but couldn’t keep pace with Lee on the leg events. 

Chiles turned in one of the best performances of her career—including a career-high 9.975 on vault—despite feeling under the weather. Though the Bruins ultimately lost the meet to host Utah, Chiles won four of the five individual event titles. 

After resting in Week 4, Thomas returned to the all-around by upping her season average, though her efforts were somewhat overshadowed by the sophomore stars. Brooks fell out of the all-around rankings after the preseason but reenters the conversation after her second-straight 39.7-plus score.

Carey rested on floor against Pac-12 rival Washington but averaged 9.960 on the other three events. Given that she’s the reigning Olympic champion and is currently tied for third nationally on floor, we didn’t hesitate to keep her in this week’s all-around rankings.

Honorable mention: Like her teammate Brooks, Michigan fifth-year Abby Heiskell parlayed a perfect score on vault to a career high 39.800, the second-highest score of anyone in 2023. Not a bad way to recover after beam falls in Weeks 3 and 4. 

Freshman to watch: By far, Selena Harris has been the year’s standout freshman, producing one impact performance after another for UCLA. Her rookie numbers are reminiscent of what we saw from Carey in her first college season, foreshadowing many good things to come.

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