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Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Week 5 Recap – Gymnastics Now

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Week 5 of Big Ten women’s gymnastics saw the Spartans topple the Wolverines in Ann Arbor for the first time in more than 30 years. While the win was impressive, the score was even better: a 198.050. En route to this year’s first Big Ten 198, Michigan State notched program records and added another perfect 10 to its trophy case.

Michigan also achieved perfection this week with Gabby Wilson, proving their potential with an impressive 197.625. While the Spartans and Wolverines gave fans a show this weekend, Minnesota and Penn State had a party of their own. Both programs earned their first 197+ scores of the season, with Minnesota posting a sizable 197.525.

After a sub-197 performance from Ohio State and surging scores from their competitors, don’t be surprised about the movement in Week 6’s rankings.

Read more about Week 5’s results below.

#13 Michigan State @ #13 Michigan

Final score: Michigan State: 198.050 – Michigan: 197.625

Michigan State

The Spartans earned their highest road score in program history to defeat a hungry Michigan squad.

The Spartans posted a 49.375 on bars to open the meet, a solid score after a fall in the second spot. Sage Kellerman notched a season-high 9.9 for her clean work, and Delanie Harkness was once again incredible, nailing her sky-high Gienger and stuck full-in for a 9.925.

Highlight: Sage Kellerman on vault (10.0).

Michigan State’s vault squad brought power and precision, tying the program record with a 49.575. MaKayla Tucker started the fire, taking the smallest step forward on her Yurchenko 1.5 for a career-best 9.925. Nikki Smith then stuck her 1.5 cold for a 9.95 (her best score this season), but the best was still to come. Minutes later, Kellerman stuck her front handspring pike half for her second perfect 10 in 2024.

The squad kept rolling with a 49.5 on floor. Elle Beaufait hit the ground running with an absurdly clean front double full for a career-high 9.9. Tucker followed up with a 9.9 of her own. Skyla Schulte capped the rotation with a a kiss to the enemy crowd and a season-high 9.95.

The beam team scored a 49.600 to seal the win and notch a program-record event total in the process. All five counting scores marked season or career highs. In the leadoff spot, Giana Kalefe nailed her triple series for a massive 9.925. Schulte tied a career high (9.95), sticking her switch leap to gainer full dismount for the beam title. Needing to simply hit to win, Baleigh Garcia commanded the beam, tallying a 9.925 with ice water in her veins.

Michigan State returns to East Lansing next week, hosting the Fighting Illini on Friday to the excitement of their fans. The Spartans hope to carry this momentum to a win over Illinois.

Upcoming matchup: Friday, February 9 @ 7 p.m. ET | Illinois @ Michigan State | Live Stats | Video (Big+)

Michigan

Despite posting their strongest score in weeks, Michigan fell to Michigan State in front of a packed Crisler Center. Sierra Brooks paced the Wolverines again, earning the all-around crown (39.575).

The team opened their meet with a 49.325 on vault after counting four 9.875s for Yurchenko 1.5s. Reyna Guggino remained consistent in the leadoff, taking a small hop forward for her tidy 1.5. While the middle of the lineup struggled with landing errors, Sierra Brooks took just a small scoot forward for Michigan’s cleanest effort.

Highlight: Gabby Wilson on floor (10.0).

On bars, Jacey Vore started strong, sticking her double layout for a season-high 9.875. Gabby Wilson and Haylen Zabrowski followed suit with season highs (9.9 and 9.825). After a hard fall from Naomi Morrison on her Gienger, Brooks saved the rotation, sticking one of the NCAA’s hardest dismounts (full-twisting double layout) for an event-best 9.95.

The Wolverines’ beam effort started with a surprising fall from Jenna Mulligan on her straddle half and shaky routines from Guggino and Wilson. However, Vore had plans of her own, earning a career-high 9.925 for her rock-solid routine. Carly Bauman also notched a career high (9.95) for her lovely piked side somi to tie for the event title. The team managed a 49.150 event total.

Though they trailed by nearly six-tenths, Michigan its program best on floor (49.750) to close the meet competitively. Mulligan recovered from her beam fall to nail her front through to double tuck for a career-high 9.925. Morrison and Brooks added spectacular 9.95s to follow, only for Wilson to shake the Crisler Center with her third-career perfect 10 on floor.

The Wolverines take on Minnesota next week in Minneapolis. Bev Plocki’s squad will hope to hit the 197+ range again to fight for a win over the Golden Gophers.

Upcoming matchup: Saturday, February 10 @ 5 p.m. ET | Michigan @ Minnesota | Video (Big+)

#12 Ohio State @ #25 Maryland

Final score: Ohio State: 196.625 – Maryland: 195.800

Ohio State

Ohio State defeated Maryland on the road but posted its lowest score of the season after a disappointing balance beam effort.

The Buckeyes started off strong, posting a season-high 49.250 on bars. Sidney Washington earned a 9.9 for her stuck double tuck dismount and clean Maloney to Pak and won the event title. Alexis Hankins notched an impressive 9.85 in her season debut on bars.

Kaitlyn Grimes led the Buckeyes off on vault with a career-high 9.9 for her stuck Yurchenko full to win the event title. Shortly after, Mallory Gregory missed the block on her Yurchenko 1.5, resulting in a fall that was ultimately dropped. The Buckeyes responded well, notching a 49.200 after a hit from Tory Vetter.

Highlight: Ella Hodges on floor (9.95).

On floor, the Buckeyes honed in on their landings to post a massive 49.550. Both Vetter and Ella Hodges tied career highs, earning a 9.925 and 9.95, respectively. Hodges was predictably spectacular, showing exquisite extension in her dance to win her fourth floor title this year.

The Buckeyes struggled on beam, posting their lowest total of the day (48.625). Courtney McCann fell on her roundoff to two-footed layout series for the third week in a row. After multiple misses on the skill, Ohio State will need to decide whether changes to McCann’s acrobatic series or lineup are necessary. Despite her teammates’ struggles, Payton Harris nailed her front aerial to back tuck combination to win the event (9.9).

Next up, the Buckeyes host the Penn State Nittany Lions in Columbus on Friday, February 9. Ohio State will need to show more consistency on beam to pull out the win over a strengthening Nittany Lions squad.

Upcoming matchup: Friday, February 9 @ 6:30 p.m. ET | Penn State @ Ohio State | Live Stats | Video (Big+)

Maryland

The Terrapins lost to Ohio State after beam troubles made their deficit insurmountable.

Maryland showcased improved landings for a 49.100 on vault. Natalie Martin earned a 9.875 for her nearly-stuck Yurchenko 1.5 with exceptional form throughout. Rhea LeBlanc was impressive, earning a 9.825 in her season debut on vault.

Highlight: Natalie Martin on vault (9.875).

On bars, Victoria Gatzendorfer and Alexa Rothenbuescher tied for the team’s best score (9.825). Lindsay Bacheler was also a highlight, hitting her first collegiate routine after years of injury for a solid 9.7.

Unfortunately, the Terps started their beam effort with consecutive falls from Emma Silberman and Olivia Weir. Martin righted the ship, sticking her dismount for a 9.875. Madeline Komorski and Josephine Kogler closed the rotation with consecutive 9.85s.

The Terrapins finished the meet on floor with their highest event total of the meet (49.275). Rothenbuescher was fabulous once again, earning a 9.925. Martin continued her stellar day, posting a career-high 9.9 for her full-in and double tuck.

Next up, the Maryland Terrapins host the Nebraska Cornhuskers in College Park. In what’s likely to be an evenly-matched competition, the Terps will need to return to the 196-range to vie for the win.

Upcoming matchup: Saturday, February 10 @ 6 p.m. ET | Nebraska @ Maryland | Video (Big+)

#16 Minnesota @ Penn State

Final score: Minnesota: 197.525 – Penn State: 197.025

Minnesota

Minnesota obliterated its season high, earning a 197.525 to defeat Penn State in a competitive dual meet matchup. Gianna Gerdes claimed the all-around title over three Nittany Lions, posting a 39.525. The Gophers started the meet with a season-high 49.325 on bars despite counting a 9.675. Jordyn Lyden tied the program record with a 9.975 for her Maloney to bail and her stuck double layout, winning the event title. Ella Sirjord and Marissa Jencks added to the total with a pair of season-high 9.9s. Unfortunately, the rotation concluded with a hard fall from Mya Hooten on her piked Jaeger.

Highlight: Katie Horak on beam (9.95).

Minnesota earned a 49.150 in rotation two, finding no stuck landings despite hitting their vaults. Hooten won the title with a 9.9 for her clean Yurchenko 1.5, followed by Gerdes’ 1.5 with a sizable step.

The Gophers were exceptional on floor, with four athletes earning career or season highs to go 49.475. Gerdes notched a 9.925 for her best floor of the season, complete with stunning performance quality and a stuck double pike. Lauren Pearl, Emily Koch, and Jencks all earned 9.9s.

The Gophers went lights out with a season-high 49.575 on beam. Katie Horak and Sirjord closed the meet with back-to-back career highs (9.95s), tying for the beam title. After Sirjord’s routine, the Minnesota fan contingent was energized, breaking into a “let’s go Gophers” chant in College Park.

Next up, Minnesota heads home to the Twin Cities to host a resurgent Michigan Wolverines squad in one of their biggest tests of the season.

Upcoming matchup: Saturday, February 10 @ 5 p.m ET | Michigan @ Minnesota | Video (Big+)

Penn State

Despite the loss, the Nittany Lions notched a season-best 197.025 in front of an energetic home crowd, marking their ninth 197+ in program history.

The team started strong with a 49.15 on vault, led by Ava Piedrahita. Piedrahita stuck her Omelianchik with exceptional form, earning “10” chants from her teammates and a 9.9 from the judges to tie for the event title. Kalea McElligott added a 9.85 for her nearly-stuck Yurchenko full.

Highlight: Bella Salcedo on floor (9.95).

Penn State notched their highest bars total in 2024 (49.275). Cassidy Rushlow redeemed last week’s fall for a season-high 9.925. Rushlow’s routine featured a stunning piked Jaeger to overshoot with toes pointed throughout. Gabbie Gallentine added a 9.9 to solidify an excellent rotation.

McElligott led the way for the Lions on beam, earning a career-high 9.9 for her triple series and stuck 1.5 dismount. Piedrahita was also huge in the leadoff spot, earning a 9.85. After a fall from Amani Herring, Bella Salcedo executed a rebound routine for a 9.875.

The Lions earned a season-best 49.4 on floor to close the meet. Alyssa Kramer notched a 9.875 only to be eclipsed by event-winning 9.95s from Herring and Salcedo. Salcedo’s routine sealed the 197+ score for Sarah Brown’s squad.

Next week, the Nittany Lions head to Columbus to face formidable Big Ten foe Ohio State.

Upcoming matchup: Friday, February 9 @ 6:30 p.m ET | Penn State @ Ohio State | Live Stats | Video (Big+)

Rutgers @ #24 Illinois

Final score: Illinois: 195.650 – Rutgers: 194.925

Illinois

While their day was far from perfect, Illinois defeated Rutgers to collect their first Big Ten win.

The Illini posted a 48.875 to start their day on vault. Olivia Coppola earned a solid 9.8 for her clean Yurchenko full. Arielle Ward was fabulous on her Yurchenko 1.5, getting a great block with a small hop forward for a controversial 9.825.

Highlight: Mia Takekawa on bars (9.90).

Bars was ultimately their strongest event of the night (49.2), with much of the team finding stuck landings. Mia Takekawa put this year’s bars struggles behind her, earning a season-best 9.9 for the event title. Destiny Denning and Amelia Knight added 9.875s.

Nadalie Walsh’s squad struggled with consistency on beam, recording falls from Knight and Coppola. Nonetheless, Kaitlyn Ewald was a standout, nailing her one-arm back handspring and kick Rudi dismount for a 9.85. Takekawa was beautiful and consistent, earning a team-best 9.875.

Illinois closed its meet with a 49.125 on floor. Ward tallied a 9.85 for some of her best landings this year. In her return to the floor after a knee injury, Mia Townes shined, nailing her two twisting passes with energy for an event-winning 9.9.

Walsh said that she’s “excited for the team to get more aggressive” as they progress through the season. Next up, the the Illini head to East Lansing to face Big Ten powerhouse Michigan State.

Upcoming matchup: Friday, February 9 @ 7 p.m. ET | Illinois @ Michigan State | Live Stats | Video (Big+)

Rutgers

Rutgers dropped to 0-3 in the conference after falling to Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

The Scarlet Knights began their meet with two falls on bars from Matis Rains and Myra Daniels. Elia Aird and Jackie Manifold led the team with a pair of 9.775s. Aird was a highlight, sticking her hollow-body double layout to the roar of her teammates.

Highlight: Emily Leese on vault (9.875).

Vault was Rutgers’ strongest event (49.025). Aird produced the day’s cleanest Yurchenko full for a strong 9.85. Once again, Emily Leese was exceptional on the event. Although her block was slightly flat, Leese stuck her Yurchenko 1.5 for a 9.875 and the vault title.

On floor, Gabrielle Dildy claimed a 9.8 for her interactive dance and powerful tumbling. Emily Wood added a 9.825, her third 9.8+ floor score this year.

The Knights completed their day with a solid 48.825 beam rotation. Despite a fall from Aird, Rutgers outscored Illinois on the event. Rachael Riley continued to improve, notching a career-best 9.90 to win the beam title. Stephanie Zannella and Manifold added solid 9.8s to bolster the team score.

Rutgers remains in New Jersey in Week 6, hosting an injured Iowa in potentially their most ‘winnable’ Big Ten matchup yet.

Upcoming matchup: Friday, February 9 @ 7 p.m. ET | Iowa @ Rutgers | Live Stats | Video (Big+)

Nebraska @ Iowa

Final score: Nebraska: 196.500 – Iowa: 195.725

Nebraska

Highlight: Sophia McClelland on beam (9.90)

Nebraska defeated Iowa to earn “corn supremacy,” notching their second Big Ten win in 2024.

The Huskers started off on bars, posting a 49.075. Emma Spence earned a meet-winning 9.9 for her routine, featuring a Maloney to Pak to immediate toe handstand. Whitney Jencks added a 9.825, her third 9.8+ bars score of 2024.

Vault saw imperfect landings from much of the lineup despite a career-high 9.875 for Csenge Bácskay’s Yurchenko 1.5. Bácskay claimed the vault title – her first vault win in 2024.

Bácskay continued her excellent ways on floor, earning her fourth 9.9+ of the season. Sophia McClelland and Halle Rourke were also strong, posting a pair of 9.875s to contribute to Nebraska’s 49.3 rotation.

The Huskers finished solidly on beam, posting a 49.125 to fend off the Hawkeyes despite a fall from Bácskay. Both Allie Gard (9.85) and Emma Simpton (9.825) notched season highs in their efforts, with Sophia McClelland predictably rounding out the rotation with a near-perfect 9.90 and the beam title.

Up next, the Huskers travel to Maryland for a tough test against a capable Terrapins squad.

Upcoming matchup: Saturday, February 10 @ 6 p.m. ET | Nebraska @ Maryland | Video (Big+)

Iowa

Iowa ultimately fell to Nebraska despite an impressive floor effort and continued tenacity from the Hawkeyes’ lineups.

The Hawkeyes struggled to stick landings on vault, tallying a 48.95 to start the meet. Alyse Karenbauer earned a 9.8 with a powerful Yurchenko full. Karina Muñoz also landed her full cleanly, notching a team-best 9.85.

Highlight: Emily Erb on floor (9.95).

On bars, the Hawkeyes weathered two major errors in the first two routines. However, Eva Volpe produced once again, sticking her double layout for a 9.825. Muñoz was particularly gorgeous on bars, nailing her clear hip handstand straight to double tuck for a 9.85.

Iowa posted a 48.925 on beam, highlighted by a 9.85 from Alexa Ebeling. Ebeling’s routine was clean and confident, good for second on the event. Marissa Rojas earned a 9.8, redeeming herself after a rough outing on bars.

Floor was easily the Hawkeyes’ best event of the day (49.350). Volpe earned a 9.85 for her effort, and Bailey Libby and Emily Erb lit up Xtreme Arena with back-to-back career highs, going 9.9 and 9.95, respectively, with Erb winning the event. Despite the loss, coach Larissa Libby shared her pride in her team, stating that her athletes continue to hit routines while filling “shoes that they never in their lifetime dreamed that they were going to have to [fill].”

In Week 6, the Hawkeyes will face Rutgers in Piscataway. In a potentially evenly-matched competition, Iowa will need to continue to fill those shoes to leave New Jersey with a win.

Upcoming matchup: Friday, February 9 @ 7 p.m. ET | Iowa @ Rutgers | Live Stats | Video (Big+)



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