MORGANTOWN, West Virginia – The West Virginia University gymnastics team’s balance beam and floor exercise rosters debuted in the top 25 of the Road to Nationals rankings, as announced Monday.
WVU (2-1) is tied with Big 12 foes Oklahoma for No. 4 on floor exercise, while the team is tied with Kentucky for No. 18 on balance beam . The Mountaineers’ rankings are based on their scores in the team’s season-opening quadruple meeting at Towson with West Chester and William & Mary on January 14. and win the event title.
The Mountaineers’ No. 4 ranking on floor exercise is the team’s highest since at least 1998 in the Road to Nationals rankings. The last time WVU appeared in the organization’s top five was on March 19, 2001, when the team was ranked No. 5 nationally on floor.
Additionally, WVU’s appearance at No. 18 in this week’s beam rankings is the team’s highest since ranking No. 19 on Jan. 25, 2021.
“It’s a huge accomplishment for our team after just the first week of competition,” said the WVU coach. Jason butts said. “I’m very proud of our floor roster. Our girls worked extremely hard in the gym, as did (associate head coach) Travis (Doak) and (assistant coach) Zaakira (Muhammed) to bring our performances where they are now.”
Michigan ranks No. 1 for the second straight week with a season average of 197.850. Utah (average of 197,438) is No. 2 and Florida (average of 197,338) follows at No. 3. Oklahoma (average of 197,025) ranks No. 4, while LSU (average of 196,950) rounds out the top five.
In the conference, West Virginia and Oklahoma are tied for first in the Big 12 on floor, while WVU is third in the league on beam.
A trio of climbers crack the top 50 in floor exercise in this week’s Road to Nationals rankings, as juniors Abbie Pierson and second Kiana Lewis are tied for No. 19 and freshman Anna Leigh is ranked No. 34. Pierson and Lewis also sit at No. 3 in the Big 12 conference event, while Leigh is No. 8. Additionally, senior Rachel Hornung comes in 41st place in the all-around after winning the all-around title at Towson with a final total of 39.100. Hornung also comes in at No. 6 in the all-around conference.
West Virginia is set to open its home and conference seasons when it hosts defending Big 12 champion Denver in Morgantown on Friday, January 21. The action inside the WVU Coliseum is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.