MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – After earning the 10th-best score in program history, the West Virginia University gymnastics team is up nine spots to No. 16 in today’s GymInfo Poll.
The Mountaineers (8-6, 1-1 Big 12) make their leap in the poll following a third straight 196.0+ showing at the WVU Coliseum, as they finished second at yesterday’s “Wendy M. Roach Invitational” Pink Meet with a season-best 196.55 mark.
WVU boasts a regional qualifying score (RQS) of 195.65. This week’s poll is the first of the season determined by RQS. An RQS is calculated by taking a squad or gymnast’s six highest scores, three of which must be from a road meet, dropping the top score and averaging the remaining five marks.
The Mountaineers also rank nationally on three events. The team’s biggest jump comes on balance beam, as WVU is up seven spots to No. 21 (48.78). The squad is also up to No. 16 on vault (49.08) and floor (49.0). The team checks in at No. 30 (48.685) on the uneven bars; WVU ranked No. 37 last week.
Four Mountaineers own five combined national rankings. Freshman Jaida Lawrence is the team’s top-ranked gymnast, as she is up 14 spots to No. 22 (9.88) on vault. Senior Alaska Richardson ranks No. 34 (9.855) on floor, while junior Hope Sloanhoffer ranks No. 31 (38.97) in the all-around. Senior Kaylyn Millick joins the duo on both polls, as she ranks No. 33 (38.96) in the all-around and No. 48 (9.84) on floor.
There’s a new team at No. 1 this week, as Oklahoma used a program-best 198.375 score to hop over Florida for the top spot (197.41). The Gators dropped back to No. 2 (197.28), while Michigan and Alabama are steady at No. 3 (196.975) and No. 4 (196.81), respectively. LSU now ranks No. 5 (196.77).
The Mountaineers rank No. 3 in the southeast region behind Florida and Georgia (196.595), who ranks No. 7 nationally. WVU makes its biggest jump regionally on beam, as the team is up three spots to No. 3. The squad also ranks No. 3 on floor and No. 4 on vault and bars.
Sloanhoffer owns the team’s top regional ranking and checks in at No. 3 in the all-around. Millick follows at No. 4.
Five gymnasts are regionally ranked on vault, led by Lawrence at No. 8. Richardson ranks No. 11 (9.84), while Millick and Sloanhoffer are tied at No. 16 (9.805). Additionally, sophomore leadoff Dayah Haley ranks No. 24 (9.75).
WVU is represented by four gymnast in the floor and bars polls. Richardson and Millick rank No. 4 and No. 6, respectively, on floor, with freshman Melissa Idell following at No. 21 (9.755), and Sloanhoffer sitting at No. 24 (9.75). Millick paces the bars unit at No. 15 (9.79). Sloanhoffer ranks No. 16 (9.77), junior Erica Smith ranks No. 21 (9.715) and Lawrence checks in at No. 25 (9.7).
Millick also paces the beam unit and ranks No. 7. Sophomore Lia Salzano ranks No. 15 (9.73), and junior Amanda Carpenter ranks No. 18 (9.725).
For the second straight week, WVU sits behind OU in the Big 12 overall rankings and in each event’s polls.
Lawrence is tied for No. 1 in the Big 12 on vault. Richardson follows in the vault poll at No. 7, and Sloanhoffer and Millick rank No. 8.
Millick paces the bars and beam lineups at No. 7 and No. 8, respectively. Sloanhoffer ranks No. 8 on bars, while Salzano and Carpenter follow in the beam poll at No. 9 and No. 10, respectively.
Richardson ranks No. 5 on floor, while Sloanhoffer ranks No. 5 in the all-around. Millick follows at No. 6 in the all-around and No. 7 on floor.
The Mountaineers stay at the Coliseum next weekend and play host to No. 13 Denver, George Washington and Temple on Sunday, March 3, at 2 p.m.