MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University gymnastics team’s balance beam and floor exercise lineups debuted in the top 25 of the Road to Nationals Rankings, as announced on Monday.
WVU (2-1) is tied with Big 12 foe Oklahoma for No. 4 on floor exercise, while the squad is tied with Kentucky for No. 18 on beam. The Mountaineers’ rankings are based on their scores earned in the team’s season-opening quad meet at Towson with West Chester and William & Mary on Jan. 14. West Virginia tallied a 48.875 total on beam, before going on to score a 49.325 on floor and win the event title outright.
The Mountaineers’ No. 4 ranking on floor exercise marks the team’s highest since at least 1998 in the Road to Nationals Rankings. The last time WVU appeared inside the organization’s top five was on March 19, 2001, when the squad was ranked No. 5 nationally on floor.
Additionally, WVU’s appearance at No. 18 in this week’s beam rankings is the squad’s highest since ranking No. 19 on Jan. 25, 2021.
“This is a huge accomplishment for our team after just the first week of competition,” WVU coach Jason Butts said. “I’m very proud of our floor lineup. Our girls have worked extremely hard in the gym, as have (associate head coach) Travis (Doak) and (assistant coach) Zaakira (Muhammed) to get our performances to where they are right now.”
Michigan ranks No. 1 for the second straight week with a 197.850 season average. Utah (197.438 avg.) is No. 2, and Florida (197.338 avg.) follows at No. 3. Oklahoma (197.025 avg.) ranks No. 4, while LSU (196.950 avg.) rounds out the top five.
In the conference, West Virginia and Oklahoma are tied for the top spot in the Big 12 on floor, while WVU sits at No. 3 in the league on beam.
A trio of Mountaineers rank inside the top 50 on floor exercise in this week’s Road to Nationals Rankings, as junior Abbie Pierson and sophomore Kiana Lewis are tied for No. 19 and freshman Anna Leigh is slotted No. 34. Pierson and Lewis also sit at No. 3 on the event in the Big 12 Conference, while Leigh is No. 8. Additionally, senior Rachel Hornung comes in at No. 41 on the all-around after claiming the all-around title at Towson with a final total of 39.100. Hornung also comes in at No. 6 in the conference on the all-around.
West Virginia is set to open its home and conference seasons when it welcomes defending Big 12 champion Denver to Morgantown on Friday, Jan. 21. Action inside the WVU Coliseum is set for 7 p.m. ET.