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Claire Billman and Brandis Heffner | College Gym News | January 25, 2023

Utah slides into top 3 of the women's gymnastics power rankings for Week 3

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

If the first two weeks of the 2023 season established the immense potential of the nation’s best programs, Week 3 exposed their vulnerabilities: Oklahoma and Auburn were the only top 10 teams to improve on their Week 2 totals while five others scored below 197. Perhaps more significantly, this weekend highlighted the ever-increasing parity across the rankings, conferences and divisions, as a number of historically mid-tier programs outperformed higher-ranked teams.  

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 with a blend of old and new faces in the mix. A third weekend of competition gives us a bit more to go off of, but since hard data is scarce so early in the season (and scores rarely tell the whole story, anyway), 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. 

RELATED: Oklahoma, Florida and Michigan lead the women's gymnastics Week 2 power rankings

College women's gymnastics team rankings

  1. Oklahoma, 197.925 last meet
  2. Florida, 197.325
  3. Utah, 197.275
  4. Michigan, 196.975
  5. Auburn, 197.500
  6. UCLA, 196.900

Oklahoma kicked off its first home meet of the season in epic fashion with a 49.650 vault rotation to overtake Michigan as the nation’s top vault team. The Sooners weren’t quite as dominant in subsequent rotations, but they avoided counting any scores below 9.775 and decisively reasserted themselves as the team to beat in 2023. 

Florida came away with its third consecutive win of the season but sorely missed the electric energy of its home turf, only managing a 197.325 against host team Alabama. Vault continues to be the Gators' albatross, so far averaging 49.250 with only Trinity Thomas scoring above a 9.900. 

Utah moves into third despite an underwhelming performance at Oklahoma. The Utes posted an impressive 49.525 on vault but struggled on the remaining events, including beam. To the team’s credit, it walked away relatively unscathed despite having to count numerous sub-9.8 scores. 

Michigan is one of the few teams that can potentially challenge Oklahoma’s scores on all four events (the operative word being “potentially”). After posting a whopping 198.125 in Week 2, the Wolverines barely kept pace with Big Ten opponent Michigan State through three rotations due to atypically shaky performances on vault and bars, and ultimately fell short after a 48.925 on beam. One early season sub-49 beam score is easily dismissed as a fluke, but two starts looking like a pattern.  

Meanwhile, Auburn made the most of its first home meet in 2023 by posting the SEC’s highest score of the week to reenter the power rankings. The Tigers have yet to break into the upper 197s, yet remain one of the more consistent teams in the upper bracket.

🆕: Auburn's Suni Lee leads Tigers past Arkansas with dazzling new floor routine

The Bruins hang onto the No. 6 spot for now despite a lackluster meet against Washington, but they need to settle into some sort of groove on beam ASAP if they want to extend that streak: Fluctuating between 49.000 and 49.500 is not a viable long-term strategy.

On the move: Michigan State defeated in-state rival Michigan for the first time since 2007 in front of a sold-out home arena. The Wolverines opened the door an inch, and the Spartans kicked it off its hinges.

Women's gymnastics vault rankings

  1. Sierra Brooks, Michigan, 9.900
  2. Jade Carey, Oregon State, 9.975
  3. Haleigh Bryant, LSU, 10.000 
  4. Selena Harris, UCLA, 9.950
  5. Jordan Bowers, 9.950, Oklahoma
  6. Jaedyn Rucker, 9.975, Utah

Fans have rightly questioned the validity of Carey’s scores from Weeks 2 and 3, but her Yurchenko double full is undeniably one of the best vaults currently being competed. However, Brooks hangs onto the top spot despite being a shade underrotated this week, as her textbook block and overall technique are still consistently cleaner than Carey’s. 

Third week’s the charm for freshman Harris and junior Bryant. Hoppy landings have been the only thing keeping their scores in the low 9.9s up until now; eliminate those deductions from the equation like they did this week, and they jump straight to the head of the class. 

Bowers followed teammate Allie Stern’s 9.975 with a sky-high, nearly stuck Yurchenko one and a half that helped the Sooners match Michigan’s 49.650 season high. In the following rotation, Utah’s Jaedyn Rucker showed why she’s the reigning national champion with a definitively stuck Yurchenko one and a half of her own. 

Honorable mention: Despite a tendency to twist onto the table, Trinity Thomas’s vault remains picture perfect in the air.

Freshman to watch: Michigan State’s Nikki Smith drilled the landing on her Yurchenko one and a half for a 9.950 and her first collegiate vault title. 

Women's gymnastics bar rankings

  1. Leanne Wong, Florida, 9.900
  2. Andi Li, California, 9.950
  3. Jordan Chiles, UCLA, 9.925
  4. Sunisa Lee, Auburn, 9.975
  5. Trinity Thomas, Florida, 9.925
  6. Natalie Wojcik, Michigan, 9.800

Wong’s score reflects an unfortunate overarched handstand toward the end of her set, but her execution was otherwise meticulous to the point of absurdity. It’s not easy to upstage 2022 national champion Thomas (especially with an obviously less-than-perfect routine), but Wong did just that.  

Li’s routine was her best of the season despite — or maybe because of — the added pressure of an early lineup fall. Her blind full to stuck double-tuck in particular left no room for the judges’ interpretation.  

2020 Olympians Chiles and Lee continue to demonstrate near-elite-level difficulty with precision and flair. Lee has struggled somewhat to find the landing on her dismount, but not this week. Start to finish, this was her best set of the season.   

Wojcik’s routine was noticeably off kilter from the get-go, but she powered through and salvaged a usable score for the Wolverines. We’ll consider this an outlier until proven otherwise. 

Honorable mention: LIU’s Mara Titarsolej posted her third consecutive score of 9.9-plus, all the more impressive for her competing outside the Power Five. Titarsolej seems on pace to repeat as an individual qualifier to regionals in 2023.  

Freshman to watch: Selena Harris punctuated her routine with a dismount, tying teammate Chiles’ 9.925 for a share of the event title. 

Women's gymnastics beam rankings

  1. Maile O’Keefe, Utah, 9.975
  2. Helen Hu, Missouri, 9.925
  3. Kara Eaker, Utah, 9.900
  4. Haleigh Bryant, LSU, 9.900
  5. Kayla DiCello, Florida, 9.925
  6. Mia Takekawa, Illinois, 9.925 

Eaker is renowned for her superlative elegance on beam, but her Week 3 set immediately following a fall was downright gritty. Anchor O’Keefe’s near-perfect routine not only ensured that the fall would be dropped, but it also guaranteed that Utah remained first in the national event rankings. 

Hu delivered a similar clutch routine, rebounding from a fall on bars to rescue what was threatening to be a disastrous beam rotation for Missouri. 

LSU has endured a punishing start to the season — both schedule- and injury-wise — but Bryant has handled the adversity like a champ. Surprisingly, beam has been her most consistent and highest-scoring event this season. 

Freshman DiCello has wasted no time making herself an indispensable member of Florida’s ultra-competitive beam lineup: She’s the only Gator — including star teammates Trinity Thomas and Leanne Wong — to earn multiple 9.9-plus scores on the event this season.  

The Illini’s undisputed beam queen Takekawa sneaks into the final spot in the power rankings after hitting a beauty of a routine that allowed the team to drop a 9.050 and secure a narrow win over Rutgers. 

Honorable mention: There’s clutch and then there’s Arkansas redshirt freshman Cami Weaver. She countered three consecutive misses with a career-high 9.950, the highest score of the season on any event for the Razorbacks.

Freshman to watch: Fisk freshman Aaliyah Reed-Hammon earned a share of the event title at the Tennessee Collegiate Classic. In addition to snagging the first beam win for the fledgling program, her 9.925 is the Bulldogs’ highest score to date on any event.   

📲: Follow NCAA gymnastics, get alerts on Bleacher Report

Women's gymnastics floor rankings 

  1. Trinity Thomas, Florida, 9.950
  2. Derrian Gobourne, Auburn, 9.950
  3. Chae Campbell, UCLA, 9.925 
  4. Jade Carey, Oregon State, 9.975
  5. Sierra Brooks, Michigan, 9.950
  6. Mya Hooten, Minnesota, 9.950

Nothing gold can stay, and so ends Thomas’ five-routine streak of perfect 10s on floor that spanned two seasons. Nevertheless, Thomas’ sublime technique and dramatic flair remain the gold standard for NCAA floor routines.   

Gobourne closed out Auburn’s home opener with her usual show-stopping performance. Minor foot adjustments on her first and last passes kept her from securing her first 10 of the season, but she still brought the crowd to its feet. 

Campbell finessed a slightly underrotated tucked full-in in her opening pass and never looked back. Her undeniable charisma and uncanny ability to hit under pressure keep her in the top half of the rankings.  

Carey may have come up just shy of a perfect score, but this was arguably a better performance than last week’s routine that snagged a 10: The landing on her opening Silivas was noticeably more controlled, and her overall energy seemed more confident and effortless. 

Michigan’s floor rotation was the bright spot of an otherwise disappointing dual meet against Michigan State, and Brooks’ routine was the best of the bunch. Fellow Big Ten gymnast Hooten makes her first appearance in the 2023 power rankings with her first not-just-good-but-great floor routine of the season. She has yet to fully rein in the power on her tucked full-in, but expect her to challenge the nation's top floor workers once she does. 

Honorable mention: Sunisa Lee waited for Auburn’s home opener to unveil her new floor routine choreographed by teammate Gabby McLaughlin. Her gamble was rewarded with a 9.975 and an event title.   

Freshman to watch: Faith Torrez bounced back from a disappointing step out of bounds last week to earn a 9.950 and her second career floor title.  

Women's gymnastics all-around rankings

  1. Trinity Thomas, Florida, 39.650
  2. Sunisa Lee, Auburn, 39.750
  3. Jade Carey, Oregon State, 39.825
  4. Selena Harris, UCLA, 39.725
  5. Haleigh Bryant, LSU, 39.750 
  6. Leanne Wong, Florida, 39.450

Thomas wasn’t the week’s highest-scoring all-arounder, but she remains absolutely unflappable, posting her ninth consecutive total of 39.650 or higher.  

Lee continues to make the most of her farewell season by scoring her second 39.750 of the year and surprising the home crowd with a dynamic new floor routine.

Carey has all but erased the memory of her Week 1 performance thanks to a massive 39.825 and individual title sweep over a formidable Denver squad. 

Freshman Harris was the highest rated recruit of her class, and she cemented her status as one of the NCAA’s best all-arounders with her second consecutive 39.725.  

Bryant led the embattled LSU Tigers to their first win of the season. She matched her career high thanks to her sixth perfect score on vault and tied Lee for the second-highest all-around score of the week.

Wong drops to sixth after minor errors on all four events, but her previous 39.825 mark earns her the benefit of the doubt for the time being. 

Honorable mention: Oklahoma sophomore Jordan Bowers' newfound confidence on beam means that she's officially the Sooners' latest all-around threat. 

Freshman to watch: Kayla DiCello has been somewhat overshadowed by teammates Wong and Thomas and UCLA freshman Harris, but she's already established herself as one of the Gators’ top performers on all four events. 

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