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Women's Gymnasts of the Week – March 6-12, 2023

Big Ten Conference

Gymnast of the Week
Gabrielle Stephen – Michigan State

  • Swept the individual event titles and her fifth all-around title of the season with a career-high 39.725, helping the Spartans defeat Northern Illinois on March 11
  • Earned a share of the vault title with a 9.875, captured the bars title with a career-high 9.975, the beam title with a 9.900 and a share of the floor title with a career-high 9.975
  • Her 9.975s on bars and floor both tied the school records in those events
  • Collects her second career Big Ten Gymnast of the Week honor

Co-Event Specialists of the Week
Naomi Morrison – Michigan

  • Recorded podium finishes on two of her events in Michigan’s victory against Georgia on March 10
  • Competed on vault and floor, earning 9.925s in both events for the Wolverines
  • Earned a share of the floor title and placed second on the vault
  • The Academic All-Big Ten honoree collects her second career Big Ten Event Specialist of the Week honor

Maddie Quarles – Minnesota

  • Finished at the top of the podium on vault to help the Gophers defeat Arkansas on March 10
  • Earned a 9.950 on vault to take home the event title, marking the fifth time she’s scored a 9.900 or higher on the event this season
  • Ranks eighth in the country on vault with a national qualifying score (NQS) of 9.920
  • The two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree collects her second career Big Ten Event Specialist of the Week honor

Co-Freshmen of the Week
Karina Muñoz – Iowa

  • Earned career highs and podium finishes on all three competitive routines to help the Hawkeyes take second against Southern Utah and San Jose State on March 10
  • Secured the event titles on vault (9.900) and bars (9.900), contributing to Iowa’s individual event sweep on all four individual apparatuses
  • Recorded a 9.900 on floor to take second overall
  • Earns her first career Freshman of the Week award

Nikki Smith – Michigan State

  • Scored a 39.500 in the all-around for third place in Michigan State’s win over NIU on March 11
  • Earned a share of the vault title with a score of 9.875
  • Added a 9.925 on bars (4th), a 9.825 on beam (5th) and a 9.875 on floor (6th), contributing to the Spartans’ record-tying scores on bars (49.725) and floor (49.675)
  • Earns her fifth career Freshman of the Week award

Big 12 Conference

Gymnast of the Week
Ragan Smith – Oklahoma
Smith collected two event titles as the Sooners hosted Arizona State on Senior Day. She posted a career-high 9.975 on the floor and a 9.975 on beam as she placed first in both events, taking her second title on the balance beam and her first floor title this season. The senior also scored a 9.900 on the uneven bars to help Oklahoma total an overall team score of 198.400 and a win over the No. 14 team in the nation. Smith now has seven career Big 12 Gymnastics weekly awards, which includes two Gymnasts of the Week and five Newcomer of the Week honors.

Specialist of the Week
Katherine LeVasseur – Oklahoma
LeVasseur was one of three gymnasts in the country to earn a perfect score in any event last week as she registered a 10 on vault. The San Antonio native has three career perfect scores on vault with two being recorded this season. She won her fourth vault title of the season as OU scored a 49.525 on the event. She ranks fourth with an NQS score of 9.925. LeVasseur has three career Big 12 weekly awards as she was named Event Specialist three times this season.

Newcomer of the Week
Faith Torrez – Oklahoma
Torrez competed in three events and claimed an event title in OU’s last home meet of the season. The freshman was a last minute addition to the uneven bars lineup and registered a 9.850 while recording season-high scores on beam and floor. Her score of 9.975 on beam matched teammate Ragan Smith’s as the pair collected the event title and marked the first beam title for Torrez. On the floor, she matched a career-high 9.950 that helped OU register the nation’s second-best score of 49.750 in the event. She sits as the top freshman in the nation on the floor event and is ranked No. 7 overall. Torrez has collected seven Newcomer of the Week accolades this season.

East Atlantic Gymnastics League

Gymnast of the Week
Emily Shepard – NC State
Shepard led NC State on all four events this past weekend. The senior registered a podium finish on bars with a new career-high of 9.925. In addition, the Olathe Kan. native matched the second-highest all-around total of her career with a 39.500.

Specialist of the Week
Kendall Whitman – George Washington
Whitman was named the floor champion in both meets this weekend with a 9.925 and a 9.950. The junior has not scored below a 9.900 on floor dating back to February 5, earning all-EAGL first team on that event. In addition, the Pottstown, Pa. native matched her career high on beam on Friday with a 9.875.

Rookie of the Week
Syd Morris – LIU
Morris won the all around for the third time this season with a 39.200. With that performance, the freshman secured an NQS in the all around and moved up to fifth in the all around rankings in the EAGL, earning all-EAGL first team honors.

Gymnastics East Conference

Gymnast of the Week
Sarah Wilson – Yale
Sarah has been a key player for the Bulldogs all season long. This weekend she jumped back into the all-around position and scored a career high of 38.95. Sarah especially shined on bars, scoring a her seventh score of 9.8 or better this season. She has been Yale’s most consistent and reliable performer in the bar lineup. On beam Sarah was in a critical position coming up after a fall and hit her second highest score of the season with a 9.7. On floor, Sarah also was Yale’s highest score of the rotation with a 9.725. Sarah’s coaches say that Sarah is one of the hardest workers in the gym and is willing to do anything for the team!

Specialist of the Week
Kiersten Belkoff – Penn
In a tri-meet vs Rutgers and WVU, junior captain Kiersten Belkoff started off the entire competition leading off the beam team with an impressive 9.8. Kiersten always sets the tone very well for Penn’s beam team, filling the important lead off role every single meet this season. She is currently tied for 2nd in the GEC with an impressive 9.805 NQS. On vault, Belkoff anchored the event, with a stuck yurchenko half for a 9.875. Her efforts led her to tie her career high, as well as earn the 2nd highest vault score in Penn history, which she has matched twice this season. Belkoff is currently ranked 1st in the GEC on vault with an impressive 9.83 NQS. Kiersten’s leadership and fierce competitive nature have played a crucial part in the team’s success this season.

Newcomer of the Week
Lola Sepulveda – Bridgeport
Freshman, Lola Sepulveda had an outstanding double meet weekend going 8 for 8 and earning 1st place in the all-around in both meets. Lola crushed multiple season high scores and achieved an impressive 39.025 in the all-around. After last weekend’s meet at Yale, Lola made it a point to spend extra time in the gym working on the physical and mental aspects of her gymnastics. She worked on every detail to make sure that she was as prepared as possible going into this weekend. Lola has contributed in the all-around in 10 out of 11 meets and she has truly been an absolute rock for the Purple Knights.

Mid American Conference

Gymnast of the Week
Hannah Ruthberg – Ball State
Junior Hannah Ruthberg turned in a pair of solid all-around performances over the weekend, helping the Cardinals to two of the top team scores in program history. In fact, in Friday’s quad at Missouri, she tied the program’s all-around record with a mark of 39.400. The effort included a career-best 9.900 on beam, 9.850s on vault and bars, as well as a 9.800 on floor. Her all-around performance helped the Cardinals register the then-second-highest team score in program history, at 196.425, and head-to-head wins over North Carolina (196.275) and Southeast Missouri (194.675). She followed with another solid all-around performance in Sunday’s meet versus Western Michigan, scoring a 39.225. The effort included 9.850s on floor and bars, as well as a 9.800 on vault and a 9.725 on beam. Her routines would help Ball State finish the meet with a new program record team score of 196.900 and earn a share of the Mid-American Conference Regular Season Championship.

Specialist of the Week
Taylor Pitchell – Central Michigan
Taylor Pitchell helped the Chippewas secure a win at Kent State on Sunday by placing first on floor with a career-high-tying score of 9.950.

Midwest Independent Conference

Gymnast of the Week
Steelie King – Texas Woman’s
King, a junior from Longview, Texas, competed all-around for just the second time in her career in the Pioneers’ final home meet of the 2023 season on March 12 against Florida, Washington and NC State. In the all-around competition, King scored a career-high 39.125 to tie for fifth overall. King scored a 9.725 or higher on every event to soar her way to the Gymnast of the Week title. Starting off on vault on Sunday, King matched her career-high with a 9.850 to lead the Pioneers to a season-high, 49.075, on vault. Moving onto bars, King scored a 9.750. During the third rotation on beam, King balanced her way to a 9.725, and in her final rotation of the day on floor, she maintained her high level of scoring and matched her career-high with a 9.800.

Performance of the Week
Nyah Reader – SEMO
Reader, a Sophomore from Rexford, N.Y., set a new career-high on the Beam rotation Friday night at the Missouri Quad-Meet. Nyah, who rounded out the rotation from the sixth-slot in the Redhawks lineup, surpassed her previous best Beam score (9.850) and hit a 9.900. Reader’s score helped the Redhawks achieve their second-highest rotation score of the evening as SEMO finished the meet with a 194.675 overall team score. For Reader, the award is her second weekly award in two weeks.

Newcomer of the Week
Nirel Bart-Williams – Illinois State
Bart-Williams was solid once again for the Redbirds in their tri-meet last Saturday with top-25 ranked foes Kentucky and Illinois. Bart-Williams rallied for a 9.900 on floor to propel her to a score of 38.525 in the all-round to finish fifth overall behind two Kentucky gymnasts and her teammates Angelica Labat and Alana Laster. Bart-Williams has competed in the all-around in every meet for the Redbirds this season and currently ranks No. 2 in the MIC in the all-around with a NQS of 38.935.

Coaches’ Choice Award
Leilani Johnson – Centenary
Johnson won the floor competition on Saturday evening on Senior Night versus Lindenwood with a career-high 9.90 – marking the highest individual score by a Centenary gymnast since Navia Jordan earned a 9.90 on floor at the 2016 USA Gymnastics Championships. Johnson’s score tied Jordan’s for the highest in the division III era (2013-present). Johnson, in the final home meet of her career, helped lead the Ladies to their highest team score in eight years to highlight a second-place finish versus the Lions in a Midwest Independent Conference dual meet at the Gold Dome. The Ladies’ 192.475, their best of the season, is their highest team score since posting a 193.775 on March 15, 2015 versus New Hampshire. She also tied for eighth place on vault with a 9.60.

Mountain Pacific Sports Federation

Gymnast of the Week
Keanna Abraham – UC Davis
UC Davis sophomore Keanna Abraham (Bakersfield, CA) recoded three scores of at least 9.80 in a challenging road quad meet to end the regular season at No. 7 California, which also featured No. 29 Arizona and Sacramento State (Mar. 12). Abraham finished fourth on floor with 9.90 and fifth on vault with 9.85, and added 9.80 on the balance beam. This is the fourth career MPSF weekly award for Abraham.

Specialist of the Week
Megan Ray – UC Davis
UC Davis sophomore Megan Ray (Irvine, CA) won the vault in the quad meet at No. 7 California, which also featured No. 29 Arizona and Sacramento State (Mar 12) with a score of 9.925. She also placed fourth on floor with 9.90 and scored 9.80 on beam. This is the third career MPSF weekly award for Ray.

Freshman of the Week
Sarah Lutrel – Sacramento State
Sacramento State freshman Sarah Lutrel (Citrus Heights, CA) recorded 9.900 on the balance beam in a competitive road quad meet at No. 7 California, which also featured No. 29 Arizona and UC Davis (Mar. 12). The 9.900 was her second-best of the season and tied her for seventh-place in a meet against two ranked teams. She added a 9.725 on vault and 9.650 on bars. This is the third MPSF weekly award for Lutrel.

Mountain Rim Gymnastics Championship

Gymnast of the Week
Karley McClain – Southern Utah

Specialists of the Week
Vault – Courtney Blackson, Boise State; Sydney Benson, BYU; Allix Mason, BYU; Caitlin Kho, Southern Utah
Uneven Bars – Shylen Murakami, Southern Utah
Balance Beam – Shylen Murakami, Southern Utah; Karley McClain, Southern Utah
Floor Exercise – Ariel Toomey, Utah State; Alivia Ostendorf, Utah State; Courtney Blackson, Boise State; Sophie Dudley, BYU

Pac-12 Conference

Gymnast of the Week
Jordan Chiles – UCLA

  • Earns the honor for a second straight week and the fifth time in 2023 after posting the nation’s best all-around score of 2023 and a new career high of 39.900.
  • The 39.900 was also the second-highest all-around score by a Bruin in program history.
  • Her performance helped the Bruins to a second straight 198-plus team score, with the 198.275 in the win over Iowa State in the regular-season finale being the sixth-highest in program history.
  • Became just the second Pac-12 gymnast this year to sweep the podium awards with all four event titles and the all-around title at the same meet.
  • Scored her second consecutive 10.0 on bars and the third on bars in her career, giving her three overall perfect 10s during her sophomore campaign and five total in her career.
  • Tied for first on vault with a 9.975, tied for first on beam 9.950 and won the bars outright (10.0) and the floor outright (9.975).
  • Has scored 9.9 or higher on 26 out of her last 28 routines and 9.95 or higher on 21 of those 28.
  • Seventh weekly award of her career.

Specialist of the Week
Mya Lauzon – California

  • Helped the Bears to a pair of 198-plus scores to win a pair of home non-conference quad meets on the final weekend of the regular season.
  • Won five of six events she competed in, tying for first in vault on Friday and winning beam and floor on both Friday and Sunday.
  • Broke Cal’s beam record with a 9.975 in Friday’s quad meet, then followed that performance with the first perfect 10 on the event in school history on Sunday.
  • Her Sunday performance helped the Bears to the second-highest team beam score in NCAA history (49.825), which is also tied for the highest team score on any event in 2023.
  • Posted back-to-back 9.95s on floor to win floor twice on the weekend.
  • Second Specialist of the Week honoree this season (Jan. 10).

Freshman/Newcomer of the Week
Selena Harris – UCLA

  • Earns the award for the sixth time this year after collecting the honor five consecutive weeks to begin the season.
  • Scored a career-high 39.750 to finish second in the all-around, helping lead the Bruins to a win in the regular-season final against Iowa State with a season-high team total of 198.275, a score that ranks No. 6 all-time at UCLA.
  • Tied for first with teammate Jordan Chiles on vault and beam behind career-highs of 9.975 and 9.950, respectively, in those events.
  • Also posted a career-high of 9.925 to finish tied for second on floor and recorded a a 9.900 on bars to tie for second.
  • Has hit all 39 routines this season and has scored 39.5 or higher in every all-around attempt (9 meets) in her first collegiate season.
  • Harris’ six Freshman/Newcomer of the Week awards ties the record for most honors in a season since the award was introduced in 2013, which was also accomplished by Cal’s Toni-Ann Williams (2015), Utah’s MyKayla Skinner (2017) and Oregon State’s Jade Carey (2022).

Coaches’ Choice
Nevaeh DeSouza – California

  • Collects the Coaches Choice honor for the first time in her career after helping the Bears to a pair of 198-plus scores at quad meets at Haas Pavilion on the final weekend of the regular season.
  • In her final meet at Haas, scored a career high 9.975 on beam, which tied for second in the event and at the time, tied the program record in the event.
  • Her performance on beam helped the Bears to a 49.825 team score on the event, which is the second-highest beam score in NCAA history.
  • Also added a season-high 9.900 on floor to help Cal to its best team score in program history on Sunday (198.275).
  • Finished in the top five in four of eight events on the weekend and top five in the all-around at both meets.
  • Has competed in the all-around in 45 of 46 career meets and has hit on 44/44 routines during her senior campaign this year.
  • First weekly award this season and sixth overall of her career.

Southeastern Conference

Gymnast of the Week
Haleigh Bryant – LSU
Bryant, a junior from Cornelius, N.C., became the first LSU gymnast to earn three perfect scores in one meet and only the fifth gymnast to do so in all of NCAA gymnastics. Bryant recorded her eighth 10.00 on vault in the win over West Virginia before posting her first 10.00 on both bars and floor. She now owns 10 career perfect scores, which leads the program for most career 10’s. Her career high all-around score of 39.875 also tied for the highest all-around score in program history.

Specialist of the Week
Riley McCusker – Florida
McCusker, a sophomore from Bradenton, Fla., earned her first win as a Gator with a score of 9.95 to claim a share of the beam title in the quad meet at Texas Woman’s. McCusker opened the meet with a 9.925 on the uneven bars to share second with teammate Kayla DiCello. She was the SEC’s only non-all-arounder with two marks of 9.925 or better this past week.

Freshman of the Week
Kayla DiCello – Florida
DiCello, a freshman from Boyds, Md., shared second place in the all-around with teammate Trinity Thomas with a score of 39.625 to complete a Gator all-around sweep at the Texas Woman’s University quad meet. DiCello shared second place on bars (9.925) and anchored with a 9.925 to take third in a Gator sweep of the floor competition.

Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NCGA West)

Co-Gymnasts of the Year
Cate Sandvik – UW-La Crosse
Sandvik competed in the all-around for the first time in her career this season and posted a season-high score of 38.050. Her score of 9.825 in the floor exercise was the second-highest in the WIAC during the regular season. Sandvik secured Athlete of the Week honors in the all-around three times in 2023.

Kiara Brown – UW-Stout
Brown finished second in the all-around competition at the WIAC Championship/NCGA West Regional with a score of 38.100. It was her fifth time scoring above 38.000 this season. She posted a career-best of 9.700 on the uneven parallel bars, and earned a season high of 9.650 on the balance beam and floor exercise.

Newcomer of the Year
Reanna McGibboney – UW-Oshkosh
McGibboney recorded a third-place finish in the vault with a score of 9.775 at the WIAC Championship/NCGA West Regional. She had season-high scores of 9.825 in the vault and 9.725 in the floor exercise. A Newcomer of the Year is defined as a student-athlete who used her first season of participation in women’s gymnastics this season. Transfers are not eligible unless they didn’t participate in women’s gymnastics at their previous institution.