2024 NCAA gymnastics season preview
The GIST: You don’t have to wait until this summer’s Paris Olympics to catch world-class gymnastics — the collegiate women’s season hits the mat this weekend. Check out our primer, then slip on your sparkliest leo and jump in.
- But first, some herstory: With the addition of Clemson’s inaugural squad this year, the ACC hit the requisite four teams to officially add women’s gymnastics to its conference sports roster. Love to see it.
The top teams: Oklahoma is back, baby. Despite graduating some key athletes, the Sooners’ squad is as formidable as ever, and a natty three-peat is definitely on the table. However, standing in their way is Florida, the 2023 national runner-up, who’s filling a Trinity Thomas–shaped hole with an all-star cast of freshmen.
- The biggest wild card? Utah. This offseason, allegations of athlete abuse rocked the 2023 third-place program, leading to the departure of core team members and the removal of HC Tom Farden. The impact on this season is anyone’s guess.
Gymnasts to know: Utah fifth-year and beam queen Maile (pronounced MY-lee) O’Keefe returns to the Red Rocks to defend her NCAA all-around title, the sport’s most prestigious individual honor. Florida junior Leanne Wong is also back and better than ever after a big offseason on the international circuit.
- And while senior Hayleigh Bryant isn’t the most famous member of LSU’s roster, she’s certainly the most dominant. She qualified as an All-American in all five categories (vault, uneven bars, balance beam, floor, and all-around). A quintuple-threat.
What to watch: Opening weekend’s premier meet is the Super 16 in Las Vegas, which features…you guessed it, 16 of the nation’s top teams, including Oklahoma. The best part? It’s sponsored by the upcoming Mean Girls film, complete with a website that’s so fetch. The first session kicks off today at 3 p.m. ET on the event’s YouTube page, where you can always sit with us.