WVU gymnastics takes fifth at 2024 Big 12 Championship

By Olivia Sneed, wvusports.com

NORMAN, Okla. – The West Virginia University gymnastics team posted a 195.125 final team score to finish in fifth place at the 2024 Big 12 Gymnastics Championship inside the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Oklahoma, on Saturday night.
 
Senior Kiana Lewis’ performance on vault highlighted the meet, as she scored a career-high matching 9.9 to finish in third place in the final event standings. The finish earned her a place on the All-Big 12 Championship Team on vault, the first to place on vault since Kirah Koshinski in 2017.
 
WVU used scores of 49.125 on vault, 47.975 on the uneven bars, 48.875 on balance beam and 49.15 on floor exercise to reach the final score. The Mountaineers’ total on vault marked its highest of the season, as well as their second 49.0+ score of the season. The squad’s floor score also marked its seventh straight 49.0+ score on the event.
 
In the final team standings, No. 1 Oklahoma claimed its third straight Big 12 Championship title with a 198.95. No. 8 Denver took second place with a 197.975 final score, followed by BYU in third with a 197.050. Iowa State finished ahead of the Mountaineers in fourth with a 196.35.
 
West Virginia opened the meet on beam, where a pair of 9.85s from sophomore Emma Wehry and freshman Julia Brown paced the lineup. A trio of 9.725s from fifth-year senior Abbie Pierson, sophomore Miranda Smith and freshman Jurnee Lane finished the first event for WVU.
 
Moving to floor, Pierson’s season-high matching 9.9 led the way for the Mountaineers. Lewis was close behind with a 9.875, while Lane posted a 9.825. Freshman Amber Lowe earned a 9.8, followed by senior Ellen Collins’ 9.75 to close the scoring.
 
WVU put up impressive numbers on vault to reach a season high, led by Lewis’ career-high matching 9.9 with a stuck Yurchenko full. Pierson followed with a 9.825, while Wehry and juniors Sierra Muns and Brooke Alban recorded 9.8s.
 
Unfortunately, West Virginia faltered on bars, having to count an 8.925 from junior Miranda Smith after another fall later in the lineup. However, the bright spot of the rotation came from freshman Jayden McDonnell, who earned a career-high 9.825 in the anchor spot. The total marked her first career 9.8+ score. Junior Anna Leigh and Wehry secured a 9.725 and a 9.7, respectively, to cap the meet for the Mountaineers.
 
WVU concluded the 2024 campaign on Saturday night, finishing the campaign 8-15 on the year. The Mountaineers celebrated their 50-year anniversary this season, with their varsity status dating back to 1974. Saturday’s competition also marked the final collegiate meet for seniors Ellen CollinsKiana Lewis and Abbie Pierson.
 
For more information on the Mountaineers, follow @WVUGymnastics on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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