It has been a tale of progression for the No. 25 ranked West Virginia University gymnastics team, who is coming off a dominant road performance in a five-team meet last Friday.
The team scored a 196.225, its highest score of the season. In the first meet of the season, the Mountaineers scored a 193.65, their lowest total of the year. Meet by meet, this massively talented West Virginia squad has been finding its identity as a team, and it appears to be peaking at the right time.
Six Mountaineer gymnasts recorded career-high scores, leading to a performance that was one of the top 20 team scores in program history.
“The depth this year is crazy, and the hard work is paying off,” said WVU head coach Jason Butts in an interview with WVUsports.com. “We continue to push each other each day in training, and we’re going to continue to get better.”
West Virginia comes in at No. 3 in the Big 12 conference, behind No. 1 Oklahoma and surprising newcomer No. 13 Denver. It also ranks third in the Big 12 in each of the four events.
In the Southeast region, the Mountaineers rank fourth overall behind Oklahoma, Florida and Georgia, who are known to be the top programs in the country on a yearly basis. They rank third overall on vault and floor, No. 4 on the balance beam with an RQS score of 48.73 and No. 5 on bars with an RQS score of 48.885.
With weekly dominant performances, the Mountaineers rank No. 13 in the country on vault with a team RQS score of 49.04. They have two gymnasts who are individually ranked in the top 25 nationally, freshman Kirah Koshinski is listed as No.18 (9.875 RQS) on vault and sophomore Zaakira Muhammad stands just two spots behind her at No. 21 (9.87 RQS)
West Virginia currently holds a record of 6-6, but it has a good chance of winning out the rest of the season and finishing on a red-hot eight-match win streak.
Its most talented remaining opponent is Ohio State, ranking No. 29 nationally with an RQS score of 195.335. The match against Ohio State will be a tri-team meet in Morgantown that also includes Bowling Green, who ranks No. 41 nationally with an RQS score of 194.480
The last two meets of the year are against archrival Pittsburgh, who ranks No.49 nationally with a RQS score of 193.565.
If the Mountaineers garner scores indicative of their talent level while closing out the season on an eight-match win streak, they will set themselves up nicely in the rankings going into postseason play.