MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Gophers gymnastics team is headed to the national championships this week in Texas. Their semifinal session is on Thursday.

“This whole team is beyond excited. You can just feel it in the gym,” gymnast Lexy Ramler said.

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A palpable energy, carrying over from a comeback in the recent regional round. A clutch cap to the meet on the floor.

“This is our event, this is our strong event. So we felt actually really confident going into that and I think it showed,” Ramler said.

The team is headed to the national championships in consecutive years, for the first time in school history. Lessons learned along the way are lending a leg up.

“There’s nothing to lose. I think last time we might have tried to be a little bit too perfect to try move on. And this time we’re just gonna lay it all out there,” Coach Jenny Hansen said.

Lexy Ramler (credit: CBS)

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It’s another chance for fifth-year gymnasts like Ramler, the Region 2 Gymnast of the Year, and Winona High School graduate.

“Honestly, this year is just having another opportunity to do my favorite sport has been the biggest thing. And so I’ve enjoyed every single bit of it,” Ramler said.

Auburn and St. Paul’s Suni Lee will be among the competition for the Gophers, shining a mainstream spotlight on the meet.

“Anytime you can have a name like that, and a talent like Suni, it just brings so much attention to our sport. And I fully expect throughout the competition that those stands are gonna be full all weekend long, which will be really exciting for everybody,” Hansen said.

The Gophers are the 8 seed — the second-lowest seeded team to make it this far.

“We have such parity in college gymnastics right now that anybody steps up, they’re the ones that move on. So I absolutely think that we can make it to the finals,” Hansen said.

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“Doesn’t matter what you competed before, or after even. It’s whoever hits that day, so that’s what makes it so exciting,” Ramler said.

Ren Clayton