2024 Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championships Recap: Michigan State edges Minnesota for historic title

By Caroline Price | March 24, 2024
The Michigan State gymnastics team celebrates winning the 2024 Big Ten Women's Gymnastics Championships.
© Rey Del Rio/MSU Athletic Communications

In an all-out battle, Michigan State emerged victorious to claim the title at the 2024 Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championships on Saturday. The Spartans edged a stirring performance from Minnesota, clinching the win by just one-tenth, 197.600-197.500.

With this win, Mike Rowe’s squad completed their historic sweep of the Big Ten regular season and championship titles. Junior Skyla Schulte also had a spectacular night, claiming the outright all-around title, along with a share of the floor championship. Reflecting on the victory, Schulte shared that the win “means everything” to the team.

East Lansing’s anticipation for this moment was palpable. With Jenison Field House filled to the brim and Michigan State President Guskiewicz present, the Spartans began their title bid with a rousing floor rotation. Schulte’s 9.95 led the team and claimed a share of the title. After a massive 49.575 and an early lead, it seemed that the Big Green might run away with the championship.

Highlight: Gabrielle Stephen on beam (9.875). With the weight of the conference title on her shoulders, Stephen Michigan State’s final routine of the night to secure their first Big Ten championship.

However, their compatriots made it clear that they would not go down without a fight. While Spartans struggled to find their vault landings, Minnesota surged on beam (49.425) behind an event-best 9.925 from Sarah Moraw. Though Michigan State’s vault score was a far cry from their season high, they enjoyed a highlight from Sage Kellerman (9.9) and tallied a respectable 49.375.

Much like vault, Michigan State’s bars effort was imperfect yet solid (49.375) – strong enough to maintain (but not extend) their lead. While a trio of 9.9s led the rotation, subpar scores from the remainder of the lineup positioned the Spartans just 0.15 above Minnesota, leaving no room to breath.

Heading into Rotation 4, the Spartans went to beam, where they’re ranked third in the conference, and Minnesota to vault where they’re ranked fourth. After a major error in the leadoff spot, the Spartans had to rally. A meet-winning 9.925 from Baleigh Garcia helped position Gabrielle Stephen for the most important routine of her lifetime. Needing a 9.775 to tie for the championship, Stephen cruised through her routine, sticking her double twist to the roar of the Field House crowd. Stephen’s 9.875 clinched the title and brought a Gatorade barrel of glitter onto Rowe’s shoulders – the Spartans had done it.

While Michigan and Minnesota were spectacular, in a testament to the strength of the conference, all four evening session teams went 197+. Maryland was victorious in the afternoon session, claiming victory with a solid 196.775.

Individually, Sierra Brooks (Michigan) and Mya Hooten (Minnesota) dominated the leaderboard. The two earned three conference titles apiece, tying for the win on vault, bars, and floor. The two shared the floor title with Skyla Schulte (Michigan State), and Gabby Wilson (Michigan). Beam saw a three-way tie between Baleigh Garcia (Michigan State), Tory Vetter (Ohio State), and Minnesota’s Sarah Moraw.

In NCAA tournament news, Iowa’s performance was not enough to sneak the Hawkeyes in to the 36th and final spot after being on the bubble.

2024 Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championships Team Results

1Michigan State197.600
4Ohio State197.050-0.550
8Penn State195.825-1.775

2024 Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championships Individual Champions

  • All-Around: Skyla Schulte (Michigan State) – 39.600
  • Vault: TIE Sierra Brooks (Michigan), Mya Hooten (Minnesota) – 9.975
  • Uneven Bars: TIE Sierra Brooks (Michigan), Mya Hooten (Minnesota) – 9.925
  • Balance Beam: TIE Baleigh Garcia (Michigan State), Sarah Moraw (Minnesota), Tory Vetter (Ohio State) – 9.925
  • Floor Exercise: TIE Gabby Wilson (Michigan), Skyla Schulte (Michigan State), Sierra Brooks (Michigan), Mya Hooten (Minnesota) – 9.950