MINNEAPOLIS – Balancing elevated expectations is no big deal when you’re ranked #2 in the country on the beam.
“She was one of the best athletes that has ever come out of the state,” Minnesota women’s gymnastics head coach Jenny Hansen said. “She’s absolutely beautiful to watch.”
Freshman Lexy Ramler has not only lived up to expectations so far; she’s surpassed them. In fact, she even has a skill named after her – called “the Ramler.”
“It was definitely a bucket list thing for me,” Ramler said.
“We got a chance to watch it at the Junior Olympic Championships,” Hansen said. “We saw her warming it up, and we were like, ‘she’s going to do it.’ We knew if she competed it successfully it would be named after her.”
On top of that, the St. Michael native has won three straight Big 10 freshman of the week honors.
“I want to make Minnesota gymnastics big again,” Ramler said.
Lexy though, is not the only homegrown freshman having an outstanding season for the Gophers. On the men’s side, Shane Wiskus is ranked 4th in the nation in the all-around.
“We knew when we got him it was going to be a game-changer,” Minnesota men’s gymnastics coach Mike Burns said.
Like Lexy, Shane has turned a lifelong dream of being a Gopher into a reality, joining the team with similarly lofty expectations – considering Wiskus was the top recruit in the entire country.
“Of all the people I’ve coached in the 30-some years I’ve been coaching, he’s one of the top one or two,” Burns said.
“Minnesota hasn’t won a Big 10 championship since 1995,” Wiskus said. “I want to be one of the factors that contributes to putting Minnesota back on the map.”
Individually, the Spring Park native already has an impressive list of achievements, and as that list grows, so do his chances of making the Olympic team in 2020.
“In my bedroom I have a whiteboard and in the corner of it I have a countdown to the Olympics,” Wiskus said. “It says, ‘days until my dreams come true.’ It’s always on my mind.”
While that dream may still be a few years away, at present, the future looks bright for both Gopher squads.