Picture Supply: Brad Rempel / College of Minnesota
Final 12 months, Mya Hooten grew to become the primary athlete in College of Minnesota girls’s gymnastics historical past to attain an ideal 10 on ground. Then, this 12 months on Jan. 25, the sophomore did it once more, scoring one other good 10 with a ground efficiency set to music from Beyoncé’s “Homecoming.” And simply right this moment, the 19-year-old carried out the routine in competitors for the ultimate time this season throughout the first semifinal spherical of the NCAA Gymnastics Championship. The music is enjoyable and vigorous, and much more importantly, the choreography holds a strong message.
The dance sequence after her second tumbling cross (a entrance handspring to a entrance full and a entrance pike) carries plenty of which means, Hooten tells POPSUGAR. After she lands the cross, she pushes away to suggest combating hatred that the Black neighborhood faces, and she or he strikes her palms to cowl her mouth “as a result of generally we do not have a voice.” Then, you see her get down on her knee along with her palms behind her again and seemingly battle in opposition to an unseen pressure. This particularly signifies the act of getting arrested, she says, including, “and I am breaking the chains . . . and I am free.” Lastly, she hits her chest and proudly pauses along with her fist within the air — which pulls a roar from the group each time she performs.
“I need individuals to see how a lot I care about what’s all taking place and that I am nonetheless standing sturdy — that we’re all standing sturdy,” Hooten says, who was impressed by former NCAA gymnast Nia Dennis, who used her ground routines in 2020 and 2021 to pay tribute to Black tradition.
Hooten scored a 9.9500 right this moment, ending second in ground behind Oklahoma’s Jordan Bowers. Sadly, Minnesota did not qualify for the finals, so they will not compete within the finals on Saturday. (If you wish to watch it anyway, you possibly can catch it at 1 p.m. ET on ABC.)
Fortunately, you possibly can nonetheless watch movies of Hooten’s highly effective ground routine from the NCAA Championships in full, simply forward.
Our queen. https://t.co/CMcjvv4hxb
— Minnesota Ladies’s Health club (@GopherWGym) April 14, 2022
—Further reporting by Lauren Mazzo