With the excitement of the 2022 NCAA gymnastics season right around the corner, Inside Gymnastics is excited to present a two-part video feature with the reigning NCAA Champions!

Unfinished business. That was the motto for the Michigan women’s gymnastics team in a season that began with uncertainty and presented obstacle after obstacle as it unfolded. It could have been an opportunity to make excuses or surrender to the circumstances, but for the Wolverines, the desire to prevail as a national title contender was far too great. And in the end, it was the Wolverines who took the top step at the 2021 National Championships in Fort Worth, Texas for the first time in school history ahead of 2019 defending National Champion Oklahoma and a fast-rising Utah team. 

For Michigan, new history entered the record books and new stories were written. Their 2021 season was unprecedented, breaking the 198 barrier four times, and setting a new record (198.250) at the NCAA finals en route to winning the title for the first time in program history. On that magical day in Fort Worth, the Wolverines joined an exclusive club of only seven teams to win an NCAA title. 

It was a true team effort from start to finish, with each athlete pouring their heart and soul into a memory that will last a lifetime. And for head coach Bev Plocki, the moment was all about pride, joy and the ultimate recognition of the journey she and her student athletes took, noting, “32 years I’ve been waiting for this feeling.”

Part one is a recollection of that historic day in their own words. Fans will hear from Plocki, who is entering her 33rd season with the Wolverines, associate head coach Scott Sherman, who is entering his 26th season at Michigan, and Malie’ana Kanewa Hermelyn, who helped write the history books in Norman, Oklahoma as a member of the Sooners first NCAA Championship team in 2014. Seven years later, she helped bring the title to Ann Arbor in her second season as an assistant coach. 

Juniors Sierra Brooks and Gabby Wilson, as well as seniors Abby Brenner, Abby Heiskell, and Natalie Wojcik also reflect on that special day; from the moment they woke up, to the moment they knew the deal was sealed. We loved their emotion, candor and pure joy as they relived a season like no other.

In part two, we go inside Defending the Title | Michigan Gymnastics!

Shop Here for our May/June issue featuring all of the highlights from the 2021 NCAA Championships! Use code CELEBRATE for 25% off anything in your shopping cart! 

Photos by Lloyd Smith for Inside Gymnastics

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