ASU gymnast Morgan Wilson rises above nerves in first floor routine since 2016

She was awarded the Pac-12 Coaches’ Choice of the Week award for her performance on Saturday

ASU gymnast Morgan Wilson had not competed on floor since her freshman year in 2016.

In fact, going into Saturday’s home meet against former No. 10 Cal, Wilson was not expecting to be thrown into the floor lineup. 

But after a last-minute change by head coach Jay Santos, she found herself out on the mat as an all-around gymnast for the first time in four years. 

“I was really nervous,” Wilson said. “I’m not sure I had the most confidence myself, but the fact that the coaches put me in the lineup in the first place and then all my teammates saying you got this. I think them having confidence in me made me a little less nervous.”

Although Wilson went into the last event of the night a little nervous, the fifth-year graduate student scored a new career high on floor with a 9.800. 

Even though this was her first time competing on floor in four years, senior gymnast Jessica Ginn was not surprised by Wilson’s performance because of what she consistently sees during practice. 

“When she practices, she’s actually really good at floor and I know floor isn’t her favorite event. But when she tumbles, she gets a lot of height and she has a lot of power,” Ginn said. “We saw the potential in her for her floor routine.”

In order to ensure that Wilson knew that the whole team had her back, Ginn made sure to pump her up prior to their meet with Cal.

“I just told her, ‘Hey go out there and have fun. Be aggressive. Every pass you do expect to make it, get your chest up and land. You have been doing really great numbers in practice, and you can do this,'” Ginn said.

Santos was confident the team would step in and rally around Wilson leading up Saturday’s meet and was not surprised to hear that Ginn stepped in to give Wilson a little extra advice. 

“They’re very supportive of each other in and out of the gym. They get along great,” Santos said. “Floor is one of Jess’ best events and so I think that’s just Jess stepping in and trying to give her a little energy and support.”

The Sun Devils desperately needed Wilson’s score, as they narrowly defeated the Golden Bears 196.300-196.250. 

RELATED: ASU gymnastics records first top 10 win since 2014 in upset over No. 10 Cal

Wilson was awarded the Pac-12 Coaches’ Choice of the Week award for her performance on Saturday.

She is hoping that her hot start on floor will be a catalyst moving forward for her future performances. 

“I think it definitely gives me a lot of confidence moving forward, knowing that I can hit it even though I wasn’t exactly confident going into it,” Wilson said. “Just hitting the 9.800 kinda just showed me that I can do it and gives me a little bit more motivation.”

Santos acknowledged that, although his lineups are always changing throughout the course of the season, it is possible Wilson could be a regular all-around gymnast in the future.

“I definitely think she’s going to be in the mix moving forward,” Santos said. “If she’s ready and looks great then she’s going to continue to get those opportunities.”

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