The moment Ona Loper's warmup went bad, she knew she was going to do well.
"Usually when I don't do super good in warmups, I kind of have a feeling it's going to be good," Loper said. "Every time I've gotten a 10, I've usually fallen on my butt [in warmups] every single time."
The bad good omen struck again for Loper on Friday. After a warmup she didn't like, she performed well with a 9.9625 on the vault and 39.6375 overall at the NCAA women's gymnastics championships at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.
Loper, a senior, finished third overall on the vault and fourth overall in the all-around.
She provided the brightest spot of the day for the Gophers, competing at nationals for the first time since 2016.
No. 8 Minnesota will leave Texas without an individual or team national championship after the Gophers scored 197.1875 and finished fourth in the first of two semifinal sessions.
Marie Roethlisberger, with a win on the uneven bars in 1990, remains the only Gophers athlete to have won a national championship in women's gymnastics.
The top two teams from each session advanced to the national championship Saturday: No. 4 Michigan (197.8625) and No. 1 Florida (197.4375) beat California and Minnesota in the first session. Oklahoma and Utah advanced from the evening session.
Loper entered the second session first in the vault and second in the all-around. If this is it for the senior with Minnesota, she will have ended her collegiate career with her personal best in the all-around.
"Ona was on fire," Gophers coach Jenny Hansen said. "She had a phenomenal day."
So, too, did freshman Mya Hooten. The Woodbury native made a strong impression in her first appearance at nationals. On floor, she finished in a three-way tie for fourth with three gymnasts tying for first. Hooten scored a 9.950, just shy of the winning score of 9.9625.
"She is absolutely amazing," Loper said. "Honestly, she's more of a veteran than I am. I swear. Watching her, she's just so incredible."
While Loper and Hooten put together some impressive performances, one name that didn't place as high as expected: Lexy Ramler.
She came into the day tied for first in the nation on balance beam, but with her 9.925, Ramler finished tied for fifth along with teammate Mary Korlin-Downs.
Ramler also entered the day tied for second in the all-around, but at the end of the first session her score of 39.5625 put her fifth and she finished tied for 11th.
"She has been so perfect for so long," Hansen said. "I don't know if it was the pressure coming in or the expectations. She was great.
"I think that's the thing. If this is an off night for Lexy, wow. She's fantastic."
Ramler, who wasn't made available to reporters after the meet Friday, could be done with her collegiate career.
She's a senior and has spent the past four years filling up the Gophers' record book. Ramler, however, still doesn't have a national championship to her name.
But she could still have one more shot at one, if she chooses. Because of COVID-19, the NCAA has given seniors an extra year of eligibility.
A week ago, Ramler said she hadn't made any decisions yet. Might her performance in Fort Worth impact that?
"It's possible," Hansen said. "I don't know all the thoughts that are going through her head right now, but I am sure it has entered her mind.
"I wouldn't be surprised if that was something that has come across her mind since we finished competition."
The Star Tribune did not travel for this event. This article was written using the television broadcast and video interviews before and/or after the event.