Kai Rivers

Future NCAA Gymnasts Compete at J.O. Nationals

The country’s top level 10 gymnasts finished their seasons at the Junior Olympic National Championships this weekend in Cincinnati. Most of these athletes are future NCAA competitors, and the event always gives fans of college gymnastics a great opportunity to scout recruits. While we’re giving you a down and dirty recap of results today, keep an eye out for more detailed highlights over the next couple of weeks.

Like regionals, nationals for J.O. are split into 12 pre-set age divisions. Winners of each division in the all around, as well as by event and regional team are considered national champions.

Highest Scores

Though there’s no official recognition for it, it’s always interesting to watch which gymnast registers the highest all around score of the weekend, as they almost always go on to be collegiate superstars: The last three to “win” nationals were Alicia Boren, Maddie Karr and Nia Dennis. This year’s top scorer was Makarri Doggette, a longtime J.O. star and Alabama commit who will be joining the Crimson Tide for the 2020 season. Doggette is a gymnast who has looked ready for college for years now, and Alabama fans will be glad they only have one more year to wait. She’s a balanced all arounder, but the highlight of her performance was a stuck pike full-in on floor that’s a candidate for the best tumbling pass of the meet.

On vault, Haleigh Bryant (LSU, 2021) and Soraya Hawthorne (Georgia, 2020) topped the standings with 9.900. Hawthorne showed both a Yurchenko full and a massive double.

Bryant’s airy handspring pike half consistently ranks among the best vaults in the country.

Andrea Li (California, 2021) topped the bars standing across age groups, with a gorgeous Endo and unparalleled technique that received a 9.800.

Helen Hu (Missouri, 2020) is a fan favorite for her style across four events, so it seems only right that her unique beam routine—featuring a Valdez with a full turn directly connected to her gainer full dismount—was awarded the highest score of the weekend.

On floor, three gymnasts shared the distinction of the meet’s top score of a 9.725. Li nailed her 2.5 twist and had an uncanny ability to milk a controlled landing that will pay dividends at Cal (the reaction from coach and mom Wu Jiani as she lands her third pass is priceless).

Gabryel Wilson (Michigan, 2020) has been a J.O. standout for several years, and she shone this weekend, picking up an all around title and the meet’s second highest score. On floor, she opens with an incredibly easy open full-in, but the real highlight is her truly insane straddle positions.

Oklahoma incoming freshman Olivia Trautman completed the 9.725 club with a powerful routine, highlighted by a double layout and a glorious kick out of her closing double back.

College Commits

We came up with a point system based off individual placement to rank teams by commits finishing in the top 10 all around, and it should come as no surprise that Michigan topped the standings. Three future Wolverines topped their divisions—Carly Bauman, Natalie Wojcik and Gabryel Wilson—while no other team had multiple all around champions.

Cal finished a close second after Andrea Li dominated her division and Ella Cesario and incoming freshman Milan Clausi finished runners-up in theirs. Utah and Nebraska followed in the standings, with six future Utes and Huskers registering top 10 finishes.

All around national champions were a fascinatingly mixed group this year. In addition to the three Wolverines and Li, Alabama and Georgia each had a winning commit in Makarri Doggette and Kiya Johnson, respectively. Then things get more interesting, with Southern Utah’s Karley McClain, Missouri’s Helen Hu and North Carolina’s Lali Dekanoidze picking up the remaining titles.

Results

Note gymnasts are listed by presumed freshman season. Full results are available here.

JUNIOR A

ALL AROUND: No. 1: Amari Drayton

Uncommitted, 2024

38.325

No. 2: Kailin Chio

Uncommitted, 2025

38.200

No. 3: Ui Soma

Uncommitted, 2024

37.925

VT: Sophia Esposito

Uncommitted

Sydney Razeghi

Uncommitted, 2024

9.725

UB: Amari Drayton

Uncommitted, 2024

Sydney Jelen

Uncommitted, 2024

9.600

BB: Ui Soma

Uncommitted, 2024

9.675

FX: Katelyn Rosen

Uncommitted, 2024

9.625

JUNIOR B

ALL AROUND: No. 1: Gabriella Disidore

Uncommitted

38.300

No. 2: Gabrielle Gladieux

Uncommitted, 2023

38.200

No. 3: Lillian Lewis

Uncommitted

37.925

VT: Sophia Stephens

Uncommitted, 2023

9.700

UB: Lyden Saltness

Uncommitted, 2024

9.675

BB: Lillian Lewis

Uncommitted

9.725

FX: Ariel Posen

Uncommitted, 2023

9.675

JUNIOR C

ALL AROUND: No. 1: Faith Torrez

Uncommitted, 2023

38.525

No. 2: Karis German

Uncommitted

38.450

No. 3: Naya Howard

Uncommitted, 2023

38.275

VT: Karis German

Uncommitted

9.800

UB: Ashley Cowan

Uncommitted, 2023

Gabriella DeGeorge

Uncommitted

Naya Howard

Uncommitted, 2023

Faith Torrez

Uncommitted, 2023

9.600

BB: Faith Torrez

Uncommitted, 2023

9.725

FX: Taralyn Nguyen

Uncommitted, 2023

9.700

JUNIOR D

ALL AROUND: No. 1: Lali Dekanoidze

North Carolina, 2022

38.500

No. 2: Ella Cesario

California, 2022

38.350

No. 3: Mya Lauzon

Uncommitted, 2022

38.275

VT: Chalyn Walker

Uncommitted, 2022

9.750

UB: Hailey Merchant

Uncommitted, 2022

Tessa Volpe

Uncommitted, 2022

9.625

BB: Lali Dekanoidze

North Carolina, 2022

9.675

FX: Danielle Sievers

Nebraska, 2022

9.650

JUNIOR E

ALL AROUND: No. 1: Alexis Jeffrey

Uncommitted, 2022

38.325

No. 2T: Makenzie Sedlacek

Arkansas, 2022

38.175

No. 2T: Stephanie Berger

Uncommitted, 2022

38.175

VT: Rylie Bright

Uncommitted, 2022

9.825

UB: Alexis Jeffrey

Uncommitted, 2022

9.750

BB: Erika Penamante

Uncommitted, 2022

9.625

FX: Madelynn Jones

Uncommitted, 2022

Moorea Linker

Rutgers, 2022

Haley Tyson

Uncommitted, 2022

9.600

JUNIOR F

ALL AROUND: No. 1: Kyra Burns

Missouri, 2021

38.350

No. 2: Sarah Clark

Arizona State, 2021

38.275

No. 3: Courtney Blackson

Boise State, 2021

38.250

VT: Quinn Smith

Oklahoma, 2021

9.825

UB: Kyra Burns

Missouri, 2021

9.675

BB: Isabel Mabanta

Denver, 2021

9.675

FX: Julianne Fehring

Oklahoma, 2021

9.650

SENIOR A

ALL AROUND: No. 1T: Carly Bauman

Michigan, 2021

Kiya Johnson

Georgia, 2021

38.625

No. 3: Haleigh Bryant

LSU, 2021

38.550

VT: Haleigh Bryant

LSU, 2021

9.900

UB: Carly Bauman

Michigan, 2021

Colbi Flory

UCLA, 2021

9.750

BB: Carly Bauman

Michigan, 2021

9.750

FX: Kiya Johnson

Georgia, 2021

9.600

SENIOR B

ALL AROUND: No. 1: Andrea Li

California, 2021

38.850

No. 2: Jaedyn Rucker

Utah, 2020

38.675

No. 3: Sierra Brooks

Michigan, 2021

38.425

VT: Jaedyn Rucker

Utah, 2020

9.850

UB: Andrea Li

California, 2021

9.800

BB: Abbie Thompson

Denver, 2021

9.675

FX: Andrea Li

California, 2021

9.725

SENIOR C

ALL AROUND: No. 1: Gabryel Wilson

Michigan, 2020

38.900

No. 2: Helen Hu

Missouri, 2020

38.875

No. 3: Matilyn Waligora

Alabama, 2020

38.500

VT: Soraya Hawthorne

Georgia, 2020

9.900

UB: Helen Hu

Missouri, 2020

9.700

BB: Helen Hu

Missouri, 2020

9.775

FX: Gabryel Wilson

Michigan, 2020

9.725

SENIOR D

ALL AROUND: No. 1: Makarri Doggette

Alabama, 2020

38.925

No. 2: Savannah Schoenherr

Florida, 2019

38.450

No. 3: Kai Rivers

LSU, 2020

38.425

VT: Hallie Thompson

North Carolina, 2020

Makarri Doggette

Alabama, 2020

9.850

UB: Savannah Schoenherr

Florida, 2019

Makarri Doggette

Alabama, 2020

9.750

BB: Makarri Doggette

Alabama, 2020

9.625

FX: Makarri Doggette

Alabama, 2020

9.700

SENIOR E

ALL AROUND: No. 1: Karley McClain

Southern Utah, 2019

38.550

No. 2: Milan Clausi

California, 2019

38.525

No. 3: Olivia Trautman

Oklahoma, 2019

38.500

VT: Sekai Wright

UCLA, 2019

9.850

UB: Cristal Isa

Utah, 2019

9.700

BB: Milan Clausi

California, 2019

9.700

FX: Olivia Trautman

Oklahoma, 2019

9.725

SENIOR F

ALL AROUND: No. 1: Natalie Wojcik

Michigan, 2019

38.775

No. 2: Abigail Johnston

Nebraska, 2019

38.625

No. 3: Derrian Gobourne

Auburn, 2019

38.600

VT: Rachael Lukacs

Georgia, 2019

9.875

UB: Derrian Gobourne

Auburn, 2019

9.750

BB: Abigail Johnston

Nebraska, 2019

9.675

FX: Rachael Lukacs

Georgia, 2019

9.675


Article by Emily Howell-Forbes and Rebecca Scally

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