Recruit Files: Brenna Neault, Stanford

Name: Brenna Neault
Club: Precision Gymnastics
High School Graduation Year: 2021

NCAA Team: Stanford
Commitment Announcement: Instagram
Social Handles: Twitter | Instagram

Personal Bests | Elite

Vault Uneven Bars Balance Beam Floor Exercise
13.950 13.300 13.750 13.200

 Personal Bests | Level 10

Vault Uneven Bars Balance Beam Floor Exercise
9.875 9.800 9.725 9.775

Videos | Elite

Vault Uneven Bars Balance Beam Floor Exercise
2018 Junior U.S. Championships 2018 Junior U.S. Championships 2018 Junior U.S. Championships 2018 Junior U.S. Championships

Videos | Level 10

Vault Uneven Bars Balance Beam Floor Exercise
2019 J.O. Nationals 2019 J.O. Nationals 2019 J.O. Nationals 2019 J.O. Nationals

About Brenna

A former junior elite, Neault tied for second in the all around at the 2019 J.O. national championships in the Junior D division. She is the latest standout gymnast to be recruited by Stanford and will be expected to replace star Kyla Bryant in the all around once the latter graduates.

What She Brings to Stanford

Vault

  • Skill: Yurchenko full
  • Results: third place at the 2019 Region 1 regionals
  • Margin of Improvement: She could strengthen her block, as the lack of airtime results in a slight pike down on the landing. The vault looks beautiful in the air, though.
  • Impact on the Team: Given that Stanford’s current best vaulter, Kyla Bryant, will graduate in 2021, the Cardinal will be happy to welcome a new strong Yurchenko full. Except for Bryant and Chloe Widner, Stanford’s vault rotation in 2020 needed improvement, and Neault, together with Amanda Zeng who is joining this summer, will move the team in the right direction.

Uneven Bars

  • Skills: Maloney to Pak salto, double front dismount
  • Results: first place at the 2019 So-Cal state championships
  • Margin of Improvement: Her lines on bars are exquisite. Her double front dismount, however, presents some built-in deductions. This is a relatively new dismount for Neault though—as an elite she used to compete only a double tuck—so she has plenty of time to polish it.
  • Impact on the Team: Similarly to vault, two of Stanford’s best bar workers, Bryant and Grace Garcia, will be graduating in 2021, leaving empty spots in the lineup that Neault will comfortably cover. She and Irina Alexeeva, who is joining this year, will be expected to be the Cardinal’s standouts on bars.

Balance Beam

  • Skills: BHS + LOSO + LOSO, front somersault, switch ring, double tuck dismount
  • Results: fourth place at the 2019 J.O. nationals
  • Margin of Improvement: Neault is a very polished beam worker, but her ring positions could be a tad more extended and her feet on her double tuck dismount are a bit messy.
  • Impact on the Team: Neault will be asked to replace some of Stanford’s best gymnasts on beam, too, in Bryant, Lauren Navarro and Taylor Lawson. She can do it easily, though; she, Alexeeva and Isabela Onyshko, who is also joining this summer, are all excellent beam workers. If anything, head coach Tabitha Yim may want to downgrade Neault’s beam difficulty a bit. Her current level 10 routine is almost as hard as her elite one!

Floor Exercise

  • Skills: front double twist, back 1.5 twist to front layout, double pike dismount
  • Results: tied fourth place at the 2019 J.O. nationals
  • Margin of Improvement: She could control her landings a bit better, but her floor routine is ready for college.
  • Impact on the Team: Floor was Stanford’s best apparatus in 2020 and will likely continue to be strong in 2021 thanks to the addition of Zeng and Sandra Jessen to the roster. As a result of a few graduations in 2021, however, Neault will be expected to contribute to this event, too, and will do so successfully. Her form is very good, and her performance is engaging.

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Article by Talitha Ilacqua

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