Recruits who are graduating high school in 2022 are the first class to be affected by the new recruiting contact rules that took effect a year ago. Under these rules, a coach cannot have any contact with a recruit until June 15 following their sophomore year of high school, which effectively eliminates any opportunity to commit to a school prior to that date. While a small number of 2022 recruits—most of them elites—made commitments prior to the new rules taking effect, the vast majority of the class is still uncommitted. With June 15 quickly approaching, we will likely see a number of commitments over the next few weeks and months, so we’ve researched the top gymnasts who have yet to verbal to a school.
Selena Harris, Gymcats Gymnastics (NV)
A dynamic gymnast across all four apparatuses, Harris is currently the top 2022 uncommitted level 10 recruit in the country. Her Yurchenko 1.5 on vault is excellent and so is her bar routine. Her composition (Ray, bail to handstand, double layout) is NCAA ready. On floor, she performs a powerful routine, and on beam she has a bag of tricks to choose from. As a J.O. national champion and a former junior elite gymnast, Harris is on the radar of the best teams in the country.
Jacquie Moran, San Mateo Gymnastics (CA)
The 2019 J.O. national champion on bars has gorgeous lines on all four apparatuses. Her best event is bars, where she competes a difficult routine: full pirouette, Maloney to Pak salto, Van Leeuwen and double layout dismount. She could anchor any bar lineup in the country. On floor, her lines are impressive and her double pike is as high as it gets. She can get shaky on beam, but her work is exquisite there, too. Finally, her Yurchenko full on vault is high and straight, though she will want to work on sticking the landing consistently during her final two years of high school.
Taralyn Nguyen, Technique Gymnastics (CA)
A two-time J.O. national champion on floor, Nguyen is an incredibly powerful gymnast. She competes a difficult double-twisting Yurchenko on vault and three very hard tumbling passes on floor—double layout, 2.5 twist to front pike and a full-twisting double back. Her beam work is equally powerful and impressive. Her routine includes a LOSO + LOSO series, a side aerial to two feet and a 2.5 twist dismount, which is rare in level 10. Nguyen’s bars are not as good as the other three events, but she has potential there, too.
JaFree Scott, GAGE (MO)
Scott is a strong all arounder. She competes a solid double-twisting Yurchenko on vault, which she may very well bring to the NCAA. On beam, she performs a rare front series: a front handspring to front tuck. On floor she opens with a full-in pike, which is also college material. Bars is probably her weakest event, as she has some small form issues throughout. If coaches are smart, however, they will be able to select the most polished skills from her vast repertoire. (UPDATE: Committed to Florida 9/3/20)
Ciena Alipio, West Valley Gymnastics School (CA)
The 2019 junior U.S. national silver medalist on beam is a true beamer; she has incredible difficulty on this apparatus and two acrobatic series. Her bag of tricks is an NCAA coach’s dream. Alipio is strong on the other apparatuses, too. Her 2019 bars were a bit labored, but she was performing a new, difficult routine. Otherwise, she has excellent lines and will be expected to be a contributor on this apparatus on any collegiate team. On floor, she doesn’t have the highest difficulty, but her tumbling and jumps are polished. Finally, on vault she can compete both a Yurchenko full and a 1.5. It is not her best apparatus, but she gets good height off the table and has time to improve before college.
Gabrielle Gladieux, High Point Gymnastics Academy (NC)
The 2019 Nastia Liukin Cup junior champion is a strong all arounder, but she shines especially on beam where, coincidentally, she performs Nastia’s trademark series: front aerial + BHS + LOSO. On floor, she opens with a difficult double layout, which is still slightly piked, and has a sky-high double pike. Her full-twisting Yurchenko on vault also has a lot of height, which may be an indication that she is working on an upgrade. Finally, bars is a good apparatus for Gladieux, but she has some form issues that more time and experience may solve. (UPDATE: Committed to Alabama 7/22/20)
Sydney Morris, First State Gymnastics (DE)
As an elite gymnast, Morris could bring tons of potential skills and tricks to the NCAA. She excels on bars, beam and floor. On bars she performs a high piked Jaeger and a full-twisting double layout dismount. On beam, she competes a standing full, a triple series (BHS + LOSO + LOSO) and a double pike dismount. On floor, she opens with a full-in. Vault is her weakest event. She competes a slightly piked down Yurchenko full. Vault aside, her NCAA routines will obviously be downgraded significantly, but her future coaches, nevertheless, will be happy with the variety of skills she brings to college.
Claire Dean, Head Over Heels Gymnastics (CA)
The 2017 J.O. national champion on beam is a strong all arounder. Beam is perhaps Dean’s strongest event, where she competes a difficult roundoff to layout two feet series and a 2.5 twist dismount. On vault, she can compete a Yurchenko 1.5, which she has time to improve before college. Her bars are almost NCAA ready; she performs a Ray, a Pak salto, a Van Leeuwen and a full pirouette to double tuck dismount. Dean’s twisting elements on floor, including a 2.5 twist to front layout, are very pretty.
Lillian Lewis, San Mateo Gymnastics (CA)
A former junior elite gymnast and the 2018 J.O. national champion on beam, Lewis performs all her skills with impressive height. Her best apparatus is beam, where she catches your attention with precise lines and an elite-level dismount: BHS + BHS + double tuck. On the other three apparatuses she has great potential, but she is still just a little tentative. Her piked Jaeger on bars is gorgeous though. (UPDATE: Committed to Alabama 10/6/20)
Emjae Frazier, Parkettes National Gymnastics Center (PA)
Margzetta’s younger sister is talented on all four apparatuses. Her best event is perhaps floor, where she competes both a double layout and a full-twisting double back. On beam, her routine presents a pretty standard set of skills and a big double pike dismount. She has some form issues on bars but, as with other elites, she has a lot of elements to choose from. Finally, she competes a powerful double-twisting Yurchenko on vault, which she may keep performing in the NCAA. Will she follow her sister to UCLA?
Zoe Middleton, First State Gymnastics (DE)
The 2019 J.O. national silver medalist on vault and in the all around is a powerful gymnast. She opens on floor with a full-twisting double back and competes a good full-twisting Yurchenko on vault. She can score very high on beam, too, where she performs some beautiful splits and leaps. She is not the smoothest swinger on bars, but her set is solid.
AnnMarie Gonzalez, Airborne Gymnastics (CA)
Gonzalez has very elegant lines on all apparatuses. Her best event is perhaps beam, where she performs a difficult switch leap to switch half and a BHS + BHS + double twist dismount. On bars her Maloney to Pak is beautiful in the air; she will now want to upgrade her double tuck dismount. Her lines on floor are particularly pretty, and she opens with a double pike. Vault is her weakest event: She competes only a Yurchenko layout. (UPDATE: Committed to UC Davis 9/28/20)
Amani Herring, North Stars Gymnastics Academy (NJ)
Herring’s best event is beam, where she shows some unique skills. As an acro series, she performs a front toss to back tuck; she also competes a high piked front toss and a tucked front full as a dismount. On floor, she opens with a double tuck, while on bars she performs a Gienger and a slightly messy bail to handstand. Finally, on vault she competes a high Yurchenko full but she always pikes down a bit.
Mila Brusch, Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy (OH)
A 2018 J.O. national qualifier, Brusch excels on floor, where she opens with a full-in pike and dismounts with a double pike. She also performs an excellent Yurchenko full on vault, which, though at times a bit piked, has scored as high as 9.9. On bars and beam Brusch has potential, though she also presents some form issues. On bars she competes a Maloney to Pak salto and a double tuck dismount, and on beam her acro series is a BHS + two-foot layout.
Ashley Carter, Charter Oak Gymnastics (CA)
Videos of Carter’s gymnastics are difficult to find, but her scores are so high that we couldn’t leave her off the list. A two-time J.O. national qualifier, Carter is a solid gymnast. She shines especially on bars, where her routine is practically NCAA ready. She competes a Maloney to bail to handstand and a double layout dismount, which is just slightly messy in the air. Her beam routine is difficult and tends to score quite well too; it includes a front aerial to scale and a BHS + BHS + double twist dismount.
BONUS International Prospect: Ondine Achampong, Great Britain
It’s difficult to know which international gymnasts will be interested in NCAA and which year they would be entering, but Achampong’s birthdate aligns with the class of 2022 and her style of gymnastics would be a great fit in college. The 2019 junior British all around champion is a strong competitor across all four pieces, but she shines particularly on beam and floor. On beam, her lines and difficulty are impressive. Her legs on her acrobatic series are as straight as they can get. On floor, she does not compete the hardest tumbling passes, but her balletic style is exquisite. She also competes a difficult routine on bars, which includes some in-bars, but her form lacks polish there. Vault is perhaps her weakest apparatus, where she competes only a Yurchenko full; it is a respectable vault in the NCAA, though. (UPDATE: Committed to California 6/20/20)
Mikaile Aderinto, Desert Devils Gymnastics (AZ)
Reese Drotar, Airborne Gymnastics (CA) – UPDATE: Committed to California 8/18/20
Kimberly Smith, Azarian Gymnastics (CA)
Paige Thaxton, Michigan Academy of Gymnastics (MI)
Article by Jenna King, Rebecca Scally and Talitha Ilacqua
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