Recruit Files: Ondine Achampong, California

Name: Ondine Achampong
Club: Sapphire School of Gymnastics, Great Britain
High School Graduation Year: 2022

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

Personal Bests | Elite

Vault Uneven Bars Balance Beam Floor Exercise
13.800 13.500 13.666 13.333

Videos | Elite

Vault Uneven Bars Balance Beam Floor Exercise
2018 European Championships 2019 British Championships  2020 Melbourne World Cup  2020 Melbourne World Cup

About Ondine

Achampong is a rising star of British gymnastics. In 2019, her final year as a junior, she won the all around at the Welsh championships, the English championships and the British championships, and won gold on beam at the European Youth Olympic Festival. In 2020, her first year as a senior, she competed at the Melbourne World Cup, where she stunned with a silver-medal performance on beam and elegant floor choreography.

What She Brings to California

Vault

  • Skill: Yurchenko full
  • Results: –
  • Margin of Improvement: She could work on her block, as she pikes down on landing a bit.
  • Impact on the Team: Oklahoma has proved in recent years that 10.0 start-value vaults are key to winning national titles. California is a rising team with NCAA championship ambitions and is working toward a complete 10.0 lineup. Achampong was not recruited to fulfil this role, but with two more years before joining the Golden Bears she could improve her Yurchenko full, which is always useful as a lead-off vault.

Uneven Bars

  • Skills: in-bar full pirouette, stalder with flight bwd to the high bar, Van Leuween, full-in dismount
  • Results: first place at the 2019 junior British Championships
  • Margin of Improvement: Achampong’s routine feels a bit labored, and her dismount is always slightly short on landing. The routine is new and very difficult, though. As we know, NCAA bar routines are much easier, and head coaches Justin Howell and Elisabeth Crandall-Howell will surely pick her best skills to build an almost immaculate set.
  • Impact on the Team: Achampong will join an exceptional roster, which on bars will include J.O. standouts Andrea Li, Gabby Perea, Madelyn Williams and Ella Cesario. There will be a lot of competition for those six lineup spots, but Achampong is well-equipped to challenge for one of them.

Balance Beam

  • Skills: front aerial to leap jump to straddle jump, BHS + LOSO + LOSO, side aerial, switch ring, double turn, BHS + BH + 2.5 twist dismount
  • Results: second place at the 2020 Melbourne World Cup
  • Margin of Improvement: Achampong’s form on beam is stunning. She has elegant lines, straight knees, pointed toes, difficult elements—the whole package. It will be hard for the judges to find deductions.
  • Impact on the Team: Achampong is expected to contribute on beam from the start. She will join a star roster, which will include, among others, British teammate Amelie Morgan.

Floor Exercise

  • Skills: double pike, Memmel turn, front double twist, triple twist
  • Results: first place at the 2019 junior Welsh Championships
  • Margin of Improvement: She could be a bit more confident on her landings and point her toes on her double pike, but these are minor things. Achampong is elegant and poised, and will be expected to receive high scores in the NCAA. 
  • Impact on the Team: As with beam, California will count on her scores here.

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Article by Talitha Ilacqua

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