Most Anticipated Elite Freshmen on Vault

The most anticipated series is back! We looked at the data and videos for each incoming elite freshman on each event to see which gymnasts are at the top of their class across the apparatuses and in the all around. This week we’re looking at the top elite vaulters for 2021. Without as much data to work with as the J.O. rankings, and since many of the difficult vaults will be downgraded once the gymnast gets to college, we focused on the factors that are typically the source of most deductions in NCAA: form, amplitude, distance and landing. We also took into account the potential impact the gymnast could make to their school’s vault lineup.

Emma Malabuyo, UCLA

Malabuyo’s execution on her most recent double-twisting Yurchenkos suffered slightly from her multiple injuries, but she still performs a strong vault. She may downgrade it to a full during her freshman season, yet head coach Chris Waller will be happy to know that she has the potential for a 10.0 start value.

Shania Adams, Alabama

Adams’ full-twisting Yurchenko is a beauty. She pikes down slightly on landing, but she achieves outstanding height and amplitude. She will be a great addition to Alabama’s lineup and Shea Mahoney’s perfect replacement.

Brooklyn Moors, UCLA

Moors has competed several handspring vaults as an elite gymnast, including a handspring front pike full. Given their difficulty, her vaults are all a bit messy in the air. Her handspring front pike half, however, is more polished and is still a 10.0 start value in college. The Bruins will be very happy to have her, given that they have to replace three 10.0s.

Montana Fairbairn, Alaska

Fairbarn competes a difficult vault that starts from a 10.0 in college: a Yurchenko half on, half pike off. It’s not the cleanest, but it will have a huge impact on a team that did not score over a 9.750 on vault in all of 2020.

Frida Esparza, UCLA

Esparza’s Yurchenko full is high and strong, despite a slight pike down. If she can control the landing, she will score high. In the past, she also competed a Yurchenko double.

Honorable Mentions

Lucy Stanhope, Utah

Olivia Hollingsworth, Auburn

READ THIS NEXT: Most Anticipated J.O. Freshmen in the All Around


Article by Talitha Ilacqua, Jenna King and Rebecca Scally

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