There’s less than a week left until the start of the long-awaited 2021 season. While this year may look a bit different than we’re used to, the gymnastics is still the same—and it wouldn’t be a new season without some predictions. Taking a page out of The Athletic’s book, we’ll be answering one pressing question over the course of 10 days as we gear up for the first meet. Check out the previous days’ questions and predictions here.
Who will be the top freshman in 2021?
Winner: Haleigh Bryant (8 votes)
Runners-up: Andi Li (2 votes)
Also receiving votes: Naomi Morrison, Shania Adams (1 vote)
Elizabeth: To me the obvious answer is Haleigh Bryant at LSU. We’re low on top elites starting college thanks to the Olympics, and Bryant was objectively the top level 10 in the country. I cannot wait to see that vault in competition.
Talitha: Yes, definitely Haleigh Bryant! Her vault is out of this world, and she can be an excellent and consistent all arounder.
Katherine: I haven’t heard a lot of hype about Shania Adams, but she could be a game changer in the SEC and the entire country and I think she will be very successful in 2021.
Katie: Haleigh Bryant at LSU would have to be it for me. LSU really needs her in their lineups this season, and she brings consistency, talent and poise. Her front pike half on vault could be a 10.0 at some point this season, and on floor she performs an E, a front double twist, as her last pass.
Emily M: It has to be Haleigh Bryant. We all watched her stick a double Arabian cold at Gym 101.
Brandis: I am also going to choose Haleigh Bryant for this one. She’s bringing the exciting skills and consistency that nearly every college gymnastics fan wants to see.
Mary Emma: I’m going to be different and go with Andi Li at Cal. I have been anticipating her college debut for years, and her bars and beam in particular are already 10-worthy.
Jenna: This is the hardest question—how can I pick just one? Bryant is the obvious answer, but I have to give some recognition to Naomi Morrison, who looked outstanding at Michigan’s recent intrasquad and will surely be a star for the Wolverines.
Izzi: It feels impossible to pick anyone besides Haleigh Bryant. She’s so clean and consistent, and she showed that she can handle the pressure at Gym 101.
Tara: How am I supposed to pick just one? While Bryant is the obvious answer, I’m going to be slightly unconventional and go with Andi Li. She has clean, consistent gymnastics (especially on bars and beam, as Mary Emma pointed out), and I’m excited to see what she can do at Cal.
Claire: Haleigh Bryant. If her performance at LSU’s Gym 101 was any indication, she’s going to be very tough to beat.
Kalley: It’s hard to argue against Haleigh Bryant, so she has my vote. But I am also very excited to see what Mya Hooten will do for the Gophers.
Article by Elizabeth Grimsley, Talitha Ilacqua, Katherine Weaver, Katie Walsh, Emily Minehart, Brandis Heffner, Tara Graeve, Mary Emma Burton, Jenna King, Izzi Baskin, Claire Billman and Kalley Leer
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