We all remember the elite careers of MyKayla Skinner, Maggie Nichols, Kyla Ross and Madison Kocian (how could we forget?), but what about the likes of Stefani Catour, Kennedi Edney and Missy Reinstadtler? While these gymnasts are well known for their success in college, you probably didn’t know—or at least don’t remember—that they once took to the elite competition stage as well.
Missy Reinstadtler (Utah)
When we think of Utah elites, MyKayla Skinner immediately comes to mind. She’s not the only elite the Utes added last year, though. Fellow freshman Reinstadtler competed at the 2013 P&G Championships in the junior division and finished eighth in the all around as a senior at the 2014 Secret Classic.
Ari Guerra (Alabama)
Alabama has a number of elites on the roster. Guerra’s elite career was lower profile than some of her teammates’, but she was no slouch: She was a Texas Dreamer and qualified to the U.S. championships four times. Her best outing was in 2013, when she finish fifth on bars and sixth on beam.
Lauren Marinez (Michigan)
Michigan has traditionally recruited a mix of ninja level 10s and under the radar elites. Marinez, who falls into the latter category, was fourth on beam in the junior division at the 2011 Visa Championships.
Stefani Catour (Oklahoma)
Wait a minute, we thought Oklahoma was a standout level 10 school, not a place for former elites. But with four gymnasts on the list of forgotten elites, we may be rethinking the school’s tagline. Catour is another that tested the elite waters before heading to college, winning the 2009 Covergirl Classic in the pre-elite division and training to compete at her first Visa Championships with clubmate MyKayla Skinner.
Seven years ago, these two were training at their first USA Championships. Now they're NCAA stars! It was great to have them in this week! pic.twitter.com/XPt7QTYp6u
— Lisa Spini (@SpiniLisa) August 11, 2017
Alex Marks (Oklahoma)
Yet another forgotten former elite that eventually went to Oklahoma, Marks competed at the Cover Classic as a junior in 2011 and won the American Challenge hopes division in 2009.
Nicole Lehrmann (Oklahoma)
The final Sooner on our list, Lehrmann was a junior elite in 2011 and 2012, finishing second on bars at the American Classic her first year on the scene and qualifying to the Visa Championships in her second season.
Lacy Dagen (Florida > Oregon State)
Florida has had some high-profile elite commits over the years (think Bridget Sloan, Amelia Hundley and Jazzy Foberg), but they’ve picked up some lesser-known elites as well. Dagen had a strong 2012 elite season, finishing eighth on vault at the Secret Classic and seventh on the same event at the Visa Championships. Dagen didn’t see many lineups at Florida, but should be a bigger part of the mix after transferring to Oregon State.
Shannon McNatt (Utah)
McNatt hadn’t seen the light of the Utah lineup much until she was brought in on beam at the last minute at 2017 regionals, casually scored a 9.9 and going on to win the event. You know, like one does for their first time out. She had a very brief stint as an elite as she qualified to the 2012 Visa Championships in the junior division before going back down to level 10 shortly thereafter.
Kennedi Edney (LSU)
Edney was a breakout star for LSU in 2017 and was a new name for most fans. She did compete junior elite, though, and qualified to the 2013 Secret Classic.
Samantha Partyka (Utah)
Partyka medically retired at the end of her sophomore season at Utah due to nagging injuries. Before being a solid contributor to the Utes for two years, she too was a junior elite like many others on this list and competed at the 2011 Visa Championships. She finished 20th in the all around and 18th on beam.
Ericha Fassbender (Florida)
It’s pretty well established that Florida has attracted all the elites in the last decade plus. But in the middle of the big names like Baker, Hundley, King or Sloan, it is easy to forget that Fassbender also competed at the elite level for a few seasons as a junior. She finished ninth in the all around and third on beam at the 2010 Visa Championships. In 2011, she was selected to the U.S. national team to compete in Jesolo where she finished ninth in the AA and sixth on uneven bars. Later that season, she competed at the Covergirl Classic and finished fifth on beam and qualified to the Visa Championships in the junior division.
Article by the editors at NCAA Gym News