Recruit Files: Ariana Light, Central Michigan

Name: Ariana Light
Club: Golden City Gymnastics
High School Graduation Year: 2021


NCAA Team: Central Michigan
Commitment Announcement: Instagram
Social Handles: Twitter | Instagram 

Personal Bests 

Vault Uneven Bars Balance Beam Floor Exercise
9.425 9.300 9.700 9.650


Vault Uneven Bars Balance Beam Floor Exercise
2020 Metroplex Challenge 2019 Region 8 Regionals 2019 Region 8 Regionals 2019 Region 8 Regionals

About Ariana

Light is a 2019 J.O. nationals qualifier. There, she tied for eleventh place on floor and for twelfth on beam (Senior A). In 2019 she was second on floor and third in the all around at the Florida state meet and tied for silver on beam at Region 8 regionals. She is also the 2018 regional champion on beam.

What She Brings to Central Michigan


  • Skill: Yurchenko full
  • Results: fifth place at the 2019 Florida state meet (career high)
  • Margin of Improvement: Light’s vault is slightly messy in the air and a tad piked down on landing.
  • Impact on the Team: Central Michigan had a very strong vault lineup in 2020, which included Denelle Pedrick’s double-twisting Yurchenko. Light has one more year of club gymnastics to clean up her form. If she does, she could challenge for a spot.

Uneven Bars

  • Skills: Jaeger to shoot over, double front dismount
  • Results: first place at 2019 All Handstands on Deck (career high)
  • Margin of Improvement: Light performs some big skills, but her form needs improvement. She has a severe leg separation on her bail and bent knees on her Jaeger.
  • Impact on the Team: Central Michigan was outstanding on bars in 2020 and will hope to continue to be so in the years to come. As Light’s routine stands, it would incur too many deductions to make the lineup.

Balance Beam

  • Skills: full turn, BHS + LOSO, switch leap + straddle jump quarter, side somi, side aerial to 1.5 twist dismount
  • Results: tied second place at the 2019 Region 8 regionals
  • Margin of Improvement: This is Light’s best apparatus. Her form is crisp, except for a slight knee bend on her acrobatic series, and her mount is original.
  • Impact on the Team: Except for Pedrick, the rest of Central Michigan’s beam lineup, which did well in 2020, will still be competing once Light gets to college. She could be the icing on the cake of a growing beam team.

Floor Exercise

  • Skills: double pike, front layout to front full twist, Rudi
  • Results: second place at the 2019 Florida state meet
  • Margin of Improvement: Light’s execution is very good on floor, except for very minor deductions on her tumbling passes. What really stands out in her routine, however, is her original choreography.
  • Impact on the Team: Central Michigan’s two best floor workers in 2020, Pedrick and Sydney Williams, have graduated. Head coach Christine MacDonald will seek to replace them in the years to come. Light’s routine may be shy of 9.9s but will be in contention for a lineup spot.

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Article by Talitha Ilacqua

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