Recruit Files: Payton Harris, Ohio State

Name: Payton Harris
Club: M&M
High School Graduation Year: 2022

NCAA Team: Ohio State
Commitment Announcement: Instagram
Social Handles: Twitter | Instagram 

Personal Bests 

Vault Uneven Bars Balance Beam Floor Exercise All Around
9.775 9.500 9.625 9.800 38.525


Vault Uneven Bars Balance Beam Floor Exercise
2020 IGI Chicago Style Meet 2020 Legacy Elite Classic 2020 Legacy Elite Classic 2020 Legacy Elite Classic

Recruit Rating*

Vault Uneven Bars Balance Beam Floor Exercise All Around Rating
12 14 14 17 57 ⭐️⭐️⭐️

*For more on our new Recruit Rating system, please take a look at our dedicated landing page.

About Payton

Harris is a 3-star recruit with potential to become a 4-star next year. She is a 2019 level 10 nationals qualifier, as well as a state and regional champion. She is the 2019 Wisconsin state champion on floor and the Region 4 champion in the all around, vault, bars and floor. She scored career highs on vault, bars and beam in 2020.

What She Brings to Ohio State


  • Skill: Yurchenko 1.5
  • Results: 2019 Region 4 champion
  • Margin of Improvement: The Yurchenko 1.5 is a new vault for Harris. Although it still looks slightly tentative, it’s promising for the future. Her Yurchenko full is solid but that extra half twist has the potential to really boost her scores here.
  • Impact on the Team: Ohio State worked hard to stick its landings in 2020 but did not perform any 10.0 start value vaults. Harris could be a game changer if she brings her Yurchenko 1.5 to Columbus. 

Uneven Bars

  • Skills: bail to handstand, toe shoot, blind full to double tuck dismount
  • Results: 2019 Region 4 champion
  • Margin of Improvement: Harris’ routine is not very difficult, but her execution is steady and she has two more years of club gymnastics to increase her difficulty.
  • Impact on the Team: 2020 was an excellent year for the Buckeyes on bars, with Jenna Swartzentruber, Olivia Aepli and Colby Miller scoring 9.900s or above. They will all have graduated once Harris gets to college, though. Her routine should at least score well.

Balance Beam

  • Skills: side aerial, straddle leap half on the side of the beam, switch leap to straddle jump quarter, full turn, front aerial to front toss, double twist dismount
  • Results: tied third place at the 2019 Wisconsin state meet
  • Margin of Improvement: Harris is an impressive beam worker. Her front acrobatic series is difficult and unique, her switch leap is gorgeous and she has the fluidity of a great “beamer.” Her rating is lower than her potential deserves because her 2019 scores were all over the place; in 2020, however, she was much steadier.
  • Impact on the Team: Ella Hodges impressed with a 9.925 last year, but the rest of the lineup, despite some outstanding performances, still presented a margin of improvement. Harris could be outstanding if she can keep her nerves at bay.

Floor Exercise

  • Skills: double pike, front double twist to stag jump, front full twist to front layout
  • Results: 2019 Wisconsin state and Region 4 champion
  • Margin of Improvement: Harris’ floor work is beautiful to watch. Her tumbling is steady, her form is tight and her en pointe choreography is superb. She is already ready for college.
  • Impact on the Team: Ohio State did really well on floor in 2020, with four different gymnasts scoring a 9.900 or higher. Harris has the potential to score as high. We hope she will keep her en pointe steps in her collegiate routines!

READ THIS NEXT: Recruit Files: Lillian Lewis, Alabama

Article by Talitha Ilacqua

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