Recruit Files: Kendall LaPlante, Iowa

Name: Kendall LaPlante
Club: Tampa Bay Turners, FL
High School Graduation Year: 2020

NCAA Team: Iowa
Commitment Announcement: Instagram
Social Handles: Twitter | Instagram (main) | Instagram (gymnastics)

Personal Bests | Level 10

VaultUneven BarsBalance BeamFloor ExerciseAll Around

Videos | Level 10

VaultUneven BarsBalance BeamFloor Exercise
2019 L10 Nationals2019 L10 Nationals2019 L10 Nationals2019 Pink Invitational

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About Kendall

LaPlante is a two-time level 10 nationals qualifier (2017 and 2019). She tied for third place in the all around in 2019 (senior A). Earlier that year, she was crowned balance beam champion at the Florida state meet where she also won bronze in the all around and silver on vault and floor. She won bronze on vault at the 2019 Region 8 regionals, too. In 2020, she scored career highs on vault, bars and beam. LaPlante will graduate from high school early and join the Hawkeyes in January 2021.

What She Brings to Iowa


  • Skill: Yurchenko full
  • Results: second place at the 2019 Florida state meet (career high)
  • Margin of Improvement: LaPlante performs a powerful and solid vault. If she could achieve more height, she would be able to stick the landing more easily.
  • Impact on the Team: LaPlante will be expected to contribute to the lineup from the start. Her addition is especially welcome after Ariana Agrapides’ recent retirement.

Uneven Bars

  • Skills: straddled Jaeger to bail, double layout dismount
  • Results: first place at the 2020 Delta Classic Invitational (career high)
  • Margin of Improvement: LaPlante has good form on her release moves on bars but could still work on her handstands.
  • Impact on the Team: Iowa showed a lot of potential on bars in 2020 but also a lot of inconsistency. Head Coach Larissa Libby will hope for LaPlante to bring some calmness and consistency to the lineup.

Balance Beam

  • Skills: full turn, front aerial, BHS + LOSO, switch leap to switch leap, leap jump to ring jump, side aerial to full twist dismount
  • Results: 2019 Florida state champion 
  • Margin of Improvement: LaPlante’s form on her acrobatic elements is stunning and so is her toe point. Her leaps, however, will incur deductions.
  • Impact on the Team: Iowa did well in 2020 but failed to score into the 9.9s. LaPlante’s execution score will suffer as a result of her leaps, but she will be expected to score consistently in the 9.8s.

Floor Exercise

  • Skills: double pike, Rudi to straddle jump, front twist to front pike
  • Results: first place at the 2019 Pink Invitational (career high)
  • Margin of Improvement: LaPlante is an elegant and dynamic performer with solid landings. As with beam, her splits are short of 180 degrees, though.
  • Impact on the Team: Floor was Iowa’s best apparatus in 2020, with four gymnasts scoring 9.900 or higher. One of them was Agrapides, whose scores LaPlante will be expected to match.

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Article by Talitha Ilacqua

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