17 Future NCAA Gymnasts Set to Compete at Winter Cup

A total of 17 NCAA commits in the classes of 2021, 2022 and 2023 are scheduled to compete at the Winter Cup this weekend. The main session of the senior competition will take place on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 12:30 p.m. EST, while the juniors and the remaining seniors will compete on Sunday, Feb. 28 at noon EST. The Winter Cup is normally a men’s gymnastics meet, but this year’s edition is the first time it will feature a women’s competition.

UCLA boasts five commits—Jordan Chiles, Emma Malabuyo and Emily Lee in the class of 2021, as well as Sydney Barros and Katelyn Rosen in the class of 2023. 

Florida will be represented by four athletes—Shilese Jones and world champion Riley McCusker in the class of 2021, and junior world champion Kayla DiCello and and junior national champion Olivia Greaves in the class of 2022.

Two athletes are also committed to Auburn: world champion Sunisa Lee in the class of 2021, and 2023 graduate Lyden Saltness.

All other colleges will be represented by one gymnast. In the class of 2021, world champion and Olympic qualifier Jade Carey has signed with Oregon State and Alonna Kratzer with Missouri, while in the class of 2022 eMjae Frazier is committed to California, Karis German to Alabama, Lilly Lippeatt to LSU and Faith Torrez to Oklahoma.

The only uncommitted athlete in the class of 2022 to compete at the Cup is Ciena Alipio.

In the class of 2023, together with Barros, Rosen and Saltness, the competition will also feature junior world medalist Skye Blakely, Amari Drayton, Addison Fatta, Hailey Klein, Temple Landry, Zoe Miller, Sienna Robinson and junior national champion Konnor McClain.

Elle Mueller and Lexi Zeiss, in the class of 2024, will also compete in the senior competition. Curiously, Zeiss is scheduled to compete at the Nastia Liukin Cup on Friday and will make her elite debut at the Winter Cup later that same weekend. 

The junior competition will feature Katelyn Jong, Levi Jung-Ruivivar, Kaliya Lincoln and Joscelyn Roberson in the class of 2024; Charlotte Booth, Nola Matthews, Michelle Pineda, Autumn Reingold, Paloma Spiridonova, Ashlee Sullivan, Tiana Sumanasekera and Lucy Tobia in the class of 2025; and Madray Johnson, Zoey Molomo and Ella Kate Parker in the class of 2026.

Among the big names missing from the competition are Olympic champion Simone Biles, world champions Morgan Hurd, a Florida signee, and Grace McCallum, a Utah signee, as well as the GAGE squad—Florida signee Leanne Wong, Utah signee Kara Eaker, also a world champion, and LSU signee Aleah Finnegan

For most athletes, this is their first elite competition since 2019. The only gymnasts with recent competition experience are Frazier, who competed at the Friendship and Solidarity Meet in Tokyo, Japan, last November, and Chiles, Greaves, Miller and Spiridonova, who competed at the WOGA Classic last month.

Olympic champion Laurie Hernandez will also compete for the first time since 2016 this weekend.

Tune in on NBC at 12:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, Feb. 26 to watch the main session of the women’s senior competition. The junior competition, together with the remaining seniors, will be broadcast by FloGymnastics on Sunday, Feb. 27 at noon EST.

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Article by Talitha Ilacqua

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