Ryan Roberts Alabama Georgia

Last Week in College Gym: June 6

There’s a lot that happens on the gymternet each week. So much so that it can be hard to keep track of it all. From training updates and COVID year announcements to recruiting rumors and coaching news, we don’t blame you for missing some important points here and there.

That’s where we come in. Last Week in College Gym is your one-stop shop for all the important headlines from the previous week in college gymnastics. No matter if you’re taking a social media break, went on vacation or just don’t have the capacity to follow every single gymnast, team and fan, we have you covered.

Top Storylines

Coaching Carousel Active to Start Offseason

Amy Smith, former Utah State head coach, was announced as Clemson’s inaugural head coach. Arizona State’s Kristen White was named Utah State’s new head coach. After Chris Waller’s resignation from UCLA, California assistant coach Janelle McDonald is slated to step in to lead the Bruins. Ashley Priess-Johnston, Alabama alumna and Auburn associate head coach, got the call to take over the Crimson Tide’s program after Dana Duckworth’s surprise departure. Ryan Roberts—who served as assistant coach at Alabama under Duckworth—is heading to Georgia to fill the assistant role left vacant by Josh Overton’s controversial dismissal at the end of the 2022 season. Roberts’ former fellow assistant coach, Oleksii Koltakov, is moving to Big Ten, taking an assistant job at Nebraska. Rounding out the SEC changes, Florida’s Adrian Burde is staying put in Gainesville but has been promoted from assistant to associate head coach. 

Morgan Price Announces Commitment to Fisk

Five-star recruit Morgan Price, formerly committed to Arkansas, announced she will be taking her talents to Fisk University for its inaugural season in 2023. Price has dominated the level 10 circuit for the last two seasons, collecting gold at the state, regional and national level. Fisk is the first HBCU to sponsor gymnastics, and Price hopes her time at the university will inspire the future generations of young Black gymnasts. 

Teams Score Big With Transfer Portal

This offseason has seen some big name transfer news, including Norah Flatley and Abby Brenner switching schools for their fifth year of competition. Flatley heads to Arkansas after the best season of her career, culminating in a seventh place all-around finish at nationals. Abby Brenner will join former Twin City Twisters teammates Abby Paulson and Grace McCallum at Utah. Rising junior Victoria Nguyen also entered the portal, choosing to transfer to Florida. Despite losing Nguyen, Georgia will be gaining Josie Angeny (Kentucky) and Sandra Elsadek (Ball State). 

Six Former Utah State Athletes Commit to Clemson

Questions about the mysterious disappearance of six athletes from the Utah State roster were quickly answered when Clemson announced its “team zero.” Molly Arnold, Trinity Brown, Brie Clark, Eve Jackson, Kielyn McCright and Rebecca Wells are transferring to Clemson and forgoing the 2023 season to be a part of the Tigers’ inaugural season in 2024. These athletes accounted for 14 routines last season. Brie Clark was named the 2022 MRGC freshman and floor specialist of the year en route to a second-team All American selection. Rebecca Wells was the conference all-around title winner as well.

Other Newsworthy Items

  • Pittsburgh commit Julie Røttum (‘23) competed at the Varna Challenge Cup, placing fifth on the balance beam.
  • The 2022 Canadian championships were held in Richmond, British Columbia, featuring a mix of current, former and incoming collegiate gymnasts. Top 10 senior all-around finishes were earned by Denelle Pedrick (Central Michigan ‘20), Emma Spence (Nebraska ‘25), Sydney Turner (Iowa ‘26) and Kyra Cato (San Jose State ‘26). 
  • On the heels of their stellar freshman seasons, Florida’s Leanne Wong, Oregon State’s Jade Carey and UCLA’s Jordan Chiles returned to their elite roots, participating in April’s national team camp.
  • Rising LSU sophomore and former U.S. national team member Aleah Finnegan is now competing for her mother’s home country of the Philippines. Finnegan earned two golds and two silvers at the recent SEA Games
  • While she’s still considering making a return to elite and run to defend her Olympic all-around title, rising sophomore Sunisa Lee confirmed she will return to Auburn for her sophomore season.
  • Ruthuja Nataraj, rising Illinois sophomore, will be competing for India at the Asian championships and FIG World Challenge Cup. 
  • Victoria Gatzendorfer announced that she’ll be transferring from Missouri to Maryland.
  • Haley Tyson announced that she’ll be transferring from Minnesota to Iowa.
  • Sacramento State will finally have its own facility this season, and Boise State has announced plans for building a new gym

NIL Brand Deals

  • Denver junior Jessica Hutchinson released a special edition leotard through Salute Leos.

Training Updates

  • Rising Iowa State sophomore Hannah Loyim posted a training clip of a full-twisting double layout into the pit to her Instagram story.
  • Rising Oklahoma sophomore Danielle Sievers posted a training clip of a Deltchev release on bars to her Instagram story.
  • Rising LIU sophomore Ilka Juk posted multiple training videos including a Bhardwaj on bars, an Onodi on beam and a double layout on Tumbl Trak to her Instagram.
  • Rising Brockport junior Naimah Muhammad is back training a front toss beat jump connection on beam in addition to a front tuck through to double tuck into the pit.
  • Incoming Cortland freshman Ava Miranov is working a Tkatchev to shootover combination on bars. 
  • Illinois State rising junior Kaitlyn Donovan is training a front tuck mount on beam while classmate Madison Kipp is training an upgraded front toss to scale. Incoming freshman Nirel Bart-Williams posted a training video of a front double tuck half dismount off bars. 
  • Rising Nebraska senior Clara Colombo posted a double front half bar dismount into the pit on her Instagram. 
  • Incoming Cornell freshman Cami Whitaker is training a switch leap to tour jeté quarter series on beam. 
  • Rising Ohio State sophomore Maddy Pike is training an aerial to 1.5 dismount on beam into the pit. 
  • LSU standout Haleigh Bryant is training a piked Jaeger

READ THIS NEXT: Norah Flatley Transfers to Arkansas from UCLA for Fifth Year

Article by the editors of College Gym News

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  1. What’s with usIng the adjective rising so often? Is that a term related to them being a sophomore in the coming season?

    1. Hi Kelly, Yes! Rising sophomore, for example, is a common term for someone who is set to be a sophomore/is transitioning from being a freshman to a sophomore. It’s used outside of athletics for general students as well: rising sixth grader, rising senior, etc.

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