Way Too Early 2024 Power Rankings: May Update

There has been no shortage of headlines throughout the first month of the offseason, as the transfer portal, COVID year announcements, and training intentions for the Paris Olympics have all played a part in the nonstop NCAA gymnastics news post-championships. Plus, level 10 nationals took place last weekend, and with the top recruits on display, we got insight into how they’ll fit into their future programs. With so many happenings to report, the outlook for the 2024 season has shifted, meaning it’s time for an updated way-too-early rankings for next season.

Despite all the news, the Sooners have managed to stay on top of the power rankings with their top-10 recruiting class’ strong showing at nationals. Below them is where the chaos begins, as most teams’ rankings have changed since their April outlook. With names like Utah’s Sage Thompson and Alondra Maldonado from Iowa State still in the transfer portal and the coaching carousel just getting started, expect more drama to unfold as the summer progresses.

No. 1 Oklahoma

Previous Rank: 1

With Ragan Smith announcing her fifth year before the end of the season, no news out of Norman is good news, as there haven’t been any unexpected roster removals or chaotic coaching changes to unseat the Sooners from the top. That’s typical for Oklahoma, as KJ Kindler and her staff of 18 years have mastered retaining top talent, so don’t expect any change in the Sooners’ status as favorites this summer. The nation’s No. 4 overall recruit Hannah Scheible tied for the highest all-around score at level 10 nationals last weekend and is next in line for the role of standout Oklahoma freshman to get hyped about.

No. 2 LSU

Previous Rank: 5

In contrast to Oklahoma’s quiet start to the offseason, LSU has hogged the headlines—for good reason. By taking advantage of the transfer portal and available COVID years, LSU picked up the most momentum early in the offseason and has seen its title hopes surge accordingly. In addition to returning Kiya Johnson, Alyona Shchennikova, Kai Rivers, and Cammy Hall, the Tigers added former Ute Jillian Hoffman and Gator Savannah Schoenherr to its roster alongside a top-10 recruiting class that should give LSU the most useable depth of any team in 2024. That’s imperative for load management as the injury-prone upperclassmen should be able to preserve themselves for primetime performances. The Tigers will have plenty of options to choose from to build upon their recent Final Four finish and challenge for their first title.

No. 3 California

Previous Rank: 4

It’s been a quiet offseason for the Golden Bears with no COVID year announcements, transfers in or out, or coaching staff shuffles to speak of. Lacking distractions means the focus for California has been solely on preparing for the 2024 season, and with promising performances from its pair of five-star recruits—Kyen Mayhew and Annalise Newman-Achee—at nationals, the potential for what this team can accomplish keeps rising.

No. 4 Utah

Previous Rank: 3

The transfer portal gives, and the transfer portal takes, as Utah has seen Hoffmann head South, Lucy Stanhope depart for Nebraska, and Thompson announce her intention to transfer after last offseason’s key addition of Michigan transfer Abby Brenner. With the loss of depth and experience, Utah’s momentum has taken a bit of a hit to start the offseason. But, thankfully for the Utes, there won’t be much to replace after Stanhope was sidelined much of the season with injury, and Hoffman and Thompson were both one-eventers, leaving only a few holes for the trio of five-star recruits to fill.

No. 5 Florida

Previous Rank: 2

Of the title contenders, Florida has taken the biggest hit to its momentum this offseason, with superstar freshman Kayla DiCello announcing she will defer her 2024 NCAA season to make a run for the U.S. Olympic team. The Gators are now losing two of their top three all-arounders from this season, and with Leanne Wong yet to announce if she will defer to pursue her Olympic aspirations, they still could lose all three. While Florida is reloading with a class of pristine recruits, the experience lost takes time to replace.

No. 6 Alabama

Previous Rank: 8

The Crimson Tide had a stellar showing at level 10 nationals, with five-star recruits Jamison Sears and Chloe LaCoursiere combining for eight top-three finishes between them. Sears, the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2023 class, tied Sooner signee Scheible for the top all-around total of the weekend en route to winning every event in her division aside from beam, as she and LaCousiere are the future of this Alabama program. Plus, the pair will boost lineups rather than fill holes in 2024, as the Crimson Tide have also secured bonus year announcements from Luisa Blanco, Ella Burgess, Makarri Doggette, and Mati Waligora—all positive movement for Alabama to start the offseason.

No. 7 Michigan

Previous Rank: 7

The addition of Penn grad transfer McCaleigh Marr helps the Wolverines hold steady in the rankings, as her 9.950 career-high on beam will help solidify an event that has bitten them a few too many times recently. Her bars will be helpful, too, as Michigan hopes that retaining the AAI Award winner for a second-straight year helps negate losing an AAI Award winner. Sierra Brooks will lead a core that returns enough talent to challenge for another nationals appearance.

No. 8 Kentucky

Previous Rank: 10

The trio of Wildcat recruits at level 10 nationals had an impressive showing, as five-star Delaynee Rodriguez won beam and floor while placing second in the all-around, four-star Cadence Gormley placed third on bars with a big 9.900, and three-star Creslyn Brose overperformed for a third-place all-around finish. With those promising routines incoming and instrumental ones staying in the form of COVID years from Raena Worley and Arianna Patterson, the perennial bubble team may just start the 2024 season as a nationals favorite.

No. 9 UCLA

Previous Rank: 6

After undergoing a coaching staff change last offseason, the Bruins somewhat welcome the lack of headlines out of Westwood so far this offseason. But with UCLA recruits MIA at level 10 nationals and no way to replicate the star power lost as Jordan Chiles defers the 2024 NCAA season, it’s still being determined whether it will be able to maintain the top-five status it ascended to this season. A breakout season from Emily Lee in the all-around to complement Selena Harris would do the Bruins wonders, but that remains to be seen.

No. 10 Michigan State

Previous Rank: 9

A fifth-year announcement from Jori Jackard not only means that the Spartans are retaining every routine from 2023, but they also retain her career-high perfect 10 on bars. With nothing to replace, Michigan State is in position to build upon last season and make a push to land back in the top 10. Bringing in four-star recruit Makayla Tucker and her booming Yurchenko one and a half on vault that won her a level 10 national title will help.

No. 11 Oregon State

Previous Rank: 12

The biggest news from the west coast this offseason is Jade Carey revealing that she will remain at Oregon State while training for the 2024 Olympics, a move that keeps the Beavers firmly on the nationals bubble. Her decision to stay while other household names defer gives Oregon State a leg up, and four-star recruit Sophia Esposito’s all-around title at level 10 nationals means it may have an immediate solution to graduating stalwart Madi Dagen.

No. 12 Auburn

Previous Rank: 11

It has been a relatively uneventful start to the post-Sunisa Lee era at Auburn, as the only news has been the addition of transfer Lila Smith from Kentucky and Madelynn Crow from Georgia plus an average outing at nationals from its crop of recruits. While it will be hard to replicate the top-four success we saw from the Tigers without the reigning Olympic all-around champion, their core of Cassie Stevens, Sophia Groth, and a healthy Olivia Greaves can keep Auburn in nationals contention.

No. 13 Missouri

Previous Rank: 15

Missouri has both gained and lost this early offseason, as lauded assistant coach Casey Jo MacPherson departed to fill the Pittsburgh head coaching vacancy. However, the roster gained bars extraordinaire Mara Titarsolej from LIU. That helps offset the loss of two of the Tigers’ top bar workers while Titarsolej’s set can also factor into maintaining their beam prowess sans Helen Hu.

No. 14 Stanford

Previous Rank: 13

Stanford’s academic limitations as a school make it somewhat exempt from the transfer portal, so no news is what we’ve come to expect from the Cardinal every offseason. All eyes are on its No. 2 ranked incoming class, where four-star recruit Sienna Robinson just posted a top-three all-around finish at nationals. With few routines to replace and plenty of talent incoming, Stanford should expect another rise up the rankings in 2024.

No. 15 Ohio State

Previous Rank: 17

The Buckeyes have picked up positive momentum via the portal, as they nabbed Pittsburgh transfer Sidney Washington to be the perfect, experienced replacement for the routines lost from Elexis Edwards. With the most critical lineup holes now filled, Ohio State and its duo of incoming four-star recruits should once again threaten for an NCAA championships berth.

No. 16 Denver

Previous Rank: 14

Denver has been a part of the no news club this offseason, as top-10 recruit Madison Ulrich’s performance from level 10 nationals is the only thing to report. Ulrich hit 9.925 on bars to take the event title in her division while placing third in the all-around, looking like somewhat of an answer to filling the void Lynnzee Brown leaves.

No. 17 Iowa

Previous Rank: 19

The 2024 outlook for the Hawkeyes continues to rise as LIU transfer Ilka Juk joins the roster and should finally provide some stability to Iowa’s beam lineup with her 9.900 NQS from last season. That’s beneficial as there’s just a pair of routines to replace, and the Hawkeyes have swung momentum in their favor. With Adeline Kenlin and Jerquavia Henderson still around, there’s no reason this roster can’t get above the 197 barrier that has eluded Iowa far too often over the past several seasons.

No. 18 Georgia

Previous Rank: 18

The Bulldogs are in the same situation as they started the offseason in—set to lose a substantial amount of routines with the top-ranked recruiting class incoming to save them. No. 3 overall recruit Lily Smith notched a runner-up finish on bars at level 10 nationals, fellow five-star Holly Snyder earned a top-five all-around finish, four-star Jaydah Battle won the vault title, and 2024 four-star Ady Wahl reclassified to join Georgia a year early next season. It’s hard to predict how well the freshman class will adjust, but there are plenty of promising pieces amongst the group.

No. 19 Arizona State

Previous Rank: 16

The Sun Devils slide slightly in the rankings as staff turnover has wiped them clean of assistant coaches. Without much leadership to guide it through the offseason, Arizona State’s 2024 projections will be in flux until it’s clear who will assist head coach Jay Santos in maintaining its top-20 status. 

No. 20 Arkansas

Previous Rank: Not Ranked

While the Razorbacks are still looking to replace double-digit routines from 2023, they’ve manifested enough success through the transfer portal and incoming recruits to jump into the updated rankings. Four-star recruit Priscilla Park had a stellar level 10 nationals with runner-up bars and beam finishes propelling her to third in the all-around, while beam specialist and Arizona transfer Sirena Linton can provide a lift to Arkansas’ weakest event from last season.

Next In Contention: Penn State, Washington, Arizona, Minnesota, Western Michigan

READ THIS NEXT: Many Gymnastics Plans Up in the Air as Conference Realignment Looms

Article by Brandis Heffner

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