We’ve heard the refrain over and over: College routines can be too cookie-cutter. We see so many Yurchenko fulls and back handspring layouts that it’s always a thrill to watch gymnasts throw unique skills. Well, fear not gym fans! The classes of 2024 and 2025 are packed with less common skills and daring combinations. We rounded up recruits with skills that excited us from both classes. Prepare to add some names to your gymnasts-to-watch list.
Mya Gordon (Let It Shine), 2024
Perfecting the landing on her explosive front pike half helped Gordon earn a 10.000 on vault at her level 10 state meet. Illinois, which has sometimes struggled with difficulty on vault, will love to have this vault in its lineup come 2025.
Haylee Hardin (Texas Dreams), 2024
Hardin is set to be a stellar two-event specialist in the NCAA with college-ready vault and floor routines that would be welcome on almost any team today. Her Omelianchik should anchor the Iowa State vault lineup starting the moment she steps on campus.
Nyla Aquino (Broderick), 2024
First-year level 10 Aquino boasts a big, clean Tsuk full. She’s committed to Temple, where her particularly strong vault and floor work will shine.
Paityn Walker (Head Over Heels), 2024
A Podkopayeva! In level 10! Alabama commit Walker could bring the vault to the Crimson Tide. The recruit is best known for her bar work, but we can’t help but highlight such a unique vault.
Charlotte Booth (Brandy Johnson’s), 2025
Longtime fan-favorite elite Booth continues to impress with her clean form and unique skills. The gymnast competes a Derwael-Fenton to Ezhova combination in her elite bars set. We’d be remiss not to mention Norah Christian (Cascade Elite West, 2025) who also attempted a Derwael-Fenton at Winter Cup this year.
Nola Matthews (Airborne), 2025 and Alana Walker (North Stars), 2024
Elite Matthews, who recently earned a spot on the Pan Ams team, has a packed bar routine that includes a solid Downie. Minnesota commit Alana Walker has also competed a Downie in her packed level 10 set.
Ryan Fuller (Head Over Heels), 2024
Alabama commit Fuller competes a clean and difficult bar set, featuring a big Ricna. The five-star recruit is sure to feature in the Crimson Tide’s lineup when she joins the team in 2024.
Olivia Kelly (North Stars), 2024
Barbados national team member Kelly brings intricate pirouetting work to her set, featuring an Endo half. Her routine also features a Church to immediate bail. She is sure to become a fan-favorite on bars at Missouri.
Bailey Stroud (JPAC), 2025
If you’re looking for an elite bars set from a level 10, look no further than Stroud. Her jam-packed routine features a Ricna, Ezhova, van Leeuwen, and double layout, all done with standout toe point and extension. The two-time Nastia Liukin Cup competitor took the bars crown at the 2022 meet and won the event title at 2022 level 10 nationals. Stroud shows no sign of slowing down, either; she’s training a Ray to Pak to van Leeuwen combo.
Jordis Eichman (World Champions), 2025
The Chow half is a skill we don’t see too often, and Eichman has a nice one in her elite set. The four-star recruit is also a level 10 2022 national beam champion.
Layla Bobek (Universal), 2025
Doing anything standing with no momentum on beam is hard. It’s why fans fawn over standing fulls and Arabians so often. It’s also why we’re so impressed with Bobek’s routine. She not only does a standing layout step-out layout step-out series but a standing front tuck to beat jump, too.
Jazlynn Chism (MEGA), 2025
Helen Hu may have graduated, but her press handstand successor may be right around the corner. Chism performs a stunning press handstand mount to kick off her routine, and it’s sure to become a fan favorite moment should she keep it in college. She also stands out on bars, where she competes without grips.
Special shout out to Taylor McMahon (Texas Dreams, 2025) who also performs a neat piked press mount that turns heads every time out.
Clara Raposo (Manjak’s), 2024
Raposo continues the Canadian tradition of performing difficult turns on beam. Her double full turn is the underrated star of her routine, and one we hope she keeps when she arrives in Salt Lake City for college.
Sasha Fujisaka (Airborne), 2024
Fujisaka’s beam routine is full of innovation, making her a perfect fit for UCLA. While her side aerial half stands out the most, she also performs a one-armed back handspring to layout step-out for her series, carrying on the Trinity Thomas legacy now that the Gator GOAT has graduated.
Patricia Mills (Frederick), 2024
Sometimes it’s the little things that catch your eye, and that’s exactly what Mills does with her switch-leg back handspring to front toss series. On the surface it’s a simple series, but throwing in the switch-leg element makes it her own. This rising senior is still uncommitted, and we can’t wait to see which team will value her creativity.
Sophia Bell (Xtreme), 2024
Bell’s routine is jam packed with fun gymnastics. From her back handspring to two feet to layout step-out series to her double pike dismount to her creative full turn starting from her knee, we can’t pick our favorite element. Whatever she ends up bringing to Auburn when she arrives on campus for the 2025 season is sure to be a fan favorite.
Emerson Smith (Buckeye), 2024
Front tumbling series on beam are rare, which is why we love Smith’s front handspring to side aerial even more. It’s so risky! Yet so fun! Smith may still be uncommitted, but we’re guessing not for long if she keeps this up.
Delaney Mead (Cascade Elite), 2025
At CGN, we love a unique tumbling pass, and Mead brings that creativity to her floor routine where she performs a fun Rudi to full-twisting layout step-out. Here’s hoping she continues to innovate and keeps her fun combos heading into college!
Kelise Woolford (Buckeye), 2025
Most gymnasts on floor and beam stick to the simple turns, especially since they often cause the most problems in a routine. However, we still appreciate the gymnasts that go above and beyond, like Woolford’s Memmel to illusion. After all, if you have a talent for turns, why not benefit from it?
Addison Bare (Prestige), 2025
We haven’t done the math, but if we had to take a guess at how many back tumbling passes start with the standard roundoff back handspring, it would certainly be north of 95%. That’s why Bare’s two whip backs to double full is such an exciting combo. It may not be the more difficult combination in the sport, but it’s up there with the most pleasing to watch.
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Article by Elizabeth Grimsley, Emily Minehart, Claire Billman, and Brandis Heffner
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