Due to the timing of our ratings, we don’t rerate gymnasts after their senior season in high school. While it’s something we hope we can do in the future, we just don’t have the bandwidth to squeeze in a third class to our evaluations between the end of the college season and June 15, the date when rising juniors can begin contacting coaches and verbally committing to their future schools. Plus, since the majority of recruits sign in November, it’s not as important to re-evaluate those that are already officially committed and signed.
However, a flaw with this is that some gymnasts have stellar senior seasons and aren’t rewarded for it in our current system. But we didn’t want to ignore their improvements completely. In this article we’re highlighting those gymnasts that may have been unrated or underrated previously but likely would have moved up to four or five stars if they were to be rerated now.
There are glowups, and then there’s what Horton did this season: She not only smashed her previous career high by nearly a point with a 39.300 (a score that would hold its own even in NCAA competition) but also earned top-three finishes on vault and floor at level 10 nationals. An 8.950 on beam—her only fall of the season on any event—kept her off this year’s all-around podium, but Horton is poised to be a breakout all-arounder even in this stacked freshman class.
The former elite made the most of her return to level 10 with a respectable showing at the 2023 Nastia Liukin Cup and snagging third on bars at nationals. Her high-flying Yurchenko one and a half and crisp bars routine regularly scored 9.8-plus this season.
A late-season surge saw Bluffstone average well over 9.700 on both vault and floor in her final six meets, culminating in top-four finishes on both events at nationals. Like future teammate Draser, she’ll be a particularly welcome addition to the Gators’ thinnest lineups.
Former Minnesota commit Anastasi’s scores increased across the board but most notably on vault where she scored as high as 9.950. Though she mainly competed a Yurchenko full in 2023, she has a likely-looking Yurchenko one and a half that the Bruins would love to add to their weakest lineup.
Lee’s level 10 career has largely been hampered by COVID-19 restrictions and injury, so 2023 was her first and only time competing at nationals, where she finished eighth on bars and twelfth in the all-around. Lee is remarkably clean when she hits, as evidenced by her 9.7-plus scores on vault, bars, and beam.
College: Southern Utah
The future Thunderbird dropped bars from her competitive repertoire in 2023 and saw her consistency and scores increase on the other three events as a result. She qualified to nationals as a specialist and walked away with a fourth-place finish on vault and a championship title on beam.
Brose has long been known as a top-notch floor worker, but established herself as a serious all-around threat in 2023. She scored the first 38-plus score of her level 10 career in January and finished the season with six. More impressively, Brose hasn’t scored below a 9.500 on any event since February, culminating in her third-place finish in the all-around at nationals.
Johnson has the distinction of being the first-ever recruit for the Talladega Tornadoes, and she also had one of the steepest upward trajectories we’ve ever seen. Prior to March 2023, her all-around scores maxed out in the high 36es. Flashforward to May 2023: She’d jumped to a 38.325 career high and finished inside the top 25 on four events (including the all-around) at her first national championship.
Martin has always scored well when she hit, as evidenced by her results at the 2021 national championships; her problem was hitting consistently. Not this season! Martin notched an impressive six scores of 38-plus, including a 39.175 at the Yellow Rose Invitational.
Coppola had an astoundingly good senior season, taking her career-high all-around number from a solid 38.425 to a very competitive 39.000 at the BIG Classic. With several invitational all-around wins under her belt and improved career highs on every event except floor where she already owned a 9.950, Coppola is poised to become an essential competitor for the Illini. Her clean lines, tidy landings, and dynamic tumbling are sure to make her a fan favorite.
Essenpries has competed level 10 since 2019 but set career highs on every event except beam this season. The biggest glowup came on vault: Her Yurchenko one and a half earned 9.850 three times in 2023 and tied for second at nationals. With her consistently clean execution and well-controlled landings, Essenpries is sure to be on the shortlist to anchor vault for the Razorbacks in 2024.
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Article by Claire Billman, Jenna King, Emily Minehart
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