Ady Wahl competes at the Nastia Liukin Cup

Most Anticipated Freshmen on Vault

The most anticipated series is back! Since so many of the class of 2023’s elite gymnasts have deferred enrollment until after the Olympics, we’re switching things up this year by combining level 10s and elites into the same articles. We’ll also be a little more subjective with our featured level 10 gymnasts rather than only using data to determine who’s included. This week we’re looking at the top vaulters for 2024.

The Level 10s

Keira Wells, Oklahoma

When there’s a three-time national vault champion in this class, how could we start with anyone else? Wells has been on gym watcher’s radar as one of the top vaulters in the country for several years, and it’s only fitting that she signed with the top team in the country. Her Yurchenko one and a half showcases impeccable form in the air, with perfectly straight legs glued together throughout. If she can consistently stick the landing in college, she’ll fit right in with the Sooners’ standards of perfection.

Danielle Ferris, Florida

Ferris gained the attention of the entire gymternet when she scored a 10.0 at 2022 nationals, her third perfect score on vault in the 2022 season. That ended up being her final level 10 meet; she missed the entirety of the 2023 season due to injury and is graduating a year early. Though we haven’t seen her compete in a while, we’re confident that if she’s anywhere close to the same form in college, she has a chance of adding more vault national titles to her resume.

Ady Wahl, Georgia

Wahl is another former member of the class of 2024 who reclassified to 2023, opting to join the GymDogs a year early. She earned a 10.0 on vault in 2023 with a beautiful Yurchenko one and a half, and is a two-time national runner-up on the event. Georgia has had few reliable 10.0 start value vaults in recent years, so Wahl has the potential to reinvigorate the lineup.

Hannah Scheible, Oklahoma

Our first non-Yurchenko entry on this list belongs to Scheible’s front pike half, which has earned her two perfect 10.0s in her senior season. She also won this year’s national title with a 9.950. Oklahoma has relied heavily on Yurchenko vaults in recent years and with their current roster lineup competition will be stiff, but it’s hard to imagine this college-ready vault not being used in 2024.

Olivia Buckner, Oregon State

The Beavers are losing five-year lineup mainstay Madi Dagen, and Buckner seems to be the perfect replacement. A two-time Region 1 champion on the event, her Yurchenko one and a half has great form in the air and is typically landed well – a combination that should lead to consistently high scores in college.

Anya Pilgrim, Florida

Pilgrim was a prominent elite gymnast for several years who dropped down to level 10 and finished her club career with two outstanding seasons. Her Yurchenko one and a half earned her a national title in 2022, and she reached a career high of 9.950 in 2023. Vault was Florida’s lowest-ranked event this past season; if Pilgrim can consistently land well she could help improve that lineup.

Ella Zirbes, Utah

Vault was a frustratingly inconsistent event for the Utes in 2023, showing flashes of brilliance but ultimately proved to be the event that separated them from the top two teams in the national final. Zirbes’ Yurchenko one and a half has a lot of potential for collegiate success, peaking at a 9.925 in 2023. She has been competing the vault with a high level of success since her junior elite days so the question is, can she be instrumental in a turnaround on vault for Utah?

Kyen Mayhew, California

Mayhew ended the past three seasons as Region 1 champion and national runner-up on vault, and video of her Yurchenko one and a half shows why: her flight is high, her form is clean, and her landing is comfortable. Vault was tied for Cal’s lowest-ranked event last season and the Golden Bears will be losing lineup regular Nevaeh DeSouza to graduation, so there should be plenty of opportunity for Mayhew to show what she’s capable of.

Madison Ulrich, Denver

Our second front pike half on this list is clearly college-ready, with an explosive block and clean form in the air. Ulrich missed the 2022 season but returned stronger than ever in 2023, peaking at 9.975 on vault. Denver is losing two of its regular vaulters from last season in Lynnzee Brown and Alexandria Ruiz, so having Ulrich ready to step into the lineup with a solid 10.0 start value vault is a huge plus for the Pioneers.

Halle Gregoire, Arizona State

Gregoire’s Yurchenko one and a half looks very comfortable for her, and gymnastics fans will appreciate her flared-out body position before landing. ASU’s five highest NQS earners from last season are all returning in 2024, and Gregoire should be a top contender to join them in the lineup from the start.

Eva Volpe, Iowa

Volpe scored a perfect 10.0 on her Yurchenko one and a half in 2022. On it’s own that’s quite the feat, but add to that the fact that she’s been competing the vault since at least 2018 and Iowa gets the additional value of experience. With Iowa graduating its top vaulter in Linda Zivat, adding another college-ready 10.0 start value to the lineup is key to its continued success on the event.

Heather Parker, Georgia

While historically many Georgia gymnasts with 10.0 start value vaults at the club level have downgraded once they arrived in Athens, we’re hoping Parker sticks with the Yurchenko one and a half that earned her a national title as an individual event specialist in 2022, especially with the GymDogs losing top contributor Soraya Hawthorne from the lineup.

The Elites

Konnor McClain, LSU

2022 US national all-around champion McClain recently announced she would be joining LSU a season earlier than previously planned. It remains to be seen how much she’ll contribute during her freshman season considering she may be training elite concurrently. However, it’ll be a shame if we don’t get to see her Yurchenko double twist – a vault she has been competing comfortably since 2019.

Katelyn Rosen, UCLA

While many American elite gymnasts opt to compete a Yurchenko double twist prior to college, leaving uncertainty about what they will compete in NCAA, Rosen has been performing the one and a half since at least 2019. It has steadily improved during that time and looked college-ready at the 2023 Winter Cup. With vault being UCLA’s lowest-ranked event last season, the Bruins will be eager to add Rosen to the lineup.

Jenna Sartoretto, Nebraska

Sartoretto has a very strong chance of joining fellow Canadian Emma Spence in Nebraska’s vault lineup with her clean and stickable Yurchenko full. She’s also trained the one and a half, so be on the lookout for a potential upgrade during her career!

Hailey Klein, Arkansas

Klein returned to level 10 for her senior season, and though we know her vault peaked at a 9.775, we were unable to find any video of her vaults during that period. However, at the 2021 US Classic she showed off a very promising Yurchenko one and a half that would absolutely elevate Arkansas’ lineup.

Addison Fatta, Oklahoma

Fatta’s Yurchenko double twist is not as clean or consistent as McClain’s. Combine that with the caliber of their lineup, it seems unlikely to see competition time as-is. However, she is clearly a strong vaulter and the potential is there for her to be a contributor if she downgrades to something she can consistently stick. She has also competed a Tsuk full that could potentially work in college if she can clean up her form.

Amari Drayton, LSU

Drayton has competed a Yurchenko double twist for much of her elite career, but she downgraded to the full-twisting version at this year’s Winter Cup. LSU’s vault lineup is difficult to make, but her block and amplitude show a lot of promise if she can consistently land well.

Honorable Mentions

Brinlee Christensen, Southern Utah – Watch her vault

Retoshia Halsell, Towson – Watch her vault

Gabi Ortiz, Michigan StateWatch her vault

Ashley Knight, N.C. StateWatch her vault

Chloe LaCoursiere, Alabama – Watch her vault

Sophia Esposito, Oregon State – Watch her vault

Kaylee Bluffstone, FloridaWatch her vault

Clara Wallace, Air ForceWatch her vault

Ella Tashjian, Yale – Watch her vault

Kristin Lin, Washington – Watch her vault

Noelle Adams, Iowa State – Watch her vault

Jamison Sears, Alabama – Watch her vault

Camie Winger, UtahWatch her vault

READ THIS NEXT: Underrated Recruits That Excel on Vault

Article by Jenna King

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