Chloe LaCoursiere on the uneven bars

Most Anticipated Freshmen on Bars

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 bar workers for 2024.

The Level 10s

Chloe LaCoursiere, Alabama

The undisputed queen of level 10 bars, LaCoursiere earned her fifth perfect 10 and third consecutive national title on the event in 2023 thanks to pristine technique and an uncanny ability to hit in competition.

Lily Smith, Georgia

If you haven’t seen Smith’s bars yet, you’re in for a treat! Her routine is relatively simple on paper, but her next-level execution (Those handstands! That toe point!) elevates it to a true showstopper.

Madison Ulrich, Denver

It’s no small ask for a freshman to immediately match the caliber of routine we’ve come to expect from 2023 graduates Lynnzee Brown and Alexandria Ruiz, but reigning national bars champion Ulrich is more than capable of doing just that. Her powerful swing and textbook execution are reminiscent of another Pioneer great, Maddie Karr.

Camie Winger and Ella Zirbes, Utah

Utah is losing three of its regular lineup contributors from 2023 and will look to freshmen (as well as the return of a healthy Grace McCallum) to help replace them. Four-time Region 1 bars champion Winger has an aggressive swing and cast straight to handstand that should make her a fixture in the Utes’ bars lineup right from the jump along with classmate Zirbes, a former elite and two-time level 10 all-around champion.

Alyssa-Carolina Arana, Florida

Arana qualified to this year’s DP championships as a bars and beam specialist and walked away with the title on both events. The Gators have the unenviable task of replacing routines from Trinity Thomas and Kayla DiCello, but Arana’s calm, seemingly effortless style could be just what they need.

Taylor DeVries, Oregon State

Even with Jade Carey anchoring, bars has been the Beavers’ Achilles heel in recent years. 2023 Nastia Liukin Cup qualifier DeVries should add some welcome consistency and flair to the lineup: Her full-twisting double layout dismount will fit right in alongside Carey’s Bhardwaj.

Danielle Ferris, Florida

Ferris is best known for her 10.0-worthy Yurchenko one and a half, but she’s also a 2022 national champion on bars. Her true Shaposhnikova is a refreshing change from the ubiquitous Maloney, but her crisp handstands are what really elevate this routine from good to great.

Reese Samuelson, Western Michigan

The Broncos saw a dramatic improvement in their bars scores last season, jumping from the mid-40s to 33rd nationally. Samuelson—whose impressive execution notched her five of the top 100 bars scores in 2023—is poised to propel them even higher.

Ava Jorgensen, BYU

BYU’s bars lineup slipped from 11th to 29th in the country over the last two seasons, so having a two-time national bars champion joining the team will be huge to help reverse that trend.

The Elites

Ui Soma, Stanford

Soma is one of the most intriguing yet under-the-radar freshmen of her class, having spent the last several years competing elite in Japan. While recent video is difficult to find, older footage shows her obvious potential on bars.

Konnor McClain, LSU

The 2022 US national all-around champion is well known for her execution and attention to detail, both of which are richly rewarded in college gymnastics. While we don’t yet know what her competition participation will look like her freshman year, she should be deep in the bars lineup every time she competes.

Addison Fatta, Oklahoma

Fatta packed her elite routine with difficulty, including a piked Jaeger, a Maloney to Gienger combination, and a double layout dismount. Oklahoma’s bars lineup is a difficult one to make, but it’s hard to imagine not seeing her featured at all in her freshman campaign.

Emily Todd, Pittsburgh

Todd competed both a piked Jaeger and a Ray in her elite routine, so she’ll have options to choose from when composing her simplified collegiate routine. With two of Pitt’s top three lineup options transferring this offseason, Todd’s clean execution and toe point should help to lessen the blow of those losses.

Honorable Mentions

Ella Power, San Jose StateWatch her routine

Gabriella Ladanyi, AlabamaWatch her routine

Skylar Draser, FloridaWatch her routine

Priscilla Park, ArkansasWatch her routine

Annalise Newman-Achee, CaliforniaWatch her routine

Holly Snyder, GeorgiaWatch her routine

Alilah Alvarado, BYUWatch her routine

Maisyn Rader, Ohio StateWatch her routine

Audrey West, AlabamaWatch her routine

Chandler Buntin, ArkansasWatch her routine

Sydney Jelen, Utah StateWatch her routine

Paige Wills, Iowa StateWatch her routine

Bryn Bartman, AuburnWatch her routine

Neve King, North CarolinaWatch her routine

READ THIS NEXT: Underrated Recruits That Excel on Bars

Article by Jenna King and Claire Billman

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