Presley Duke

Meet the Class of 2026 Five-Star Recruits

With the arrival of June 15th, the class of 2026 will officially kick off its collegiate recruiting journey. Although they’re two years out from making their college debuts, these rising high school juniors will be able to field calls from coaches, take visits to campuses, and even make verbal commitments—meaning our future college gymnastics rosters are beginning to take shape. Take a look at some of the recruits likely to be at the top of every program’s target list and remember the athletes who are on the trajectory to becoming future NCAA superstars.

Presley Duke

Point total: 90

What makes her great: Duke takes the No. 1 spot in the class of 2026 rankings, and not by a slim margin. She hails from the same club as class of 2025 gymnast and LSU commit Haley Mustari and is likely to gain just as much attention during her recruiting journey as her teammate. The easy answer when it comes to her strength is bars, where she had a perfect event total of 25. However, at 24 her beam mark wasn’t that far behind.

Where she can get even better: Duke’s weak event, if you can call it that, is vault, where she “only” competes a Yurchenko full. If she upgrades it before college, not much can get in her way.

Jayla Hang

Point total: 82

What makes her great: Hang slots in as the No. 2 recruit in the class and the highest-rated elite thanks to her strong bars and beam prowess.

Where she can get even better: If we’re being honest, Hang doesn’t really have a true weak event. Her lowest point totals came on floor (19), but it was a difference of two at most. If she can add in a touch more difficulty on the event, as well as clean up her landings to make them more ready for college, it’ll be smooth sailing to the NCAA.

CaMarah Williams

Point total: 81

What makes her great: Williams has become a fan favorite this past year after deciding to dabble in elite thanks to her unique skills. But she’s been on the CGN ratings team’s radar for a while, with one rater even noting that she was likely strong enough to reach five stars last year had we rated her. While she’s strong across the board, Williams stands out on vault and floor in particular, with near-perfect event totals of 24 and 23 points, respectively, on the two events.

Where she can get even better: Bars isn’t where Williams shines, but that doesn’t mean she can’t do so in the future. Simply finding the skills and combinations that work for her may be just what she needs to become a true all-around star. Even if it doesn’t happen, being a standout three-eventer in college is nothing to be upset about.

Hezly Rivera

Point total: 80

What makes her great: If you watched elite nationals this year, you very well know why Rivera is one to watch not just in the elite space in the coming years but during her recruiting journey as well.

Where she can get even better: Rivera does beautiful gymnastics with clean lines, but she sometimes struggles with consistency. It’s no doubt she’s able to perform when it counts, though, as fans saw in Fort Worth. In terms of the events, if she has a weakness, it would be vault or beam, but only by a hair; her event totals came out to, in Olympic order, 19, 22, 19, 20, respectively.

Madray Johnson

Point total: 81

What makes her great: This WOGA gymnast has been around the elite scene for a while now, and it shows; she performs more difficulty than a number of her class of 2026 counterparts. This stands out in particular on vault, where she competes a near-college ready Yurchenko one and a half, and on beam, with her incredible presence and extension.

Where she can get even better: If anything, Johnson’s floor work isn’t quite up to the level of her other events. If she can clean up her form and landings there, she’ll be set to rise in the ratings, as well as be a true all-around threat in college no matter where she decides to go.

Alicia Zhou

Point total: 80

What makes her great: Zhou’s standout events are bars and beam, and she has the results to prove it. She’s a former elite junior national champion on bars, and won the junior title—as well as bars and beam—at the Nastia Liukin Cup in 2021.

Where she can get even better: As with a lot of younger gymnasts, vault is a slower event to develop. That’s the case for Zhou, but not by a lot. She competes just a full-twisting Yurchenko, but the form and fundamentals are there should she choose to upgrade.

Michelle Pineda

Point total: 80

What makes her great: Pineda impressed our raters with her college-ready floor work. Everything is clean, from her form to her leaps to her landings, something that makes her stand out from the hoppy experience many fans have watching elite routines.

Where she can get even better: Her vault and bars aren’t quite as strong as her other events, but with time, she can get them there. Her full-twisting Yurchenko has good form, and she competed an upgraded one and a half in 2023 that shows promise. As for bars, her handstands are already strong–important for a college routine–but she can sometimes be inconsistent or get tired by the end of an elite routine.

Dulcy Caylor

Point total: 78

What makes her great: Caylor has great bars, which is why it’s her highest event total when it comes to her ratings breakdown, coming in at 22 out of 25 points. Her floor is also a strength, unsurprising for a World Champions Centre gymnast. It’s no wonder she made a mark at elite nationals this year and punched her ticket to the Olympic Trials.

Where she can get even better: Beam is her biggest area for improvement. She can often appear nervy and lacking in confidence while performing. Her form and dismount can also be scrappy at times, but we don’t foresee it being a big issue when it comes time for college, thanks to shorter routines and more of a focus on execution over difficulty.

Kieryn Finnell

Point total: 78

What makes her great: Finnell is coming off two strong elite seasons. She won the 2023 U.S. Classic, finished second at nationals, and represented the U.S. at the 2024 Pac Rim championships, winning beam.

Where she can get even better: Just one point separated Fennell’s four events in terms of ratings point totals, meaning she’s consistently great across the board. So, the obvious answer to where she can get even better is both everywhere and nowhere. 

Imani White

Point total: 78

What makes her great: In a comparatively weaker class to that of 2025 or 2024, which each had more five-star level 10s, White stands out. She finished third in the all-around at level 10 nationals, second on bars, and tied for third on floor. But that’s not all. She also competed at the Nastia Liukin Cup each of the past three seasons, winning bars this year and finishing in a tie for second in the all-around in 2023.

Where she can get even better: While bars is clearly where White shines, her other three events aren’t quite as strong—but that’s not to say they aren’t still great. With an upgraded vault and a touch cleaner form on beam and floor, White can be poised to knock it out of the park in college.

Simone Brown

Point total: 78

What makes her great: An unfortunate injury ended Brown’s 2024 season too soon but not before she could make her mark in advance of the start of her recruiting journey. The level 10 from South Carolina is a stellar vaulter whose Yurchenko one and a half is phenomenal more times than not. She also excels on beam, a fun combination of strengths. 

Where she can get even better: Since Brown has dealt with injuries off and on the past several seasons, she hasn’t had a ton of opportunities to get into a groove with her gymnastics and refine her routines. Because of this, her form in some places can be a bit loose. However, it’s an easy fix. The difficulty and presence are there; Brown just needs to put on the finishing touches.

READ THIS NEXT: 2024 Recruit Ratings By the Numbers

Article by Elizabeth Grimsley

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