Friday, 30 December 2022 17:50 Top Recruiting Classes of 2022-2023

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Our Annual Ranking of Recruiting Classes Our Annual Ranking of Recruiting Classes (c) 2022

This year's recruiting class features sets of recruits both large and small, and packed with talent.  The discrepancies in size between the classes presents a challenge when rating classes.  A large class could easily rise up in the rankings, without considering the disproportionate impact of key high scoring gymnasts.  The aftereffects of the extra COVID years is still impacting the size of the classes and the new opportunities with Name Image and Likeness (NIL) may be starting to influence recruiting choices.  This is also perhaps one of the last classes where many of the commits were made quite early.  At least one gymnast in this class committed to her college when she was just 13.  Let's see how all the top teams stack up in the 2022-2023 edition of our annual look at the Top 10 Recruiting Classes.  

New for this season is our use of the Class of 2022 ratings for each gymnast, which are based on a set of measures selected to maximize objectivity.  These provide for a structured, primarily objective methodology to assess the recruits and help formulate the final ratings.  However, these ratings don't fully capture how classes can blend together strengths and weaknesses to create a class whose full impact might otherwise be overlooked.  They also can't fully assess an athlete's potential after editing and modifying existing sets to maximize scoring potential and consistency at the NCAA level.  Ultimately we are looking for classes that have gymnasts that can make a big impact on their teams and become the future superstars in their conference and at the NCAA level.  This means a single superstar with a clear path to 9.95+ potential across four events could have more impact that two or three other gymnasts that help product depth, but don't help raise a team up beyond the low 197 team score. 

If you are interested in how we've developed our rankings, it is explained in detail in the section following the rankings.  It has been updated to explain the overall criteria versus other alternatives we've considered. 


This Year's Rankings

So, how did the teams stack up?  Here's the Top Recruiting Classes for 2022-2023 (be sure to click on the links to see video clips, where available):


#1.  Oklahoma

Ava Siegfeldt, World Class, sr. international elite
Caitlin Smith, World Champions Center, L10
Faith Torrez, L10/former sr. international elite

The Sooners take the top spot in this year's ranking, in our final accounting.  The top end strength and the ability of this class to produce high level scores allowed it to come out on top.

Faith Torrez looks to be a potential all-around contributor right out of the gate.  In 2022, she tied for the AA title at the WDP Nationals and won the BB with a rare 9.9.  She was also 2nd on FX, 3rd on VT and tied for 5th on UB.   She also won five other L10 National titles:  the AA and BB in 2019 and the AA, BB and bars(t) in 2018.  She moved into the elite ranks in 2019 and won the ’19 American Classic.  More recently, she placed 7th AA at the ’21 American Classic.  This past club season, she tumbled a double layout on FX and a back tuck full and side aerial to layout stepout on BB.  Besides the big skills, she demonstrates the form, execution and style to excel in the NCAA.   

Torrez is complemented by long time elite Ava Siegfeldt.  A former US National Team member, she placed 14th AA at the 2021 Olympic Trials.  She also placed 15th(t) at the 2021 US Championships.  She has a solid variety of skills on each event, including a Yurchenko 1 ½ on VT and a double layout on FX.  She is also capable of a series consisting of two back handsprings to a true two-footed back layout on BB.  A balanced AA competitor, her elite sets will require minimal adaption to excel in the NCAA.  Her strong execution and strong skills set should allow her to contribute strongly in the future.          

The Sooners will also welcome Caitlin Smith, who has graduated early and will join the Sooners in January.  She is a L10 with some strong skills who has struggled as of late with injury and some inconsistency.  She tied for 6th AA and 5th on FX (full-in mount) at the 2021 Women's Development Program (WDP) Nationals.  In 2022, she placed 2nd on VT and UB at the Region 3 Regionals but problems on BB and FX kept her from qualifying to Nationals as an AAer.  She is also a former L10 National Champion in the AA, winning the title back in 2019.   


#2.  Alabama

Karis German, World Champions Center, sr. international elite
Gabby Gladieux, High Point, L10
Zoe Gravier, First State, L10/former jr. international elite
Lillian Lewis, San Mateo, L10/former jr. international
Lauren Little, Everest, sr. international elite
Rachel Rybicki, Olympia, L10

Alabama’s large and talented incoming class features plenty of all around potential and some standout specialists.

Former US National Team member German moved to the elite ranks for the ’18 season, competing at the American Classic (10th AA) and US Classic (7th AA).  She won the floor and vault titles at the ’19 American Classic and the floor title at the ’21 American Classic.  She went on to place 19th AA and 6th on FX at the US Championships.  In 2022, she placed 7th AA at the Winter Cup but did not compete later in the year.  Although she is a potential contender for the all -around, she is especially strong on floor where she has competed a double-double (Silivas), full twisting double layout and full-in.   She shows off her high skill level elsewhere, too, with a Nabieva (toe-on layout reverse hecht) and Down (straddle entry piked reverse hecht) on bars and a full-in dismount from beam.

Gladieux is coming off a strong club season that saw her win the AA and BB at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She was also 2nd on FX and tied for 5th on UB and 6th on VT.  She also won the VT title and placed 4th on FX in 2019, when she tied for 9th AA.  She looks to impact the Tide lineups immediately with strong potential across all four events.  She also has top level skills, including a Yurchenko 1 ½ on VT, a full-in on FX and a two-footed back whip/layout on BB.   

Little has competed on the elite level since 2016.  In the ’22 season she won the Metroplex Challenge (1st v/ub/bb) and the KPAC Cup (1st v/ub/fx).  She also placed 3rd on bars at the Winter Cup and 7th AA at the US Classic.  She excels on the UB, with good stalder technique and stalder entries on her Shaposhnikova (Chow) and Van Leeuwen.  However, she is capable of strong NCAA sets on the other three events.    

Gravier competed as an elite as a junior, then moved back to L10 after the ’18 season, when she placed 15th AA at the US Championships.  She tied for 9th AA and placed 9th on UB at ’22 WDP Nationals.  She also tied for 33rd at the 2021 Nationals.  She is a balanced performer across the board and should be ready to fill a spot in any lineup.  She vaults a Yurchenko Full and has a Van Leeuwen on UB. 

Lewis finished off the ’22 season with an 8th place AA finish at the WDP Nationals.  She also tied for 10th on BB.  She’s a former junior elite who competed at the 2018 US Classic.  She was a former L10 National Team Member (2018) and L10 National Champion on BB.  She excels on BB with clean form and execution and is also a strong tumbler.     

Rachel Rybicki had a strong year in 2022, placing 12th AA and 8th on FX at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She was also 21st AA and 9th on VT in 2021.  She vaults a clean Yurchenko Full and mounts with a front double full on FX.      


#3. California

Miki Aderinto, Desert Lights, L10
Casey Brown, Head over Heels, L10
eMjae Frazier, Parkettes, sr. international elite
Jayden Silvers, The Klub, L10

Cal’s standout class is headlined by US National Team member eMjae Frazier.  The 2021 World Championships Team member placed 3rd AA and won the FX at the 2022 Winter Cup.  She then went on to place 6th AA and 2nd on FX at the 2022 City of Jesolo Trophy.  With an array of top level elite skills, strong execution and expressive dance, she is ready to make a big mark on the NCAA this season as one of the top incoming recruits.       

Cal is also joined by two top L10s in Brown and Aderinto.  Aderinto is a two-time L10 Women’s Development Program (WDP) National Team member who tied for the National Title in her division on the UB in 2022.  She also placed 2nd on BB, tied for 4th on VT and placed 3rd AA.  She has also posted a 10.0 on UB.  In 2021, she tied for 4th AA, UB and on FX at the WDP National meet, while placing 6th on VT.  She’s been highly consistent in top competitions, with solid skills and execution, especially on UB, where she hit a 10 last season. 

Brown placed 5th AA at the 2022 WDP Nationals, tying for 4th on VT and FX, 9th on UB and 10th on BB.  She also swept the top spots at the Region 1 and NorCal State meet in 2022, hitting a high of 39.325 in the AA.  In 2021, she made the WDP National Team, placing 3rd AA and tying for 4th on VT and UB and 6th on BB at the National meet.  She excels on VT with a big Yurchenko 1 ½ and shows beautiful form and extension on all four events. 

Jayden Silvers is expected to join the squad in January.  She was a wildcard qualifier to the 2022 WDP Nationals on BB and FX, where she placed 1st on each event.  Cal will look to harness her solid tumbling (front double full, double tuck) and clean dance so she can strengthen the floor lineup.


#4.  Stanford

Ashley Carter, Charter Oak, L10
Claire Dean, East Bay, L10/former jr. international elite
Taralyn Nguyen, Technique, L10
Anna Roberts, Metropolitan, L10
Ava Sorrento, Gemini, Canadian elite
Porsche Trinidad, Airborne, L10

Stanford landed an impressive class this year, including top notch L10s, a former junior international elite and a Canadian National Team member.

Roberts is a gymnast who has steadily improved over time to become one of the top L10s in the country.  By the ’21 season, she won the All Around at the WDP Nationals, including 2nd on VT and a tie for 2nd on FX.  She was also 9th on UB.  In 2022, she placed 2nd in the AA, VT, and FX and tied for 2nd on BB at the National meet.  She’s a powerful and clean gymnast who competes her skills with amplitude to spare.  She has an impeccable full-in on FX and a big Yurchenko 1 ½ on VT.   

Nguyen looks to be an important contributor to this team, with her superb difficulty on VT and FX.  She has proven to be a rock-solid vaulter with a rare Yurchenko double twist that has scored a 10.  She was the WDP VT champ in 2021 and placed 3rd(t) in ’22 and ‘19.  She’s a spectacular tumbler, opening with a double layout and ending with a pike full-in, and was the WDP National FX Champ in 2022, 2019 and 2018 (she tied for 6th in ’21).  She was also 7th AA at the 2022 WDP Nationals, and tied for 15th in ’21 and 14th in ’19.  UB has been her biggest challenge, but she has a strong set of skills on BB. 

Dean is a former junior international elite (2018, 19th at the US Championships) who brings strong scoring potential across all four events.  She won her 2021 L10 regional meet and her 10th place finish at the 2021 WDP Nationals would have been higher but for a miscue on floor.  She also placed 2nd on UB and tied for 4th on BB.  This past season, she was only able to compete two events at Regionals but won her event specialist session at the WDP Nationals.  Back in 2019, she made the L10 National Team and finished 2nd on BB and tied for 4th on UB and 5th on VT

Canadian National Team member Sorrento finished 14th (t) AA at ’21 Canadian Championships.  She can potentially draw on a variety of E skills on floor (full-in, Arabian double, double lay) and brings a potential 10.0 vault (Yurchenko 1 1/2).  She has, however, missed some competition time before her strong return in 2021.     

Carter placed 15th AA and 7th on UB at the 2021 WDP Nationals.  This past season, she qualified to Nationals but only competed two events.  She was also 11th AA and tied for 7th on UB in 2019.  She has posted strong results on UB but has solid skills on the other events with a front double full on FX and a solid Yurchenko Full.    

Trinidad is a local product from Airborne Gymnastics.  She finished up her club career strongly, placing 7th on BB and 24th AA at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She also won UB and BB at her state meet in 2022, two events where her grace and extension really shine through.  She did miss quite a bit of competition time between 2019 and 2021.


#5.   UCLA

Ciena Alipio, Midwest, sr. international elite
Madisyn Anyimi, Technique, L10
Selena Harris, Gymcats, L10
Clara Wren, Coastal, L10

Harris, a highly sought-after recruit, is the full package and a potential future NCAA standout.  After a quick stint as a jr. elite in 2018 (10th AA at the US Championships), she returned to L10 and has been striking gold in every event since then.  She tied for 1st AA and won the VT, FX and tied for the UB title at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She also tied for 3rd on BB.  She won the WDP National AA title outright in 2021, picking up titles on the UB and BB while placing 2nd on VT.  Her Yurchenko 1 1/2 earned her a 10.0 in 2021 and a number of 9.9+ scores throughout her career.  She’s an expressive floor worker capable of a full-in and double layout.  She has beautiful flexibility on beam and excellent technique on bars.

Alipio has competed as an elite since she first qualified for HOPES in 2015.  Most recently, she placed 17th AA and 2nd on BB at the 2022 OOFOS US Gymnastics Championships.  She also placed 9th AA at the ’22 US Classic and was 22nd AA at the 2021 US Championships.  She’s been known for her clean execution, especially on BB, but lacks some of the difficulty of the top elites. However, that should not be an issue at the NCAA, where grace and execution are very important and the difficulty requirements are lower.  Nevertheless, this past season, she showed a Yurchenko 1 ½ on VT and her BB is packed with difficulty including a layout mount and side aerial to layout-layout.   

Anyimi is an energetic performer with good extension and form who could work her way into any lineup for the Bruins.  She placed 15th AA at the 2022 WDP Nationals, including a tie for 9th on UB.   She shines brightest on VT (Yurchenko Full) and UB (pike Jaeger, full-in).  However, she also has potential on BB where she tied for the Regional title om 2021 and 2022 as well as on FX, where she tumbles a back layout 2 ½ twist to punch front. 

Wren’s potential handspring pike half vault and her bars set provide depth to those lineups, as she builds consistency and experience. 


#6.  Michigan

Lilly Clapper, Gym America, L10
Farah Lipetz, Infiniti Elite, L10
Kaylen Morgan, Legacy Elite, sr. international elite
Paige Thaxton, Michigan Elite, L10

Clapper was the only athlete in this class to have a complete ’22 season and she finished well, taking 8th AA, UB and BB at the WDP Nationals.  She also placed 7th on VT and tied for 13th AA at the 2021 Level 10 Nationals.  She competes a solid Yurchenko Full, a pike Jaeger and double layout on UB, pike kickover front on BB and two double backs on FX.     

Morgan, who has competed at the elite level since 2019, placed 21st AA at the 2021 US Championships.  She posted a strong 53.45 the second day.  She showed a strong Yurchenko Full on VT, Maloney to Pak and Van Leeuwen on UB, an unusual side somi to straddle jump ½ on BB and an Arabian double front on FX.     This season, however, she did not reach her qualifying score at the Elite Qualifiers. 

The ’22 season ended early for both Lipetz and Thaxton.  Michigan will look to get Thaxton healthy and ready for all lineups.  She has a double layout and full-in on floor, a Gienger and full-in off bars, a punch front and double back off BB and a Yurchenko 1 ½ vault (and training a double).  At the 2021 L10 Nationals, she tied for 1st on UB, placed 6th on BB and placed 11th AA.  She was a L10 National Team member in 2019, placing 3rd on UB and BB and placing 4th AA. 

Lipetz tied for 10th on BB and 28th AA at the 2021 Level 10 Nationals.  She also finished 2nd on BB and 8th on UB and the AA in 2021.  She excels on BB with grace, good extension and a triple series (bhs-bhs-layout).  She also vaults a Yurchenko Full, has a Tkachev and double layout on UB and opens FX with a whip to double back.    


#7.  LSU

Annie Beard, Texas Dreams, L10/former jr. international elite
Ashley Cowan, Bull City, L10
Bryce Wilson, Pearland Elite, L10

Wilson placed 2nd on VT, 4th(t) on FX and 8th AA at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She won the VT title at the 2021 L10 Nationals and placed 8th on UB.  Wilson scored three 10s on vault this season and may bring another Yurchenko Double to the Tiger lineup.  She also competes a pike full-in on FX and a Downie on UB.  She has struggled a bit with consistency in the past, especially on BB, and that will likely be a focus area as she adapts to college competition.

Beard is a former junior international elite (10th AA at the 2017 P&G Championships) who was limited to three events (no UB) for most of the 2022 season.  Her problems unfortunately have continued and she underwent surgery in the Fall and is out for the season.  She did manage to qualify as an Individual Event Specialist to the 2022 WDP Nationals with top 3 finishes on three events at Regions.  She also placed 2nd (t) AA and won BB at the 2021 Region 3 L10 Regionals, but an injury kept her out of Nationals.  She’s a stylish gymnast with great execution, especially on BB and FX.    

Cowan will strengthen the Tiger depth, but especially shines on UB and FX.  She placed 1st on UB in every ’22 meet and took a share of the title at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She also tied for 3rd on FX and 11th on AA (problems on BB).  She also placed in the Top 10 on UB at five different L10 Nationals, and has tied for the title twice.  Her UB set features a Ray and a full twisting double layout dismount while she also won FX at state and Regionals with a front double twist mount.


#8.  Michigan State

Elle Beaufait, Olympia, L10
Sage Kellerman, All American Flames, L10
Stephanie Lebster, Champion, L10
Nikki Smith, Euro Stars, L10
Olivia Zsarmani, KPAC, L10

MSU’s class is headlined by Smith, one of the top L10 recruits in the country this season.  At the 2022 WDP Nationals, she won titles in the AA (39.025), VT and BB.  She also tied for the UB title and for 6th on FX.  In the last two seasons, she has posted seven AA marks of 38.7 or higher.  In 2021, she was National Champ on the FX and tied for 4th AA at the 2021 WDP Nationals.  She also placed 4th on UB and tied for 4th on BB.  She has an array of big skills: a Yurchenko 1 ½ on VT, a punch front and double back dismount o nBB, and a double layout on FX. 

Zsarmani is a rising L10 who made a big step this past season.  At the 2022 WDP Nationals, she placed 2nd AA, 2nd UB and 2nd on BB.  She also tied for 6th on VT (big Yurchenko Full).  In 2021, she placed 16th AA at the WDP Nationals, including a tie for 4th on VT and 9th on UB.  She also competes some big skills like a Maloney to Gienger on UB and a pike full-in on FX.  She also demonstrate good extension and form on all her events, and showed tremendous improvement between her junior and senior years.  

Kellerman is a L10 standout known for her excellent pike front ½ vault.  She tied for 4th on VT at the 2022 WDP Nationals and was 2nd in 2021.  She also placed 9th AA at the 2022 National meet, including a tie for 10th on BB.  She’s also capable of a solid UB set (pike Jaeger) and could easily contribute on FX as well (two double backs, front layout to rudi)  

Beaufait won the FX and placed 3rd AA at the Region V L10 Regionals.  She shows strong form and execution and skills like a front double full on FX and a triple flight series (bhs-bhs-layout) on BB.  The final recruit, Lebster, missed much of the season in 2022, including the post-season.  She was 34th AA at the 2021 WDP Nationals.  


#9.  Florida

Lori Brubach, RAD, L10
Kayla DiCello, Hill’s, sr. international elite

Florida’s small class still broke through our top ten by virtue of one of the world’s top gymnasts.  Dicello, a seasoned elite national team member, brings a bounty of high level skills and experience to UF as one of the top recruits in the nation.  She has represented the US internationally over the years and she was an Olympic alternate.  In 2021, she placed 3rd AA at the World Championships and qualified to event finals on BB and FX.  Last season, despite being slowed by an injury, she won gold on floor at Pan Ams and she placed 3rd on beam and 4th AA at US Championships.  She vaults a Yurchenko Double Full, swings a stalder full, Church and Van Leeuwen on UB and tumbles a bhs-layout-layout on BB,  She also has a variety of tumbling skills, from a full-twisting double layout to the double double (Silivas) that should impress the judges and fans alike.  Her form and execution are also excellent, and her potential to be a 9.9+ performer on all four events is quite high.  

Brubach is an in-state L10 whose best event is VT.  She picked up five vault titles at her ’22 meets, including at her State meet.  She is also a strong tumbler, and has trained a full-in and double layout.    


#10. PSU

Haleigh Gibble, Prestige, L10
Amani Herring, North Stars, L10
Katie Leary, Parkettes, L10
Ava Piedrahita, Hill’s, L10

The Nittany Lion class is headlined by Piedrahita and Herring.  Piedrahita has a trio of top 10 finishes at the L10 Nationals to her credit.  In 2022, she placed 5th AA at the WDP Nationals, including 3rd on FX and 6th(t) on VT.  In 2021, she placed 2nd AA and tied for 2nd on BB while placing 3rd on FX and 6th on UB.  She also tied for 9th on VT.  She also competes with some top level skills:  a pike Omelianchik on vault (an NCAA 10.0 start value), a double tuck off BB, and a full-in on FX.  Her long history of consistent top level success bodes well for her future success in college.    

Herring rebounded from an injury that kept her out of 2021 to make the WDP National Team in 2022 with a 3rd place AA finish at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She also tied for 2nd on BB and placed 4th on FX and 5th on VT at the meet.  Prior to the pandemic, she finished 12th AA at the 2019 L10 Nationals.  Her work includes big amplitude on her acro and dance skills, and big skills like an Arabian double front on FX.  ‘

Leary has competed relatively sparingly the last two season, but did manage to compete at the Region 7 L10 Regionals in 2021, placing 8th and qualifying to the L10 Nationals. A three-time qualifier, her best finish came in 2019 she made the L10 National Team with a 4th place finish in the AA at the L10 Nationals.  She also tied for 4th on BB, 7th on FX and 8th on BB at the meet. 

Gibble has competed recently primarily as a balance beam specialist, but is also listed on FX for this season.  She qualified to the 2022 WDP Nationals as an individual event specialist.  On BB, she competes an unusual aerial to switch split to sissone combination.  


Other Teams of Note

Two teams fell just outside of our Top Ten.  Both had gymnasts that have seen limited competition histories due to injuries, in some cases, multiple major injuries over their careers. 



Olivia Greaves, World Champion Center, sr. international elite
Hannah Hagle, Texas East, L10/former jr. international elite
Hailey John, Orlando Metro, L10

Senior international elite star Greaves is the top name in the Tiger class.  The Senior National Team member is a standout on UB who as a junior international elite, won the UB and placed 3rd AA at the US Championships in 2019. Injuries have kept her from key competitions in 2020 and 2021 and from reaching her full potential.  In 2022, she competed only UB at the OOFOS US Championships and tied for 9th.   Although it does not fully factor into the rankings here, she will miss her first season with another ACL injury, reportedly to the same knee. 

Hagle is a former junior international elite who dropped back to L10.  This past season, she tied for 9th on BB and FX at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She also tied for 10th on VT while finishing 20th AA (problems on UB).  In 2021, she was 6th on UB and 7th AA at the L10 Nationals.  She shows solid, tight form with good flexibility across her events.  She also vaults a Yurchenko Full and throws two double backs on FX.     

The third recruit, John, has not competed since the 2020 season, after tearing her ACL in October 2020 and then suffering another tear in December 2021.  She was 38th AA at the 2019 L10 Nationals and 2nd on BB and 9th AA at the 2018 L10 Nationals. 



Madelynn Crow, Georgia Elite, L10
Sidney Fitzgerald, C&C, L10
Naya Howard, Ocean Tumblers, L10
Nicole King, BIO Gymnastics, L10
Jacquie Moran, San Mateo, L10
Ariel Posen, Arena, former jr. elite/L10
JaFree Scott, GAGE, elite
Eryn Williams, Premier, L10

Georgia brings in a huge class that will, as a group and as a necessity, bolster every lineup.  However, three of the most heralded members of this large class have sparse competition records over the last several seasons due to injuries.  While many gymnasts make excellent recovery from an injury, others can struggle.  This makes this class difficult to assess

One is Scott who competed well in the junior elite ranks up through the 2018 season.  She missed the ’19 season, competed three meets over the ’20 and ’21 seasons and missed the ’22 season.  In her most recent meet, she placed 13th as a senior at the 2021 American Classic. When healthy, she is known for her difficult and unusual skills and her excellent execution, especially on UB and BB (front handspring front tuck).  She did show both of those events at the recent Georgia First Look.          

Posen placed 7th on BB and finished 22nd AA as a junior at the 2019 US Championships.  However, she only competed one meet in the  2020 and 2021 season.  Last season she competed beam in four meets and bars in two.  She did win the Region 7 L10 Regional title on UB and advanced as an individual event specialist at the WDP Nationals.  However, she reportedly sustained another injury and was missing from the First Look meet.  

Moran has not competed in three years but is back training.  In 2019, she won the UB and placed 5th AA at the 2019 L10 Nationals.  She also placed 5th on BB.  She made the L10 National Team back in 2017 and then qualified as a junior elite.    

Howard is the standout in this class and has all the attributes of a strong all arounder for UGA.  She has a string of wins on every event over the course of her career.  She won her ’22 state meet with a sweep of all the events.  At the 2022 WDP Nationals, she tied for 5th on BB but finished 25th AA after unusual problems on UB.  In 2021, she made the WDP National Team with a 4th place(t) finish in the AA.  She also tied for 2nd on BB and placed 5th on UB.  She was also 6th AA in 2019.  Her sets include a pike Tkachev on UB, a front to double tuck and double pike on FX  

Fitzgerald had a standout season in 2022, placing 6th on BB and 11th AA at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She was also 23rd AA in 2021.  She will provide depth across all four events, with her strongest event potentially being UB (Tkachev, overshoot, double layout).

King was showing strong vault and floor work last season until her season ended in March.  She tied for 1st on VT and FX at the Georgia L10 State meet in 2022.  She qualified to the L10 Nationals in 2021, placing in the top 14 in both VT (Yurchenko Full) and FX.  Her front double full to punch front on FX is the highlight of her best event.   

Crow picked up the ’22 Region 8 L10 Regional beam title on her way to a 29th place AA finish at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She also qualified to Nationals in 2019. 

Williams was the Region 8 L10 Regional floor champ this past season.  She also placed 38th AA at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  FX is her best event, and at the UGA preview she showed a great expressive style and two double backs


Other Outstanding Individuals

There are a wide variety of potential future standouts.  Here are just a few, in alphabetic order:

Nailah Adams (Rutgers):  Before a season-ending ACL injury derailed her for the post season, she qualified for the Nastia Liukin Cup and scored a 10.0 on vault (Yurchenko 1 ½), a 9.9 on floor (front double full) and posted a 39.075 AA in her final meet.   In 2021, she tied for 6th AA and placed 3rd on VT and UB and 4th on FX at the 2021 L10 Nationals. 

Mila Brusch (Denver) comes into her first college season after a successful ’22 season where she won the Region V L10 Regional meet and placed 10th AA and 3rd(t) on VT at WDP Nationals.  She also tied for 3rd on VT and 4th on FX at the 2021 L10 Nationals.  She has a full-in on floor and a dependable, high scoring Yurchenko Full vault, but she should challenge for a spot in any lineup.

Kylie Eaquinto (BYU):  Eaquinto placed 6th AA at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She also tied for 6th on VT and FX and 9th on BB at the event.  In 2021, she tied for 4th on UB and 7th AA at the L10 Nationals.  She’ll be a strong AA candidate for the Cougars in the coming years.   

Gwen Fink (UNC):  Fink made the WDP National Team in 2022 with a 4th place AA finish at the WDP Nationals.  She also placed 2nd on VT (Yurchenko 1 ½) and tied for 5th on UB (Jaeger, double layout) and 8th on BB at the meet.  In 2021, she placed 4th on VT and tied for 15th AA.  She also tied for the National UB at the 2019 L10 Nationals.  She’ll be a strong AA candidate for the Tar Heels. 

Payton Harris (Ohio State):  Harris tied for 3rd AA at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She also placed 3rd on VT (Yurchenko 1 ½) and tied for 6th on FX, 7th on BB and 9th on UB.  In 2021, she tied for 2nd on FX (double pike, front double full to split jump) and 4th on VT en route to a 20th(t) AA finish (problems on UB).  She should be a standout for the Buckeyes on all four events. 

Sarah Moraw (Minnesota) is a great catch for Minnesota.  In 2022, she won the VT with a huge Yurchenko 1 ½ and placed tied for 3rd AA at the WDP Nationals.  She also placed 3rd on BB and tied for 8th on FX.  In 2021, she won the AA title at the L10 Nationals and tied for the BB title.  She also placed 6th on UB and tied for 9th on FX and 10th on VT.  She should immediately impact the vault and beam lineups and improved consistency on the other events will put her in line for the All Around.

Morgan Price (Fisk):  The two-time Nastia Liukin Cup qualifier will be an early leader and record setter for Fisk.  Price, an early graduate for 2022, made the WDP National Team for a second time with a 3rd place AA finish at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She also finished 2nd on UB and 4th on VT (Yurchenko 1 ½).  She placed 3rd AA in 2021, tying for 2nd on VT, placing 4th on UB and tying for 5th on FX at the 2021 Nationals. 

Kimberly Smith (ASU):  Smith placed 5th on BB and tied for 10th on VT en route to a 20th(t) place AA finish at the 2022 WDP Nationals.  She also tied for the BB title and placed 2nd AA at the 2021 WDP Nationals.  She also tied for 4th on VT and placed 7th on UB at the meet.  (She also tied for 6th AA in 2019).  She has no weak event, is very consistent and should be a solid AA contender for the Sun Devils.

Utah is excited about Makenna Smith.  She was the ’21 regional vault (10.0), bars (9.9) and floor (9.925) champ and tied for 5th on VT and 6th on FX en route to a 13th(t) AA finish at the 2021 National meet (fall on BB).  She was also the ’22 Region 1 L10 Regional vault (9.925, pike Omelianchik), bars (9.875) and floor (9.675, double Arabian) champ.  Although her 1st place Regional AA finish qualified her for the WDP Nationals, she did not compete. She has the early hallmarks of an all-around star, once she improves her consistency, particularly on BB. 


Background and a Word about our Methodology:

Assessing the strength of an incoming class is a challenging task.  In the past, we have considered a more quantitative approach that assessed meet placement and scoring.  Relying too heavily on scores is problematic for several reasons:  1.  Scoring variation exists in the club ranks, just as it exists in the NCAA.  Distinctions based on hundreds of a point can't be made when score variation adds 0.2 to 0.3 in uncertainty.  2.  Individual meets, especially those with event finals, may employ special rules or be in widely varying competitive environments (home gyms versus podium stadium meets).  3.  The rules in Level 10 and NCAA now differ significantly enough that bonus rules and compositional requirements can distort pure mathematical assessments.  These factors must be balanced by performance in head to head competition, in high stress head-to-head post-season meets with full, experienced judging panels, plus an evaluation of actual skill level and execution based on video.         

Predicting future success is also a challenging task.  There are many intangibles, such as how an incoming freshman adjusts to college, gels with the team or responds to new coaching styles.   Each new incoming class changes the dynamics within the team as a whole and there is no way for us to guess in advance how the dynamics will play out or contribute to overall team success.  The best we can do is look at the incoming class as a discrete unit.   We ask of ourselves; What does each athlete’s competition history, skills, execution and even injury history (if we know it) tell us about what she brings to the mix that makes up her incoming class?  Does the athlete have a potential to bring in scores of 9.85 or above?

Our methodology is based on a snapshot of each incoming class as they enter college for the first time.  In other words, we consider what we know about incoming freshmen as they enter school in the fall.  For those joining their teams mid-year, we consider what we know of them as of the time of their entrance in January.  Gymnasts that appear on the roster but are sitting out the year for any reason are counted.  However, gymnasts that are removed from rosters or retire before the start of the season are excluded.  Transfers are also excluded.  We set our timing to include all late signings as well as early graduations and mid-year starts.  This does produce some variation than if we stopped our evaluation after the early signing period or in the spring, but it also better captures trend and trajectory to make a more complete assessment.    

What we consider:

Competition History -  An athlete's competition results reveal how an athlete stands up to competition and how consistently she performs from one event to another, and meet to meet.   It is especially interesting to see how an athlete measures up against the competition in elite or rigorous Level 10 meets like the Nastia Liukin Cup and the Level 10 Nationals.  These meets typically involve more experienced judges, more consistent evaluation, head-to-heat comparison and more pressure.  Decades of recruiting classes show that a strong history of top finishes in these major meets is a strong predictor of future NCAA success. 

Competition Trend -- The timing and trend of their success important.  Gymnasts that continue to rise in placement through their career more often than not hold that level or improve in college.  Continued success or even improvement over time also speaks to motivation, hard work and consistency.      

Skill and Routine Evaluation - Today, it is possible to view video of an athlete either through online posts (e.g., Instagram, Facebook) or meet coverage via streaming services or broadcast TV (e.g. FloGymnastics, Olympic Channel, etc).  Some college teams also give us peeks at preseason training videos.  We use these to get a look at the athletes’ skills and execution, and how their competition routines compare to NCAA requirements.  With significant differences between the NCAA code and the Junior Olympic (not to mention the Elite) code, gymnasts with stellar execution and no "built-in" deductions will have an easier time in the NCAA.  Gymnasts with FIG E skills, 10.0 Start Value (SV) vaults or exceptional levels of grace, expression or execution quality will also have an easier time posting scores of 9.9+.  On the other hand, under the L10 code, it is now possible to construct a routine that will get a strong L10 score (9.5+) and yet still be missing difficulty that will inhibit an athlete from getting the 9.85+ scores.  A high difficulty routine in the club level can merit a high score, but include minor but obvious execution errors that will hold back the score at the NCAA level.  In contrast, sometimes elite or high level L10 gymnasts include skills that are in excess of the difficulty they need in the NCAA.  While elite gymnasts are heavily incentivized to add difficult skills, even in the Level 10 Development Program gymnasts are encouraged to add skills to avoid compositional deductions and get a 10.1 start value.  The risk/reward for adding these skills is pretty good, as long as no major mistake occurs.  However, a 0.05 or 0.1 execution deduction for an excess skill is a "10 killer" in the NCAA.  These excess skills are typically removed during college, unless 100% consistent, to maximize scoring potential.   

Injury Status and History - Injury history is an unfortunate factor in recruiting.  Past major injuries like ACL tears, spinal problems and Achilles' tears can impact a gymnast's ability for an extended period of time.  Sometimes specific major injury information is available on an athlete.  Other times, a major injury or other break in training may be indicated by holes in a competition history.  To the extent that we can determine whether an injury history will potentially limit an athlete’s contribution over the course of her NCAA career, we factor that information into our ranking considerations.  We tend to view absences from competition before entering college negatively, unless otherwise explained.  Only injuries that occur before the start of NCAA training are included, including those after the date of signing.  

Recruit Rating - the factors above have now been systemically integrated into our Recruit Rating system, starting with the Class of 2022.  This provides a primarily quantitative, standardized assessment for an individual recruit.  

Potential Contribution - Ultimately, we place high value on recruits who have the potential to make some starting lineups and to consistently score 9.85 or better on their events. 

Balancing Class Size – We attempt to consider large incoming classes versus small classes.  A large incoming class, even if it is loaded with walkons and specialists, provides important depth and coverage on all events.   That depth can be especially important if a team suffers some key injuries.  A large class is also sometimes filled with exceptionally gifted specialists.  In contrast, a small class of, say, one or two exceptional all arounders can have just as much impact on their teams.  Over the course of time, a marquee athlete has the promises to bring in big scores of 9.95+ that can make the crucial difference to a team's overall ranking and success.  So, size of recruiting class is factored along with our best estimate as to how the individual recruits will figure in lineups.




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