The second week in November is a very exciting one every year for gymnasts all around the country/world. This week brings an official end to the recruiting process for all those who have verbally committed to an NCAA Division 1 University with the signing of the NLI…. National Letter of Intent.
This signing period is celebrated with signing parties that include all the pomp and circumstance symbolizing a major accomplishment that has been achieved. There are very few scholarships each year when you compare them to the numbers of gymnasts looking to sign that dotted line. These signing parties are also a motivational experience for all those younger gymnasts who have college gymnastics on their future goal list.
Region 5 is one of the most highly recruited regions in the country. As you can see from those schools who attend High Tech/High Performance camp every year, Region 5 has the talent colleges are after. Though we have many more 2020 seniors who will be moving on to compete at the NCAA level next year, our list of scholarship athletes from our region is very impressive. These athletes below are some of the best in the country and will certainly be fun to watch as they represented their universities during the 2021 competition season.
Here are our Region 5 athletes who signed their NLI’s as well as a gallery of the celebrations.
Air Force- Cassidy O’Neill (Cincinnati)
Arkansas– Gillian Rutz (Perfection)
Arizona State– Cassi Barbanente (Palmers)
Auburn- Tara Walsh (Olympia)
Bowling Green- Lauren Bannister (Champion, KY)
California– Andrea Li (Legacy Elite), Gabby Perea (Legacy Elite)
Central Michigan- Adriana Bustelo (Cincinnati), Katie Kowalski (Mid Michigan)
Florida- Ellie Lazzari (Legacy Elite) (going early)
Illinois- Allie Morgan (Universal Gymnasts)
Illinois State- Carly Hawksworth (Aspire Gymnastics)
Kent State- Olivia Rapp (Universal Gymnasts) , Izzy Geig (Gym World), Sarah Haxton (DeVeaus), Keely Young (Olympic Dreams)
Michigan State- Delanie Harkness (Twistars), Naomi German (Olympia)
Minnesota- Gianna Gerdes (Gym Xtreme)
NC State- Brooke Conley (Legacy Elite)
Northern Illinois- Kendall George (Buckeye), Alyssa Al Ashari (Twistars), Olivia Lynd (Perfection), Isabelle West (Buffalo Grove)
Ohio State- Hannah Oliveros (Phenom)
Penn State- Maggie Mace (Cincinnati)
Rutgers- Avery Balser (Buckeye)
Towson- Sarah Girot (DeVeaus)
Western Michigan- Dani Petrousek (Rockford)
**elites Shania Adams (Buckeye) to Alabama and Shilese Jones (Future) to Florida as well as Level 10 Emma Pritchard (Gym Xtreme) to Michigan State on hold and could be signing in the near future.