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Arizona GymCats’ freshman class ranked 15th by College Gym News

arizona-gymnastics-what-will-competition-look-like-gymcats-2024-2025-big-12-pac-recruiting-travel Photo courtesy of Arizona Athletics

Eventually, recruiting rankings come to all sports. Gymnastics became the latest to get the treatment when College Gym News released its rating system in 2020. That outlet’s staff is pretty high on the Arizona GymCats’ incoming class, ranking the group of six as the 15th-best class set to land on campus this fall.

CGN uses a system that assigns points based on the scores the gymnasts earn in club meets and/or points assigned by several editors after reviewing videos of the recruits on all four events. The points range from 0-25 on each event, so a perfect score would be 100. A score of 78 or more is a five-star recruit. Those who score 63-77 points get four stars. Three-star recruits score between 48 and 62.

The GymCats signed a class of four back in November of 2022. However, they added two more in late May. Haley Havenor and Tirzah Wise joined previous signees Sophie Derr, Ainsley Greever, Sophia Maisel, and Abigayle Martin. Four of the six are rated at least three stars by CGN.

Martin, who joins the GymCats from Pearland Elite in Texas, is the highest-rated of the six incoming freshmen. The four-star recruit, who earned 67 points in the evaluation, is listed as 43rd in the class.

The Level 10 athlete is rated highest on balance beam, where she was awarded 21 points out of 25 by the CGN editors. However, Martin’s highest score earned in competition came on vault where she has a career high of 9.925. She has earned a career high of at least 9.800 on all four events and has a career high of 39.175 in the all-around.

CGN does not re-rate athletes after their junior seasons, but earlier this week, the outlet included Martin among a group of underrated recruits who had “stellar senior seasons.” CGN wrote that Martin had previously been inconsistent, but that didn’t happen during her final year in high school.

“Martin notched an impressive six scores of 38-plus, including a 39.175 at the Yellow Rose Invitational,” CGN explained.

That 39.175 was the highest all-around score at the March event both in her session and overall. The meet included 1,006 competitors.

On vault, she won her session (9.925) and finished tied for second overall. She also won her session on the balance beam (9.850) and tied for 12th overall. She was third in her session on floor exercise (9.800) and tied for 10th overall. Her lowest-scoring event (9.600) was uneven parallel bars, where she tied for third in her session and tied for 92nd overall.

In April, the Washington Post reported that Martin earned the second-best all-around score in the Level 10 Texas state championships. She is one of four athletes from the Lone Star State who will join Arizona in the fall.

“We all bond over how much we love Texas,” Martin told the Post’s Emily Giambalvo.

Behind Martin is Derr, who scored 63 on CGN’s rating scale to join her teammate in four-star territory. She is listed 63rd on the outlet’s recruiting list, although CGN does not formally give the signees ranking positions.

The Texan trains at the world-renowned WOGA club, which is run by Valeri Liukin and Yevgeny Marchenko. Derr’s strongest event according to CGN’s rating system is bars, where she earned 22 points out of 25. She has a career high of 9.850 on the event, the highest of the four events. Her lowest personal best is 9.625 on floor exercise.

Greever is the next Arizona recruit on CGN’s list. The native of Illinois is a three-star recruit with an overall rating of 55, placing her just outside the top 100 recruits. She earned her highest ratings on vault (18) and bars (16). Her ratings on the other two events lag behind at 11 (floor exercise) and 10 (balance beam). Her career high of 9.850 on vault will be a nice addition to an event that Arizona has worked to improve on in recent years.

Wise closely follows Greever with a rating of 51. The native of Nevada has her highest rating on beam, where she earned an 18. Bars are also a relatively strong event with a score of 15. However, according to CGN’s evaluation, she will need to improve dramatically on vault if she is to compete in that event. They gave her a rating of just six points out of 25.

Wise has a career high of at least 9.750 on all four events. Her best score is 9.850 on bars. Her career best in the all-around is 38.075.

Arizona head coach John Court is high on Wise’s experience at the top level of gymnastics as well as her academic drive. He also has more faith in her ability to compete in vault than the editors at CGN do.

“Tirzah is a very focused and driven person,” Court said in the press release announcing Wise’s addition to the program. “She will be majoring in aerospace engineering and will give us solid routines across all four events. Her background in Elite and Level 10 will make her a strong competitor for us.”

In addition to the top 15 class in 2023, Arizona already has a start on a highly-rated class in 2024. CGN currently ranks the 2024 class at No. 22. It includes four-star athletes Jessica Janicke and Aubrey Krohnfeldt.

The GymCats are expected to return 16 gymnasts from a 2023 squad that advanced to the regional semifinals in Denver last April. That group includes fifth-your senior Malia Hargrove, who tied for the regional vault title in Denver but missed nationals due to the tiebreaking rules.