SALT LAKE CITY — The future looks bright for Utah gymnastics.
The Red Rocks announced the addition of three gymnasts to the program Wednesday morning, aka national signing day.
Deanne Soza (Coppell, Texas; Texas Dreams Gymnastics), Jaylene Gilstrap (McKinney, Texas; Metroplex Gymnastics) and Lucy Stanhope (Warrington, England; City of Liverpool Gymnastics) all signed letters of intent and are expected to compete for Utah beginning in 2021.
”We are in a very fortunate position to attract three proven elite competitors in this extremely strong signing class,” Utah head coach Tom Farden said in a release. “Each of them are dedicated gymnasts with hard-working mindsets. They bring unique skills and outstanding execution, and each of them have dynamic opportunities ahead of them in NCAA competition.”
All three gymnasts have considerable experience at the elite level.
Soza, who Farden described as “an athlete with fantastic artistry and precision,” is a former U.S. Junior National Team member who spent the majority of her childhood in Utah before moving to Texas three years ago.
Gilstrap, meanwhile, has been a regular on the USA gymnastics scene the last couple of years having competed at the U.S. Classic twice in the junior division (2015, 2016) and twice in the senior division (2018, 2019).
Red Rocks’ fans may remember watching her compete in the Huntsman Center the past two summers, alongside Soza in ’18.
”Jaylene was a bit of a late bloomer to the elite stage, but excelled quickly,” Farden said. “As a result of her impressive work ethic and drive, she was able to accelerate through several levels in qualifying as a junior and then senior international elite.”
As for Stanhope, she was a member of Great Britain’s national team and comes with a wealth of experience.
She won a silver medal twice as a member of Team England, in 2016 at the Junior European Championships and again in 2018 at the Commonwealth Games.
“Lucy comes to us from England with an impressive resume,” said Farden. “Her style and power will be warmly welcomed in our lineups.”
Soza, Gilstrap and Stanhope make for one of the more highly touted recruiting classes in the country, according to Farden.
“This class has the potential to perform a high level of difficulty,” he said. “All three could be all-around athletes for our program.”