Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – There’s an international feel to the 2015 recruiting class for Central Michigan gymnastics.
Two of the four recruits hail from Canada, while the other two come from Nebraska and Tennessee, respectively.
The Canadians are Mackenzie Parker of Calgary and Charlie Wright of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Joining them are Hayley Porter of Bellevue, Nebraska and Sydney Williams of Germantown, Tennessee.
“I’m really optimistic that this class is going to be a very important class to us,” said Jerry Reighard, who is in his 32nd year as the Chippewas’ head coach. “We’ve been really diligent in recruiting the best athletes that we can get and I think we have four really good athletes.”
Parker and Wright are both elite gymnasts who have been mainstays on the Canadian national scene for years, Reighard said.
“Those are the kind of athletes that are program changing,” he said. “They can come in and really reach the level we want our athletes to be at. They’re already there. My hope is that when they matriculate that we can add to their skill repertoire, but more importantly I think the can be used immediately.”
Williams committed to CMU early, and Reighard said he has liked what he has seen since.
“Since from the time we’ve gotten a commitment from her, she’s still improving and that’s a really good sign,” Reighard said. “Sometimes when you recruit as early as we do, they go on a hiatus because they’ve accomplished what they wanted to do and Sydney has shown us that she’s going to be the athlete we recruited her to be.”
Porter, Reighard said, drew the attention of the coaching staff when she attended camp at CMU.
“I think that she is going to be a very productive athlete for us,” Reihard said. “We got to work with her personally and we liked what we saw. We have great expectations for her. She is the type of athlete we look for and I feel that way about the other three.”
Mackenzie Parker • Calgary, Alberta, Canada • Bishop Carroll High School
Club/High School: Competed for Pegasus Gymnastics … finished fourth on beam, fourth all-around at 2015 Canadian National Championships … placed second on bars at 2015 Provincial Championships … placed fourth on beam at Elite Canada … finished second on beam at 2014 Provincial Championships … finished third on beam at 2014 Canadian National Championships … finished first all-around, first on vault and floor, and second on beam at 2014 Wase Gym Cup in Belgium … was first all-around, first on vault, first on floor and second on beam at 2014 Malar Cup in Sweeden … first on floor exercise at 2013 Canadian National Championships … finished second on beam at 2013 Provinicial Championships.
Hayley Porter • Bellevue, Nebraska • Bellevue East High School
Club/High School: Level 10 gymnast … competed for Cahoy’s Gymnastics … Level 10 Nebraska State beam champion … fifth in all-around at 2015 Nebraska State Championships … third on bars, fourth on beam at 2015 Regional Championships … National Invitational Tournament qualifier … two-time Level 9 regional qualifier … placed fourth at 2014 Regional Championships … Level 9 state and regional qualifier in the all-around
Charlie Wright, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada • Walter Murray Collegiate
Club/High School: 2015 Saskatchewan National Artistic Gymnast of the Year … competed for Marian Gymnastics Club … Canadian National qualifier, 2011-14 … third all-around, first on beam, first on bars at 2015 Western Canadian Championships … 2011-14 Elite Canada qualifier … member of the Saskatchewan Winter Games Team … first all-around and first on bars, beam and floor at 2014 Provincial Championships … third all-around, first on beam, fourth on bars, fourth on floor at 2014 Western Canadian Championships … sixth on beam 2013 Canadian National Championships … second on bars, third on beam, fifth on floor, third all-around in 2013 Western Canadian Championships … first all-around, first on beam, first on floor, second on bars, fifth on vault in 2013 Provincial Championships … first all-around in 2012 Western Canadian Championships … second all-around in 2012 Provincial Championships.
Sydney Williams, Germantown, Tennessee • Faith Heritage Christian Academy
Club/High School: Level 10 gymnast … competed for Gymstars Gymnastics … Level 10 National qualifier … 2015 Level 10 Tennessee all-around and vault champion … Level 9 Tennessee state all-around and vault champion … Level 9 regional all-around and vault champion … placed fifth on beam at Level 9 National Championships.