EUGENE, Ore. – The University of Oregon acrobatics and tumbling team has added an additional seven prep standouts, bringing its total incoming newcomer class to 14. Head coach Felecia Mulkey has announced seven incoming freshmen have signed National Letters of Intent in the recent late signing period.
UO’s signing class consists of five Oregon products, four natives of California, two from Nevada and one each from Washington, Colorado and Georgia.
The Ducks won their fourth consecutive NCATA National Championship on April 26, beating Azusa Pacific in the finals with the second highest score in NCATA history. Since the NCATA’s inception four seasons ago, UO has posted a 43-3 overall record while winning four national titles, 30 event titles, winning 11 All-America honors and two athlete of the year awards.
Oregon’s challenging task of replacing five standout seniors will be made easier by welcoming back 32 student athletes, including three All-Americans, while adding a talented signing class of 14 accomplished recruits.
5-foot-3 / Eugene, Ore. / Marist H.S.
A hometown product out of Marist High School, Cross has 12 years of club cheerleading experience and is a varsity letter winner. Cross also earned letters in soccer and in tennis. She was an all-state selection in soccer in 2013-14 and was a four-year letter winner for Marist. In the classroom, Cross is a four-time honor roll selection and a member of National Honors Society.
“We’re excited to have Alexis as part of the Duck family,” said Mulkey. “She is a dynamic athlete with a work ethic to match. You will see her as a top and possibly a mid-level in the pyramid event.”
5-foot-6 / Lithonia, Ga. / Southwest Dekalb H.S.
Jones is the team captain of Southwest Dekalb’s varsity gymnastics team, and was named most valuable player last season. Jones was also the captain of her club competitive cheerleading team, and was named MVP of her high school’s varsity cheer squad. She is also a member of her school’s band and is an honor roll honoree.
“Lauren is a power house in both tumbling and acro,” said Mulkey. “Her excitement for this sport is contagious. We are excited to welcome her to our family.”
5-foot-1 / Las Vegas, Nev. / Palo Verde H.S.
Vestuto has seven years of cheerleading at Palo Verde High School under her belt, and is a two-time team captain. Last season, Vestuto earned MVP honors and was named the Best Tumbler award winner by her team. Vestuto is an all-state academic award winner.
“You will see Kianna in the toss events and possibly as a top in acro and pyramids,” said Mulkey. ‘Hey body control and air awareness well make her an asset in those events.”
5-foot-1 / Lake Tahoe, Nev. / Bishop Gorman H.S.
Out of Bishop Gorman High School, Czyz has been the team captain of her freshman, junior varsity and varsity cheer squads. Czyz is a four-year MVP award winner and was voted the best tumbler at Bishop Gorman’s cheer camp. She also excelled in the classroom and was the editor in chief of her high school newspaper.
"Nicole is a very talented athlete and will be a great addition to the team," said Mulkey. "We're thrilled to welcome her to the family."
5-foot-4 / Irvine, Calif. / Woodbridge H.S.
Trussell attends Woodbridge High School in Irvine, Calif. She has 12 years of club gymnastics experience. Trussell has been named her club team’s Most Improved Gymnast award winner. In the classroom, Trussell earned honor roll accolades and is a Fellowship of Christian Athletes member.
‘We’re excited to have Reagan’s tumbling background as part of our program,” said Mulkey. “Her strength will also prove an asset in the acro and pyramid events.”
5-foot-8 / Albany, Ore. / Santiam Christian H.S.
Garwood competed for Stingray All-Stars; a competitive club cheer team from Marietta, Ga. At Santiam Christian High School in Albany, Ore., Garwood was an honor roll member and a member of the competitive cheer squad.
“Ali’s strength will make her an asset right away in the pyramid and toss events,” said Mulkey.
5-foot-4 / Alamo, Calif. / Monte Vista H.S.
Hovander will join the University of Oregon with 13 years of gymnastics experience. She is a level nine gymnast, and a qualifier to western nationals. Hovander has been selected to the all-state team the past two seasons and is a five-time state champion.
“Heather is a powerful gymnast with impeccable technique,” said Mulkey. “Her strength and skill set will translate well into this sport.”
Oregon announced the signing of seven prep standouts on Nov. 18, 2013, in the early signing period.