Florida Gators gymnastics signs four on Wednesday

Special report on the Florida Gators gymnastics team.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Four gymnasts are set to join the Gator gymnastics team for the 2019 season, Florida Gators gymnastics head coach Jenny Rowland announced Wednesday.

Two – Leah Clapper and Sydney Johnson-Sharpf – have competed at recent U.S. Championship events. Johnson-Sharpf, a member of the 2015-16 U.S. Senior National Team, has represented the U.S. at two international assignments.

Nya Reed and Savannah Schoenherr advanced to 2017 Junior Olympic Level 10 competition. Schoenherr is a three-time qualifier for the J.O. Nationals, winning the 2015 junior division uneven bars title.

“The group will be able to step in and fill lineup spots immediately. They are all experienced at competing at top events,” Rowland said. “They cannot wait to join the Gators. I know they will shine in the collegiate arena.”

Meet the New Gators
Leah Clapper – Ann Arbor, Mich.
* Took 15th in 2017 P&G Senior Women’s all-around

* 12th in 2017 U.S. Classic all-around, taking 10th in floor exercise

* Second in 2017 American Classic all-around, taking third in both balance beam and floor at 2016 Secret U.S. Classic, took 13th in all-around

* Seventh in all-around, tied for fourth on floor and tied for fifth on beam at 2016 Junior Olympic Level 10-Junior D Championships

* Will graduate from Saline High School in the spring of 2018

* Member of Gym America under coach and past Gator gymnast Claudia Kretschmer

Coach Rowland says:
“Leah is a well-known JO and Elite athlete who brings a lot of experience, poise and confidence to the Gator gymnastics team. Her love of gymnastics and energy level is infectious to others. Leah’s strengths include powerful tumbling and beautiful beam performances. There is unlimited potential to Leah’s ability to be an all-around competitor for this team.”

Sydney Johnson-Sharpf- Clermont, Fla.

* Member of both 2015-16 U.S. Senior and Junior National Teams

* Earned spot on Junior National team with 2015 P&G Championships after taking sixth in all-around and fifth on floor (junior division)

* Added to U.S. Senior National Team in 2016

* Competed vault, beam and floor at 2017 P&G Senior Women’s Championships, tying for fourth in floor competition

* Third in 2017 Reykjavik International Games (Iceland) all-around, also vault and floor champion and took silver on bars

* Competed as an all-arounder at 2016 City of Jesolo Trophy (Italy)

* At 2015 P&G Championships, took sixth in junior division all-around – also fifth on floor and eighth on vault

* Will graduate from Montverde Academy in spring of 2018

* Member of Brandy Johnson’s Gymnastics and trains under 1988 U.S. Olympian (and mom!) Brandy Johnson-Sharpf and Kelly Pitzen

Coach Rowland says:
“We are very excited to have this Florida native joining the Gators. Sydney is a seasoned International Elite athlete with many years of high-level gymnastics experience and competitions. Her power, finesse, and ability to capture an audience – especially on floor – will make an immediate impact in the all-around for the Gators. Sydney is packed with loads of talent and spunk that is sure to light up the O’Dome.”

Nya Reed – Hyattsville, Md.

* In 2017 Junior Olympics Level 10-Senior C competition, took eighth in all-around, second on floor, tied for fifth on vault and sixth on beam

* Advanced to 2017 J.O. Nationals after taking fourth in Level 10 regional all-around and vault – also fifth on beam and floor

* Won 11 Virginia state titles since 2010, including seven Level 10 titles since 2013 (2017 vault>, floor; 2014 vault; 2013 all-around, bars, floor)

* Will graduate from Flint Hill School in spring of 2018

* Member of Capital Gymnastics NTC in Burke, Va., and trains under coaches Tatiana Perskaia and Marina Gerom

Coach Rowland says:
“Nya is one of the top, explosive JO National competitors with a personality to match. Her ability to show off and control her power makes her a fierce competitor that will help lead the Gators on floor and vault. Her natural all-around talent and national experience will definitely allow her to step right into many Gator lineup spots.”

Savannah Schoenherr

* Three-time Junior Olympics Level 10 competitor

* Sixth in 2017 J.O. Senior B uneven bars

* 2015 J.O. Junior B bar champion and sixth in all-around

* Fifth on floor at 2013 J.O. Junior A Nationals

* 2017 and 2015 Region 8 Level 10 bars champion

* Did not compete in 2016 season due to injury

* Will graduate from North Oconee High School in spring of 2018

* Member of Oconee Gymnastics Center in Watkinsville, Ga., and trains under coach Bridget Boyd

Coach Rowland says:
“Savannah is a three-time JO National competitor filled with so much raw talent. This girl is a gamer. When put in a tough spot, she is one you can count on to pull through in any given situation. She is an exceptional bar worker but could potentially contribute to many other lineup spots, even the all-around. Her passion and determination to help the Gators be successful is second to none.”

Gators in 2018:
The Gators open the 2018 season Jan. 5 at West Virginia.

The home season begins Friday, Jan. 12 when Southeastern Conference defending champion LSU comes to the Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.

Fans can purchase season tickets now for the outstanding 2018 home slate, which includes three 2017 NCAA Super Six teams (LSU – Jan. 12, Oklahoma – Jan. 26, Alabama – Feb. 9).

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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.

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