Florida Gators gymnastics sign two for the 2020 class

Special report on the Florida Gators gymnastics team:

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A pair of U.S. and international decorated gymnasts – Morgan Hurd and Riley McCusker – are joining the Gator gymnastics program, Gator head coach Jenny Rowland<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.gatorzone.com_gymnastics_staff_rowland&d=DwIFAg&c=sJ6xIWYx-zLMB3EPkvcnVg&r=o5LKAX7slotfFMyE71jI7L22NYBIi1-KbRGNSXudTPo&m=bMp3nAHoqBFGijlnFXb9evffRR8ZY2KPqsbwtPYsfr4&s=eNTGnccp90d1pRnPgojnEqOqw1QWYbDuJSUZdqi_Kbs&e= > announced Wednesday.

Both are four-time members of the U.S. Senior National team and are pursuing a spot on the 2020 U.S. Olympic roster. McCusker enrolls at the University of Florida in the fall of 2020 and will start collegiate competition in 2021. Hurd plans to join the team for the 2022 season as she wants to compete at the 2021 World Championships, set for October 2021 in Copenhagen.

Both are veterans of many international assignments for Team USA. Hurd won the 2017 World Championships all-around and will join Gator Great Bridget Sloan as one of only two all-around World champions to compete collegiately. Both Hurd and McCusker were members of the U.S.’s 2018 World Championships’ gold-medal team in Doha, Qatar. Hurd claimed the 2018 World Championships silver on floor and took the all-around bronze.

Both helped the U.S win team gold this past summer at the 2019 Pan American Games. McCusker also took gold in Pan Am uneven bars competition, silver in all-around and bronze on beam.

The U.S. Championships’ all-around bronze medalist in 2017 and 2018, McCusker won bars in 2017 and shared 2018 bars silver with Hurd. Hurd claimed U.S. Championships silver on bars (2019) and all-around (2018) and bronze in 2018 floor competition.

Jenny Rowland Said:
“Gators Gymnastics is especially excited about having Riley join the Gator family. It has been a long process and she ended up deferring to pursue her dream to make the Olympic team. We’re so thankful that we’ve had the opportunity to support her throughout this process.

“Riley has a very unique ability to captivate a crowd with her stunning and graceful gymnastics all while being one of the most humble, kind-hearted young women I know. There is no doubt Gator Nation is going to instantly fall in love with her. The NCAA and Gator Nation will be in for a real treat to see such an exquisite gymnast.”

“Gators Gymnastics is thrilled to have Morgan join the Gator family.  Morgan’s journey has also been a longer process than most, as she too has deferred to pursue her Olympic and World Championship goals. We are very excited to continue to support Morgan from afar. Competing as a Gator will come soon enough for Morgan, but between now and then we wish her much joy and success. Gator Nation will be ready to welcome her with open arms in 2022.” – Florida Head Coach Jenny Rowland

Meet the New Gators:
Morgan Hurd – Middletown, Del. @morgihurd

*   2017 World Championships’ all-around champion; silver on balance beam
*   Silver medalist on uneven bars at 2019 U.S. Championships<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__youtu.be_XNDQ35a1YAY&d=DwIFAg&c=sJ6xIWYx-zLMB3EPkvcnVg&r=o5LKAX7slotfFMyE71jI7L22NYBIi1-KbRGNSXudTPo&m=bMp3nAHoqBFGijlnFXb9evffRR8ZY2KPqsbwtPYsfr4&s=Q-SNb3rw70dcvSUTTGV6PXCY73wklrQYbsrVC7lhyEY&e= >
*   All-around champion at 2019 Tokyo World Cup in Tokyo, Japan
*   Part of U.S.’s gold medal team at 2019 Pan American Games
*   Gold medalist with 2018 U.S. World Championships team; also claimed floor exercise silver and all-around bronze
*   Silver in all-around and uneven bars at 2018 U.S. Championships; bronze in floor competition
*   2018 American Cup champion
*   Member of 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 U.S. Senior National Team; part of 2016-17 U.S. Junior National Team
*   Member of First State Gymnastics in Newark, Del., and coached by Slava Glazounov

Riley McCusker – Brielle, N.J. @mccusker_riley

*   Gold medalist with 2018 U.S. World Championships team
*   Team and uneven bars gold medalist at 2019 Pan American Games; also claimed silver in all-around and balance beam bronze
*   2019 Birmingham World Cup all-around silver medalist
*   2018 U.S. uneven bars silver medalist; bronze for all-around and balance beam
*   2017 U.S. uneven bars champion; silver for beam and bronze in all-around competition
*   Gold for all-around, balance beam and U.S. team at 2017 Jesolo Trophy in Jesolo, Italy; uneven bars silver medalist
*   Member of 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 U.S. Senior National Team; part of 2016-17 U.S. Junior National Team
*   Member of MG Elite in Morganville, NJ., and coached by Maggie Haney and Victoria Levine
Gators in 2020:
2020 season action kicks off Friday, Jan. 10 with a Southeastern Conference home dual meet versus Arkansas.

Get your tickets now so you’ll be in the Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center for the Jan. 10 opener to cheer the Gators.

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.