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Courtesy: Athletics Communications

Gymnastics Signs An Exciting Class Of Four

Release: 11/14/2013
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AMES, Iowa – Head coach Jay Ronayne and the Iowa State gymnastics program announced that four talented gymnasts signed their National Letters of Intent on Wednesday. Hilary Green, Courtney Horstman, Kelsey Paz and Haylee Young make up a dynamic class of gymnasts, who are set to join the squad for the 2015 season.

“I am very, very excited about this class,” Ronayne said. “They all have the potential to compete right away and make an impact as freshmen.  They all will bring something special to our program and I am convinced they will be extremely successful here at Iowa State.”

Young, who is a current level 10 gymnast, trains at Chow’s Gymnastics in West Des Moines under Liang Chow. She finished third in the all-around at the Level 10 Iowa State Championships in March with a score of 37.750. That included a second-place finish on uneven bars with a score of 9.450. Young also competed in the Northern Lights Classic in Minneapolis, Minn. in March, where she finished sixth in the all-around with a 37.575 and second in the vault with a 9.750.

“Haylee has been a national level competitor for a few years and is poised to have a great career as a Cyclone,” Ronayne said. “Her combination of power and grace is exactly what we are looking for to jumpstart next year’s squad.” 

Although Young, originally from Raleigh, N.C., moved to West Des Moines in 2010, Ronayne said it did not take long for her to become a Cyclone. She was the first gymnast in this class to decide to become an Iowa Stater.

“Haylee was the first of this class to commit to ISU and I feel it is quite a big deal that we were able to keep her here in Iowa,” Ronayne said. “I expect her to be ready to compete for us right away next year on all four events. She can compete with anyone in the country and she will immediately help us be more competitive nationally.”

Paz trains at Siouxland Gymnastics Academy in Sioux City, Iowa. A level 10 gymnast, Paz placed third on the vault, beam and floor at the 2012 Iowa State Championships. She also has experience at the national level, having competed in the J.O. National Championships in both 2012 and 2013. Ronayne knew as soon as he watched her perform that he wanted her to be a Cyclone.

“I knew when I first went to her gym and watched a workout that she will be a star collegiate gymnast,” Ronayne said. “I couldn’t have her go to another University and beat us. I knew I had to offer her a position on our team right away, so I did. She attended our summer camp and my staff and I loved to work with her because she was so eager to learn and get even better than she already was.  Another thing our fans will notice is the energy she brings to a competition, she always has the fire going. She will be fun to watch.”

Green is another level 10 gymnast who trains at Calvin Twisters in Decatur, Ala. and is coached by Robert Dillard. Green had a huge 2012-13 season, winning the all-around at the Bama Rama, Huntsville Invitational and Alabama Optional Judges Cup. She also took first place at the 2013 J.O.  National Invitational Tournament on floor with a 9.550. Green took first place on vault (9.500) and floor (9.525) at the 2013 State Championships.

“Hilary’s work ethic is unparalleled and we see that her development as an athlete is on the upswing,” Ronayne said. “She is another gymnast that impressed us at camp this summer. She is fun to work with because she will attempt anything a coach suggests. I feel she will continue to improve over the coming years and be a huge part of a successful Cyclone team throughout her collegiate career.”

Horstman is a level 10 gymnast who trains at Monmouth Gymnastics Academy in Englishtown, N.J. Despite dealing with injuries throughout the 2012 and 2013 seasons, Horstman is an accomplished competitor. In 2012, Horstman took second place in the all-around with a score of 37.000 at the Fantasia Optional Classic. In May of 2011, she finished 17th in the all-around at J.O. Nationals.

“Courtney is a quick, strong and powerful gymnast who can do some eye-popping gymnastics,” Ronayne said. “She had to sit out last season due to a shoulder injury but she’s making her comeback.  Prior to sitting out last year, she showed us some skills that will be real crowd pleasers.  She does very well on all four events but her tumbling and vaulting caught our eye.  She will put up some big scores for us when she is back to full strength.”

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