The elite gymnasts — an exclusive level reserved for the best athletes hoping to represent the United States in international competition — are chasing ambitious Olympic-size goals at World Champions Centre, the club owned by Simone Biles’s family. But eventually they’ll be stars in the NCAA. To find a major program, they’ll have to leave Texas because the state that produces more top recruits than any other doesn’t have a Division I team.
“Most girls that I’ve met, they want to stay in Texas if they could,” said Joscelyn Roberson, a 17-year-old who performs uber-difficult beam and floor routines and is committed to Arkansas. “But they just can’t.”
Joscelyn Roberson is one of the top gymnasts in Texas but will compete in college at Arkansas. (Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Should have guessed that someone did star rankings of gymnasts; I would be curious to know if Roberson or anyone else Jordyn has signed is/was a 5-star.
And, at least on this one, the answer is no. We signed the very top 4-star for 2023 and Roberson is a 4-star for 2024. Our 2023 class is not even in the top 25; the 2024 class is #13 with Grace Drexler and Roberson as 4-stars (the only two we’ve gotten commitments from so far, apparently)…
I keep saying you’re gonna start getting 10s when you recruit girls that are capable of 10s. Maybe in 2024 we’ll have a couple of them.
The Houston Chronicle has also looked at the absence of gymnastics programs in Texas.
So many US Olympians trained with the now-discredited Karolyis in the Houston area (Huntsville, actually) for decades; the Karolyi Ranch remained open as a training site until 2018 when it was found to have been one of Larry Nassar’s molestation sites. And Simone Biles’ mom opened the Houston gym mentioned in the WaPo article. Yet nothing at UH, Rice or A&M, 90 miles away.