UCLA Signing Class Ranked No. 1 by College Gym News
UCLA has inked the No. 1-ranked signing class in the nation, according to College Gym News. The Bruins' top-ranked class includes U.S. National Team members Jordan Chiles, Emily Lee and Emma Malabuyo, Canadian World medalist Ana Padurariu and U.S. senior elite Alexis Jeffrey.
The rankings are based on a points system from the website's recruit ratings system and include gymnasts who signed during the 2020 early signing period and those who signed previously but have deferred enrollment. The ranking does not include Canadian National Team member Brooklyn Moors, who has enrolled this year but will redshirt the season.
Chiles originally signed with UCLA two years ago but deferred enrollment in order to pursue an Olympic bid. A seven-time U.S. National Team member who trains at World Champions Centre, Chiles was the 2018 U.S. vault silver medalist and 2017 all-around silver medalist. She won the U.S. vault title at the junior level in 2015 and was the bronze medalist on vault and floor in 2014. In her first senior international assignment, she won bronze in the all-around at the 2018 Stuttgart World Cup, and she also captured gold medals on vault, floor and team and bronze on beam at the 2018 Pacific Rim Championships. Chiles was an alternate for the USA's 2017 World Championship team.
Current U.S. National Team member Lee is the most recent UCLA signee, having signed with the Bruins on Nov. 11. Lee, who trains at West Valley Gymnastics, had a strong 2019 season, finishing in the Top 10 at the World Team selection camp after placing sixth on balance beam, eighth on floor exercise and 11th all-around at the U.S. Championships. Additionally, she won floor exercise, placed second in the all-around and third on vault and uneven bars at the 2019 American Classic. Lee made her international debut at the 2020 Gymnix International in Montreal, winning team gold and earning a silver medal on floor exercise. In 2016, Lee won the Level 10 floor exercise title and then finished seventh on balance beam in the junior division at the U.S. Championships.
Four-time U.S. National Team member Malabuyo, from Texas Dreams, signed in December of 2019 but deferred enrollment to pursue the Olympics. In 2017, Malabuyo established herself as one of the top juniors in the nation, winning four medals at the USA Championships (floor gold, all-around and bars silver and vault bronze), along with the U.S. Classic junior all-around and floor titles. She also competed three times internationally that year, winning team and vault gold at the 2017 Gymnix International Junior Cup; team and floor gold, vault silver and all-around bronze at the Jesolo Trophy; and floor gold, all-around and beam silver and vault and bars bronze at the International Junior Gymnastics Competition in Japan. Malabuyo's most recent international assignment was at the 2019 Jesolo Trophy, where she added to her medal haul at that meet, winning team gold, beam and floor silver and all-around bronze in the senior division.
Padurariu also signed in December of 2019 and elected to defer while training for the Olympics. A two-time World Championships competitor for Canada, she was the 2018 World silver medalist on beam and qualified once again in 2019 for the beam finals. Padurariu, who trains at Gemini Gymnastics, won silver in the all-around at the 2019 World Cup in Stuttgart and captured four medals at the 2019 Canadian National Championships, including uneven bars gold and all-around silver. Padurariu made a big splash in 2017, sweeping the all-around and all four events at the Canadian Championships and at Elite Canada. She also won beam gold and vault bronze at the 2017 Jesolo Trophy and all-around silver and floor bronze at the 2017 Gymnix Junior Cup after claiming four gold medals (all-around, bars, beam and floor) at the 2016 Pan American Championships.
Jeffrey, who trains at GAGE, signed on Nov. 11, along with Lee. Jeffrey made her elite debut in 2018 and finished in ninth place in the all-around and seventh on floor exercise in the junior division at the U.S. Championships. She also placed 11th in the all-around and ninth on uneven bars at the 2018 GK U.S. Classic. In her senior debut in 2019, she earned a Top 15 all-around finish at the 2019 GK U.S. Classic. Prior to qualifying elite, Jeffrey was a three-time Level 10 champion, winning the all-around and uneven bars in 2018 and uneven bars in 2017.
Moors will join this class in 2022. She enrolled remotely at UCLA this fall and will redshirt the 2021 season. The Canadian National Team member has qualified to the all-around and floor exercise finals at three consecutive World Championships. At her first Worlds in 2017, she placed 15th in the all-around and fifth on floor and also became the first Canadian gymnast ever to win the Longines Prize for Elegance. In 2018, she helped lead Canada to all-time best fourth-place finish and placed eighth on floor. She earned a seventh-place finish on floor and was 14th in the all-around in 2019. Moors also won floor exercise gold at the 2019 Pan American Games.