Red Rocks sign three 5-star gymnasts to join team for 2024 season

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Tom Farden talks to his team during a meet at the Maverik Stadium in West Valley City, Utah. (Russ Isabella, Utah Athletics)

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SALT LAKE CITY — As the Red Rocks continue their pursuit of another national championship, the Utah gymnastics program got an additional boost on Wednesday with the signing of three new athletes who will join the team for the 2024 season.

All three gymnasts come to the program as five-star athletes, with Elizabeth Ganther as the highest-ranked recruit to join the program since Kara Eaker joined ahead of the 2022 season. Ganther, who joins the team as the No. 4 ranked gymnast in the country, is joined by Camie Winger and Ella Zirbes.

“We are thrilled to have three incredible young women with outstanding talent join our Utah gymnastics family,” head coach Tom Farden said in a statement. “They all come from wonderful families and nationally recognized clubs. Each of these future Red Rocks have shown that they thrive under pressure, and we believe they have what it takes to keep our program among the elite in NCCA gymnastics.”

Ganther, who is a native of Indianapolis, Indiana, comes to the Red Rocks after winning the 2021 Level 10 individual national championship in both bars and beam. She also won the bronze medal on beam at the 2017 Junior Olympic national championship.

Among many other national appearances, Ganther is an eight-time region champion and a 12-time regional medalist.

“Elizabeth comes to us after competing at the International Elite level and as a multiple JO national champion, which bodes well for the future success of her NCAA career,” Farden said. “She is an intelligent and resilient woman, which she has attributed to her successes both in the classroom and in competitions.

“We believe she will shine on the Huntsman floor as a multiple lineup contributor. She shines on the intricate events and has also competed two different 10.0 start-value vaults which is incredible.”

Winger, a five-star gymnast from Orem, has been a regular around the Red Rocks as a participant of several Utah gymnastics camps over the years. She comes to Utah as the national runner-up on bars in 2021 and on floor in 2022 at the Level 10 national championship. She is a five-time region champion and 10-time regional medalist.

“She has a spunky personality with a deep-rooted passion for our sport,” Farden said of Winger. “Camie has been very consistent on the biggest stages and we believe that will translate well in her future as a Red Rock. We see her fighting for several lineup positions as a freshman. Our fans will love this local athlete and her well-executed skillset . She has power, grace, and artistry that we are beyond excited to welcome.”

Zirbes comes from Flips Gymnastics in Stillwater, Minnesota, as another five-star gymnast. In 2019, as part of the Junior Olympic national championship, she was named the all-around and bars national champion, and was the runner-up on vault and floor. She is also a seven-time regional champion.

“Ella is another former International Elite from Minnesota that has an extremely strong technical foundation in her skills,” Farden stated. “She excels on every event, but thousands of Red Rocks fans will especially take note of her impeccable form on bars where she is a national champion.

“She comes to us with an eye catching 10.0 vault and her clean execution on every event will be an asset for our program. From the moment we started recruiting her, we saw the dedication and work ethic as a perfect 10.0 fit for our program. “

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Josh is the Sports Director for KSL.com and beat writer of University of Utah athletics — primarily football, men’s basketball and gymnastics. He is also an Associated Press Top 25 voter for college football.

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