Jaedyn Rucker is a nationally ranked gymnast

Rucker earned the NCAA gymnastics championships’ individual national title on vault on Thursday. The Utah gymnast earned the individual national title on vault during Thursday’s NCAA women’s gymnastics championship semifinals at Dickies Arena. Rucker earned a score of 9.9625 on the event, the highest of any gymnast in either semi-final session.

Rucker becomes the seventh Utah gymnast to win an individual vault national title, joining Elaine Alfano (1982, 1983, and 1985), Megan Marsden (1984), Kristen Kenoyer (1992), and MyKayla Skinner (2000), (2018).

Rucker becomes Utah’s second individual winner, after Maile O’Keefe, who won a pair of medals in 2021. (on bars and floor). In total, 16 different Utah gymnasts have won 30 individual NCAA championships. Rucker’s victory vault was the outstanding performance in one of Utah’s strongest rotations on the event this season, with her height and distance in particular differentiating her effort from the rest of the field.

“I felt pretty secure since I participated in the same vault last year,” Rucker said, referring to the vault she competed in at the 2021 national championships. “I was familiar with the layout (at Dickies Arena) and believed I could pull it off. I was already aware.”

Rucker continued by stating that her motivation was her teammates, not any individual honors she could receive. “I enjoy doing it for my teammates,” she explained. “I always have those in mind — just go out there and nail it.” Rucker’s career began slowly at Utah with a season-ending ACL tear prior to her freshman season.


Written by Doug McKain

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