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.