Nov. 9, 2017
DENVER – The University of Denver women’s gymnastics team is excited to welcome three student-athletes for the 2019 season, head coach Melissa Kutcher-Rinehart announced on Thursday. Maddie Quarles (Andover, Minn.), Alexandria Ruiz (Lake Mary, Fla.) and Alexis Vasquez (Alta Loma, Calif.) have signed their National Letters of Intent and will attend DU beginning with the 2018-19 school year.
“We’re excited to welcome Maddie, Alexandria and Alexis to the DU Gymnastics family,” Kutcher-Rinehart said. “They’ll bring a high skill level to our team and have extensive competitive experience. I expect all three to contribute immediately in the all-around.
“They’re intelligent and resilient, and they’re determined to help our team achieve our goals both athletically and academically.”
Maddie Quarles is a Level 10 gymnast from Minnesota’s Twin City Twisters. She is a two-time JO Nationals qualifier where she finished fifth in the all-around, second on floor and third on bars in 2017. At 2015 JO Nationals, she finished third in the all-around and on floor. Three times she has claimed the Region 4 all-around title, and she has won a total of 10 regional event titles across three seasons. Her 9.900 on floor at the 2016 Fiesta Bowl International matched the highest floor score in the nation that year. In 2014 and 2017, she captured the Minnesota all-around title and finished second in 2015.
“Maddie is an outgoing and free-spirited young woman,” said Kutcher-Rinehart. “She’s an athletic gymnast, and she brings some very unique and creative skills that fans will love to watch.”
WATCH: Maddie Quarles video: Vault | Bars | Beam | Floor
Alexandria Ruiz is a former junior elite and current Level 10 gymnast from ACE Gymnastics in Florida. She twice competed at the prestigious Nastia Liukin Cup, finishing third on floor in 2016 and tied for sixth on floor in 2012. She has competed at JO Nationals four times, winning a share of the beam title, and finishing third in the all-around and on floor in 2015. At the 2015 Region 8 Championships, she won the all-around and floor titles while finishing in the top-five on every event. She also finished second in the all-around and on floor, as well as third on beam and in the top six on vault and bars at 2016 Regionals.
“Alexandria is very thoughtful both in the gym and in the classroom,” Kutcher-Rinehart said. “She’s a solid and reliable gymnast with lots of power and dynamic skills.”
WATCH: Alexandria Ruiz highlight video
Alexis Vasquez is a former junior elite gymnast and current Level 10 gymnast from Winner’s Academy of Gymnastics in California. In 2014, she was named to the U.S. Junior National Team. She twice competed at the P&G Championships, winning the beam title and finishing fifth in the all-around and on bars as a junior in 2014. At the 2013 P&G Championships, she also tied for third on beam. As a Level 10 gymnast, she was named to the JO National Team in 2012 following a third-place finish in the all-around at the JO National Championships. She also placed second on floor and fourth on beam in 2012.
“Alexis has a very elegant and graceful style to her gymnastics,” said Kutcher-Rinehart “Her lines and shapes are beautiful, and she’s a very polished gymnast.”
WATCH: Alexis Vasquez video: Vault | Bars | Beam | Floor
Denver is coming off arguably the most successful season in program history where the Pioneers advanced to the 2017 NCAA National Championships and finished the season ranked No. 9 in the nation—a new program record.
DU will return nine student-athletes from the 2017 squad including three-time postseason All-American Maddie Karr (Stillwater, Minn.), and seniors Nikole Addison (Fort Myers, Fla.), Claire Hammen (Loveland, Colo.) and Leah Lomonte (Katy, Texas).
Season tickets for the 2018 season are now available online or by calling 303-871-4625. New for the 2018, season ticket holders have the opportunity to reserve their seats in Hamilton Gymnasium with chair backs for $45. General admission season tickets are $35.
PIONEER MOVEMENT: Fans interested in making a donation to the gymnastics program can do so by clicking here. Your contribution will make a direct impact on the success of YOUR Pioneers. Thank you in advance for your unwavering support of our student-athletes and their quest for excellence.
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