North Carolina has signed gymnastics student-athletes Emma Marchese, Lily Dean and Rylie Dewhurst to national letters of intent. Marchese will join the team in the spring semester of 2017, and Dean and Dewhurst will begin in the fall semester.
Marchese, a native of Rockville, Md., will graduate from the Covenant Life Family Schools Program in December, 2016. Marchese trains at Hills Gymnastics under the guidance of Kelli Hill in Gaithersburg, Md. A two-time Junior Olympic National Team member, Marchese is a four-time Junior Olympic National Champion.
" alt="" />In May, Marchese captured the all-around and balance beam titles at the Level 10 Junior Olympic National Championships. She was also the Level 10 National Champion on balance beam in 2015. She earned her first Junior Olympic National Championship on balance beam as a Level 9 competitor in 2011. Marchese is a 12-time USA Gymnastics Region 7 champion, and has been a member of the Region 7 All-Star team four times.
"Emma is an outstanding performer on all four events,” says head coach Derek Galvin. “She will have an immediate competitive impact when she arrives in Chapel Hill, and we are absolutely delighted that she chose to become a Tar Heel. Emma’s focus and determination academically, and as an athlete, sets her up to be very successful as a college student-athlete.”
A native of North Andover, Mass., Dean is an impressively artistic gymnast, as well as a strong student. She attends North Andover High School and receives her gymnastics training at Brestyan’s Gymnastics under the direction of Mihai Brestyan. In 2015 she was the USA Gymnastics Junior Olympic Region 6 Level 10 Champion on floor exercise, and a qualifier to the Junior Olympic National Championships. Dean also captured the Massachusetts State floor exercise title in 2015. She earned her first state championship in 2013.
“Lily is particularly impressive on balance beam and floor exercise,” says Galvin. “However, she is fully capable of competing on all four events as a college gymnast. Lily’s academic focus and desire to contribute to our team and the campus community will serve her well as a Tar Heel.”
Dewhurst trains at Brown’s Gymnastics in Las Vegas, Nev., where she is coached by Kyle Khou and Wendy McGee. She attends Odyssey Charter Schools and is a solid student as well as a talented athlete. Her strongest events are uneven bars and balance beam. Dewhurts was the 2015 Nevada State Champion on both uneven bars and balance beam.
“Her release elements on uneven bars are breathtaking, and her continuing dynamic skill development on the other events adds a true wow factor to her gymnastics,” says Galvin. “Rylie’s enthusiasm and endearing personality fits right in with our team, and she is eager to begin her collegiate career as a Tar Heel.”
“Along with Coach (Amy) Smith and Coach (Whitnee) Johnson, I am very pleased that Emma, Lily and Rylie are so excited and eager to become Tar Heels,” says Galvin. “Each of these student-athletes and their families can hardly wait to join our current team members and their families in the exciting future awaiting our gymnastics program.”