The North Carolina gymnastics program has announced the signing of three national letters of intent from Mackenzie Austin of Kernersville, N.C., Kelsey Chan of Valencia, Calif., and Madison Hargrave of Westfield, Ind. All three will join the team for the 2015-16 academic year.
Austin is an exceptional student as well as a strong gymnast. She will graduate among the top students in her class from Robert B. Glenn High School in June 2015. She receives her gymnastics training at one of North Carolina’s top gymnastics clubs, High Point Gymnastics Academy where she trains under the direction of coaches Buddy Thorburn and Rob Travers.
This past May, Austin placed fifth in the All-Around at the 2014 USA Gymnastics Junior Olympic Level 10 National Championships. During the 2013 and 2012 competition seasons she captured fourth place and second place, respectively, on floor exercise at the Junior Olympic National Championships.
“Mackenzie’s delightful personality, infectious enthusiasm, and strong work ethic will serve her well as a Tar Heel. She is going to be an outstanding collegiate student-athlete," says head coach Derek Galvin.
Chan trains under the guidance of Chris Waller at Waller’s Gym Jam Academy in Santa Clarita, Calif., and she attends West Ranch High School. Kelsey is the 2014 USA Gymnastics Junior Olympic Level 10 California state all-around and vaulting champion. In 2013 she was the Monarchs Classic uneven bars, floor exercise, and all-around champion.
Chan is a powerful competitor, particularly on vault and floor exercise.
"We believe Kelsey possesses the athletic talent to become a truly exceptional collegiate gymnast," says Galvin. "The training she has received from Chris Waller and his staff at Gym Jam has her positioned to blossom as a collegiate student-athlete."
Hargrave attends St. Theodore Guerin High School in Noblesville, Ind. A solid student as well as a talented athlete, she receives her gymnastics training at Sharp’s Gymnastics Academy in Indianapolis. Several former Sharp’s Academy Gymnasts have enjoyed extremely successful international and collegiate careers following the training and preparation they received under the direction of Marvin Sharp.
Hargrave is a two time USA Gymnastics Junior Olympic National Championships qualifier and her strongest events are vault and floor exercise. In 2013 she placed sixth on vault and ninth on floor exercise at the USA Gymnastics Junior Olympic Level 10 National Championships.
"Madison is a powerhouse of energy and enthusiasm, and she is eager to begin her collegiate career as a Tar Heel. She too has a bright future ahead as a Carolina student-athlete," says Galvin.
“Coach Amy Smith and I are pleased and very happy that Mackenzie, Kelsey, and Madison each chose to become Tar Heels”, continues Galvin. “These young ladies and their families are excited by the vision we all have for the future of Carolina gymnastics, and they are eager to join our current team members and their families in the process of turning that vision into a reality. I believe Carolina is a great fit for each of them, and they are each a great fit for Carolina!”