SEATTLE – Washington Gymnastics head coach Joanne Bowers announced an addition to the 2014 recruiting class this morning.
Hailey Burleson will be added to the existing 2014 class of Joslyn Goings, Emily Liddle, Zoey Schaefer and Alyssa Shermetaro. Burleson will fill the scholarship spot that was recently opened after sophomore Sheridan Metcalf was medically disqualified.
“We are so excited Hailey will be joining our gymnastics team a year early! We got a verbal commitment from her for the class of 2015 a year and half ago and have been anxious to get her here. When her coach decided to move back to Texas this summer and she only had 2 classes left to graduate, so it just seemed like it was meant to be that she come in early. A sophomore on our team, Sheridan Metcalf, was medically disqualified a month ago due to her continued issues with her knees and back, so that opened up a scholarship a year early. Hailey told me that it seems like it was just meant to be and I agree,” Bowers said.
The focus of this class was to provide much needed depth for the Huskies. With only one graduating senior this year, Aliza Vaccher, the addition of four new gymnasts is going to have a huge impact on the strength of the team moving forward. Next year will be the biggest squad Bowers has seen in her time at Washington.
“We are very excited to sign this class because of what they bring to our program. They are all incredible people and students, plus they are strong gymnasts! Each comes from wonderful families and coaches who will support them and help them transition well from club to college gymnastics,” Bowers continued, “we will only be losing one senior, Aliza, and we are gaining four all-around gymnasts. This will be the first season in quite a while that we have depth at every event. Depth will enhance competition in practice and should raise the level on our team.”
Hailey, the daughter of Jerri and Gene Burleson, is a level 10 gymnast from Fletcher N.C. where she trains with head coach James Williams at KPAC Gym.
She is an all-arounder who competes very high-level skills on all four events who has won two state titles on floor and has was the NIT all-around, vault and bars champion with a bronze on floor.
“Hailey is a very strong all-around performer with beautiful artistry and lines. She is a strong student and has learned to manage her time due to the long travel times and living away from home half of each week. She has done this for a good while, to be able to train at KPAC. We believe she is mature beyond her years and will be able to make the transition from high school to college well even though she will be younger than the rest of her class coming in this summer. We were so sad to lose Sheridan a year early but then realized this was a great opportunity to get Hailey a year early. Even though Hailey will be leaving a close-knit family in NC, we will be welcoming her to our UW family here in Seattle and couldn’t be happier,” Bowers said of Burleson.
According to the new Husky, “I chose the University of Washington because the coaches and gymnasts made me feel as if I was already part of the team. Not only does Washington have a great gymnastics team but the education you receive is superb. Therefore I felt like I was getting a dual package, doing the sport I love and getting the education that I want.”
1st AA at Chicago
4 time level 10 Regional qualifier
2 time State champ on Floor
NIT AA,V, and B champ and Bronze on floor
2nd vault at Regionals
2nd AA at WOGA
2nd AA at State