Flippin’ Birds Add Three Gymnasts on National Signing Day

November 09, 2016
By SUU Strategic Communication

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CEDAR CITY, Utah - The Thunderbird gymnastics program added three future gymnasts on Wednesday, as part of National Signing Day. 

Hannah Nipp

Hannah Nipp, from Laguna Hills, California and Azarian Gymnastics, has signed with the Thunderbirds for the class of 2017-18.

SUU head coach Scott Bauman said he is excited for what Nipp will bring to the program.

“Hannah comes from another program that does a great job of developing athletes and making them extremely strong,” he said. “And she is a phenomenal bar, beam and floor worker. She’s going to come in and have an immediate impact on those three events and we have a lot of options with her as well.”

Nipp had a strong 2016, qualifying for the Junior Olympic National Championships and winning the Junior Olympic Region 1 Balance Beam Championship.

In 2014 Nipp claimed two championships at the Region 1 Junior Olympics, winning on both the uneven bars and the balance team.

In total she was a four-time Junior Olympic Regional Champion and a five-time State Champion.

Mikaela Defilippo

The Thunderbird gymnastics program has announced the signing of Mikaela Defilippo from Abbottstown, Pennsylvania and Artistic Sports Academy Plus.

SUU head coach Scott Bauman said he is excited to have her on board, and is looking forward particularly to a vault she’s going to bring to the team.

“Mikaela brings a very strong floor, vault and beam,” he said. “She’s a very solid three-event athlete for us, but she’ll bring a strong E tumbling pass with a punch double front, an unusual vault kind of similar to Virginia Brownsell. We think she might be able to come in and immediately have an impact on three events.”

Defilippo competed at Level 10 from five years in Pennsylvania, and was a three-time qualifier to the Region 7 meet.

In 2016 she was a Junior Olympic National Qualifier, and in the same year she placed sixth on the vault at regionals.

In 2015 she was able to finish fifth place on the vault at the state meet, and the year before she finished in second place on the same event.

Morgan Alfaro

The SUU gymnastics program has announced the signing of Morgan Alfaro from Placentia, California and competes for Gym-Max.

“Morgan is a very powerful athlete, she’s going to bring a huge impact to our vault and our floor team right off the bat I believe,” SUU head coach Scott Bauman said about Alfaro’s abilities. “She’s actually very good on bars and beam, we’ve just got to solidify the direction we want to go with her bar routine and then she’ll be wonderful on that event.”

Bauman also noted that Alfaro will come to SUU from the same gym as one of the team leaders heading into the upcoming 2017 campaign.

“Morgan comes from a gym that put out one of the best vaulters we’ve ever had on our team in Stacie (Webb) and she has the same strengths, and we’re looking forward to having her here,” he said.  

In 2016 Alfaro was the vault and floor champion at the San Diego Classic. In 2015 she was a qualifier in the Junior Olympic National Championships and the year before she qualified for the Junior Olympic National Invitational.

Also in 2014, Alfaro finished second in the All-Around at the National Invitational Tournament, where she also placed first on the vault and balance beam.

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