From Lions to Aggies, Utah State Gymnastics Inks Pair of Transfers from Lindenwood


LOGAN, Utah – Utah State head gymnastics coach Kristin White announced Thursday the signing of two student-athletes. Jenna Eagles and Payton Gatzlaff will compete for the Aggies in the 2023 season.

“I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Jenna and Payton to the Aggie Family,” said White, who is in her first year at the helm of the Aggies. “After spending time with the two of them and their families, it was clear that their goals were aligned with the future of our program. We are thrilled they chose Utah State to be their final stop on their collegiate journey. Jenna and Payton are both phenomenal young women and we know they will make immediate impacts in the classroom, competition floor and community.”

Eagles, a 5-foot-2 native of Ramsey, Minnesota, spent her first two seasons at Lindenwood University in St. Andrews Charles, Missouri. After competing in just one meet for the Lions in 2021, she competed in six meets in 2022, recording career-high scores of 9.500 on vault and 9.775 on floor.

“Jenna is spunky and her personality is contagious,” White said. “With her hard work and dedication, she will make an impact on our vault and floor team. We know that she is going to thrive in our environment, and we are excited to see her perform in front of our fans. Wait for her to arrive in Logan, so that we can get working together.”

Prior to Lindenwood, Eagles trained at Twin City Twisters in Champlin, Minnesota, for 16 years. The daughter of Brad and Jackie Eagles graduated from Anoka (Minnesota) High School in 2020.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this team,” Eagles said. “I am excited to continue my gymnastics career with the most welcoming group of people. I can’t wait to get on campus and start this new journey as an Aggie.”

Like Eagles, Gatzlaff is transferring to Utah State from Lindenwood. As a freshman for the Lions in 2022, she competed on vault in six meets, recording a career-best score of 9,750.

“Payton is a phenomenal student-athlete,” White said. “She has clear goals and expectations of where she wants to be. I have no doubt she will make an impact on our vault and floor lineups. She is the type of athlete every coach wants on their team: humble, hardworking, passionate and wants to make a difference.”

Gatzlaff is a native of Ankeny, Iowa. She trained at Triad Gymnastics for nine years under the direction of Dan Miller and was a four-time all-around state champion (2013, 2014, 2017 and 2019), a Super 8 qualifier and member of the Super 8 championship team in 2017.

“Joining the Aggie Family is a dream come true for me,” Gatzlaff said. “The second I stepped foot on campus, I connected with the girls and coaches, and felt that Utah State was a place I could flourish as a student-athlete. After spending time with both Kristin and (assistant coach) Rachel (Slocum), I realized that their goals for the gymnasts aligned with my values ​​and what I was searching for in a team.

“Utah State is a part of a beautiful community in Logan. I believe the school and gymnastics program will provide a positive environment where I can see myself for the next three years. Utah State offers amazing opportunities that will help me become the best version of myself and prepare me for my future endeavors.”

The daughter of Craig and Leasa Gatzlaff has an older sister named Madison that is a senior on Ball State’s swimming and diving team. Payton graduated from Ankeny High School in 2021. While there, she earned the Academic Excellence Award all four years, as well as the DMACC Dean’s Award.

Fans can follow the Aggie gymnastics program at twitter.com/USUGymnastics, on Facebook at Utah State Gymnastics, and on Instagram at USUGymnastics. Fans can also follow the USU athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at UtahStateAthletics.

-USU-

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