Gymnastics Signs Four to 2023 Recruiting Class


COLUMBIA, Mo. – Mizzou Gymnastics inks four incoming Tigers as announced by head coach Shannon Welker on Wednesday. Hannah Horton (Brooklyn Park, Minn.), Kennedy Griffin (Strongsville, Ohio), Rayna Light (Brandon, Fla.) and Kaia Tanskanen (Howell, Mich.) will all join Mizzou as part of the 2023 recruiting class for the 2024 season .

“This is an impressive group of young women that have accomplished a lot,” said coach Welker. “They all bring the ability to compete all around at the SEC level and keep the Tigers in the hunt for future NCAA championships.”

Hannah Horton | Brooklyn Park, Minn. | Champlin Park HS

Recently signing on the dotted line, Hannah Horton joins the Black and Gold with a strong resume. Most recently she competed in the all-around at the 2022 Women’s JO Nationals where she finished 9th. Overall, Horton boosts personal records of 9.75 on vault, 9.7 on floor, 9.6 on beam and 9.525 on bars. Back home she competes and trains at Tobler Gymnastics under John Tobler.

Coach Welker on Hannah…

“I’m so excited to have this young lady as a Tiger. Hannah is so dynamic and has just started to show what she is capable of accomplishing.”

Kennedy Griffin | Strongsville, Ohio | Strongsville HS

Kennedy Griffin joins the Tigers after most recently competing as a member of the 2022 Region 5 national team where she was the floor exercise champion. Her accolades on the year continued as she dominated beam at the 2022 Women’s Development Program National Championships earning the National Beam Champion Title, as well as fifth on floor. Griffin will attend Mizzou after training under Farrah Griffin at the Five-Star Gymnastics Academy of Ohio.

Coach Welker on Kennedy…

“Kennedy has big, impressive gymnastics and brings a wow factor to her routines. We have been impressed with her leadership skills and enthusiasm for gymnastics.”

Rayna Light | Brandon, Fla. | Durant HS

Florida-native Rayna Light looks to make Missouri her new home after most recently placing fifth in vault at the 2022 Women’s Development Program National Championships. Additionally, she is a two-time Hopes Championship qualifier as well as placed sixth in the all-around at the 2020 Nastia Liukin Cup. Her prep success has been anchored by training under Marissa Ramos at Golden City Gymnastics.

Coach Welker on Rayna…

“Rayna enjoys competition and it shows in her performances. She brings all-around ability to the Tigers and will definitely help the us improve.”

Kaia Tanskanen | Howell, Mich. | Michigan Connections Academy

A member of the Finnish national team, Kaia Tanskanen inks her letter of intent not long after competing in the 2022 European Championships in Munich, Germany where she individually finished top-30. Additionally, Kaia just competed in the all-around at the 2022 World Championships in Liverpool, England. Earlier this year Tanskanen placed second all-around, fourth in beam and fifth in bars at the 2022 Women’s Development Program National Championships. She boosts career-bests of 9.825 on floor, 9.7 on beam, 9.675 on vault and 9.625 on bars. She currently trains at Michigan Elite Gymnastics Academy under Kim Tanskanen.

Coach Welker on Kaia…

“Kaia brings a wealth of experience at the international level and has the ability to contend as one of the top all-arounders in the NCAA. She has put together one of the most impressive resumes in the 2023 signing class.”

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