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Utah gymnastics just added another highly touted gymnast to what was already an elite 2021 recruiting class



Seventy-seven days ago, back on Nov. 11, 2020, Utah gymnastics coach Tom Farden could not have been happier.

His program had just secured the signatures of Olympic hopefuls Kara Eaker and Grace McCallum, world champions of the same caliber as Utah superstars MyKayla Skinner and Ashley Postell.

Farden could scarcely contain his excitement.

“This is a very special recruiting class,” he told the Deseret News. “Couldn’t be more proud of a group effort in getting these athletes, these world champions, to commit.”

That special recruiting class just got even better.

On Wednesday, Junior Olympic uneven bars national champion and Utah native Sage Thompson signed with the Red Rocks, becoming the third member of Utah’s 2021 recruiting class.

(As a reminder, members of the 2021 class will compete next season, in 2022).

“We are thrilled to have Sage join this year’s top-notch signing class,” Farden said in a release. “It’s great to have a local standout and we cannot wait for her to continue her career as a Ute in front of her hometown friends and family.”

A Lehi native, Thompson attends Skyridge High where she holds a 4.0 GPA and is a two-time National Honors Society member. She spent the past year training at Olympus Gymnastics in South Jordan, and trained the majority of her club career at All American Gymnastics in Lindon, the same gym that produced Utah standouts Makenna Merrell-Giles and Kim Tessen.

Thompson’s accolades speak for themselves:
  • A 15-time Utah State champion and seven-time Region 1 champion.
  • A three-time Junior Olympic national championships qualifier (2017-2019).
  • At the 2019 J.O. Championships, Thompson earned a share of the gold medal on bars and finished tied for sixth in the all-around, which earned her a place on the 2019 J.O. National Team.
  • The year before, in 2018, Thompson placed second on bars and fifth on vault at the J.O Championships.
  • She earned the silver medal on bars at the 2019 Nastia Liukin Cup.
  • Since the 2017 Region 1 Championships, Thompson has earned seven gold medals at the past three regional events, including three-straight all-around titles as a Level 10 gymnast.

“Sage is strong on all four events,” Farden told the Deseret News. “She is an extremely talented athlete.”

One event stands out from the rest, though — uneven bars. So much so that Farden described Thompson as a pure bars swinger, in the vein of former Utah great Georgia Dabritz.

“Her bar set, it could be just a jaw-dropping back of the lineup bar routine for the Red Rocks in the future,” he said.

What makes Thompson excellent on bars? She has a natural feel for the event and an attention to detail that has only impressed Farden as he’s watched her over the years.

“The thing I have always thought of Sage, being in Utah and watching her grow up, is she has a natural ability over there that sometimes warrants those high-end scores that are very difficult to attain,” Farden said. “With the skills themselves and the way she executes — and we really like the way she pays attention to details — her standout event is bars.”

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