Four gymnasts commit to UC Davis in fall signing period

UC Davis women's gymnastics secured four Californians during the November NLI signing period.
Nov. 14, 2016

DAVIS, Calif. - UC Davis women's gymnastics signed four prospective student-athletes to National Letters of Intent during the fall signing period, head coach John Lavallee announced. Alphabetically, the all-Californian fall recruiting class consists of Kelley Hebert of Dublin, Kyla Kessler of Fremont, Gabrielle Landess of San Jose and Jamie Panchak of Los Gatos.

All four signees are high school seniors and are expected to enroll at the university in the fall of 2017.

Hebert has competed at Level 10 for Edge Gymnasics Training Center for the last three seasons, earning Region 1 berths each spring. Last year, she won the floor title at regionals while adding top-five finishes on vault, beam and all-around. That performance advanced her to the Junior Olympics National Championships, where she placed 12th on vault and beam. Hebert, an honor roll student at Dublin High School, captured the Level 10 state title on floor in both 2015 and 2016. Her arrival at UC Davis will reunite her with former Edge standouts and 2016 All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation honorees Kara Jones and Yasmine Yektaparast.

A Washington High student and Pacific West Gymnastics member, Kessler made the jump to Level 10 back in 2013, scoring a 9.850 on vault in one of her first meets. She later placed fifth on vault and fourth on floor exercise at the Region 1 meet, then captured eighth in the all-around at the Junior Olympics NIT that spring. Since that season, Kessler has since captured the state floor title in 2014 and returned to the JO Nationals in 2016. Last April she finished seventh in regional all-around to earn a return trip to the JOs, this time the national championships.

Landess is a three-time Region 1 Level 10 qualifier for the same Airborne Gymnastics club that produced fellow signee Jamie Panchak and current Aggies Roxanna Agah and Sarah Liddle. In her first season after moving to Level 10, she won floor titles at the Gymnastics Legends and Spirit of the Flame meets, eventually finishing as runner-up on that apparatus at the state meet. Landess has placed 10th, fourth and fifth on floor during the past three regionals, respectively, adding a seventh-place showing on vault last April.

Panchak began training and competing at Level 10 for Airborne Gymnastics in 2014, capping the season with a 13th-place all-around finish at the Region 1 meet. After sitting out the 2015 season, Panchak returned even stronger last spring. The Los Gatos High student won the individual all-around and added third-place showings on vault, bars and beam at regionals, earning a trip to J.O. Nationals. Panchak placed 10th in the all-around and 12th on bars at the national championships. Her father, Tom Panchak, was a 1983 All-American goalie at UCLA.

UC Davis ranked 42nd nationally in 2016 with a regional-qualifying score of 195.045. The Aggies also placed second at the MPSF Championship and advanced three at-large qualifiers to the NCAA Salt Lake City Regional.