Alabama Gymnastics Adds Three Signees

University of Alabama announced Wednesday that the Crimson Tide has added a trio of student-athletes to the UA gymnastics family. Wynter Childers, Maddie Desch and Shea Mahoney are slated to join the Tide for the 2016-17 season.

Alabama Coach Dana Duckworth said, “Wynter, Maddie and Shea are beautiful inside and out, they already ignite an enthusiastic energy and class that will be exciting to watch,” Duckworth said. “We can't wait to introduce them to Tuscaloosa, the Bama Nation and the best fans in America.”

All three gymnasts have competed on the national stage and bring a strong academic background to the Crimson Tide.

“Each year we not only look for the best talent but most importantly the character and quality of the person,” Duckworth said. “Our incoming class exemplifies the ‘best of the best’ not only on the competition floor but in the classroom as well. Their personalities and experience fit the passion and family environment that lies at core of Alabama gymnastics’ championships legacy.“

The 2015 USA Junior Olympic National all-around, vault and balance beam champion, Childers is coached by Phil and Chris Summers and Lexie Cathcart at Spearfish Gymnastics Academy. A two-time Nastia Liukin Cup qualifier, she won the Liukin balance beam title in 2012.

“Alabama has the tradition of never settling for anything less than perfection not only in gymnastics but academically as well,” Childers said. “The coaching staff at Alabama instils qualities in their gymnasts that allows them to accomplish so much more after graduation as well.”

The Spearfish, S.D., native won the 2011 USA Junior Olympic floor exercise title and the all-around, vault, beam and floor titles at the 2015 USA Gymnastics Region 4 Championships. A senior at Spearfish High School where she was Homecoming Queen, she is the daughter of Chris and Gary Childers.

A member of the gold medal winning 2014 United States World Championship team, Desch is coached by Armine and Al Fong at Great American Gymnastics Express, the same gym that produced Tide NCAA Champion Terin Humphrey and All-Americans Marna Neubauer and Gwen Spidle. Desch was also part of Team USA’s gold-medal Pan American Games team, earning a silver medal in the all-around.

“I chose Alabama because of the amazing coaching staff, the great faith and supportive atmosphere of the team, and the great academics and academic support,” Desch said. “Alabama just felt like home.”

The Lenexa, Kan., native helped lead Team USA to a gold medal at the 2014 City of Jesolo Trophy. A senior at St. Thomas Aquinas High School where she is a member of the Principal’s Honor Roll, she is the daughter of Mary and Jay Desch.

A member of the U.S. Junior Olympic National Team, Mahoney is coached by Jiani Wu, Yuejiu Li and Anna Li at Legacy Elite Gymnastics. The 2013 U.S. Junior Olympic floor exercise champion, Mahoney is a three-year Region 5 All-Star and a two-time Regional 5 all-around champion.

“From the second I first stepped on campus, Alabama felt like home,” Mahoney said. “The incredible sense of community and rich tradition the University offers is amazing.”

A native of Algonquin, Ill., Mahoney is the 2013 and 2015 Illinois State all-around champion. The St. Francis College Preparatory School senior carries a 4.0 grade point average and is the daughter of Shannon and Tim Mahoney.

While the Tide’s latest additions to its gymnastics family will get their start with the 2017 season, this year’s squad gets underway in January. Season tickets are available through the Alabama Ticket Office (205-348-2262) located in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum or online at

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