MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University gymnastics coach Jason Butts has announced the addition of four student-athletes for the 2023-24 academic year.
Joining the Mountaineers are Karleigh DiCello (Germantown, Maryland), Riley Maness (Stockton, California), Sophia Rice (Morgantown, West Virginia) and Eden Webster (Braselton, Georgia).
“This signing class was certainly a group effort, and I am very proud of our staff for putting together such an outstanding class,” Butts said. “I’m very excited to welcome them to Morgantown and see them in action soon.”
Karleigh DiCello / Germantown, Maryland
A Germantown, Md., native, DiCello attends Northwest High School and is a six-year Level 10 gymnast for coach Cynthia Smaha at Hill’s Gymnastics. Rated a three-star recruit by College Gym News, DiCello competed at the 2023 Level 10 Development Program National Championships, where she tallied a top-10 finish on the uneven bars. DiCello also placed inside the top 15 on floor exercise and the all-around. The appearance at nationals marked the third of her career.
She earned a spot at this year’s national meet after tallying top-five finishes on all four events, including the all-around, at the 2023 Region 7 Level 10 Regional Championships. At states in 2023, DiCello collected first-place finishes on floor and the all-around. She also competed at the Level 10 Junior Olympic Nationals in 2019, where she finished in third place on vault.
The daughter of Matthew and Kecia, DiCello plans to enroll in general studies at WVU.
“We are so thrilled about Karleigh’s decision to join our Mountaineer family,” associate head coach Travis Doak said. “We have been following her success for several years, and she has an ability to stay calm under pressure and hit routines time after time. We believe she can come into this program and make an impact immediately. Just as important, Karleigh has such a pleasant personality that immediately meshed with our staff and the team. We believe WVU is the perfect fit for her college career!”
Riley Maness / Stockton, California
Maness hails from Stockton, Calif., and attends Lincoln High School. She is a Level 10 gymnast for coach Melia O’Quinn at Royal Gymnastics and Sports Academy. She most recently competed at the Region 1 Regional Championships, where she earned top-20 finishes on the uneven bars, balance beam and the all-around. Her top finish at regionals was a sixth-place finish on bars.
Maness was invited to attend the Development Program National Camp in 2022. At the 2023 California Grand Invitational, she finished in first place on vault, bars, floor and the all-around. The daughter of George and Melissa, Maness plans to enroll in general studies at WVU.
“After seeing the first videos of Riley, we knew she has the finesse and style to do great things in college,” Doak said. “She has worked hard and put attention to every detail in her gymnastics and is so precise. She visited campus from California this summer and in no time, she was laughing with Jason and the team. It was clear with her personality and gymnastics ability that she could make a great impact with the program. We are all excited to see her scoring potential, she will undoubtably turn heads!”
Sophia Rice / Morgantown, West Virginia
A native of Morgantown, W.Va., Rice attends University High School. She is a three-year Level 10 gymnast for coach Stephen Sawyer with G-Force Gymnastics at the West Virginia Gymnastics Training Center. In 2023, Rice qualified for the Level 10 Development Program National Championships, where she earned top-five finishes on vault and floor. The appearance was the second of her career, after qualifying for nationals in 2022 and earning a pair of top-10 finishes on vault and floor.
Rice earned a spot at nationals this year after finishing in first place on vault and floor and second in the all-around at the 2023 Region 7 Regional Championships. She also earned event titles at the West Virginia State Championship Meet in 2022, earning the top spot on beam and floor.
The daughter of Brett and Tracy, Rice plans to major in exercise physiology at WVU.
“We have viewed Sophia as a part of our program for some time now, so it is exciting to make it official,” Doak added. “She has been to our camps for years, developing bonds that go deep with our team and coaches. We are thrilled to have a Morgantown native join the program and make the impact she has watched others experience year after year. Sophia is very driven at almost everything put in front of her, and we expect she will get better and better during her college years. Having someone in your program who believes as hard as Sophia is what we all hope for in recruiting.”
Eden Webster / Braselton, Georgia
A Braselton, Ga., native, Webster attends Mill Creek High School. A three-year Level 10 gymnast for coach Jennifer Camps at Gymnastix Training Center, she qualified for the Level 10 Development Program National Championships in 2022. Webster earned a spot at nationals after placing fourth on vault at the Region 8 Regional Championships.
At the 2023 USA Gymnastics Georgia State Championships, Webster earned a first-place finish on balance beam, as well as top-10 finishes on vault and floor. At the Region 8 Regional Championships, she added another first-place finish on beam. The daughter of Jason and Ayeshia, Webster plans to major in art therapy at WVU.
“We are so excited to have Mountaineer fans see Eden in competition,” Doak said. “She has a great style in the sport, and we believe when she hits her routines, her charisma within the team will be infectious to fans. We were eager to get Eden on campus during the recruiting process. Once she visited Morgantown, we all knew this was the place for her!”