Welcome back to Junior Introductions! Today we’re bringing you a look at British gymnast Ruby Stacey, a 14-year-old who is poised to be one of the junior leaders in 2020.
Ruby was 12 when she first competed at the elite level, finishing 12th in the espoir division at the English Championships in 2017. She also competed at the Rushmoor Rosebowl and at the British Espoir Championships later that year, but began to turn heads when she upped her all-around game significantly to win the English espoir title a year later, also taking the bar gold, floor silver, and beam bronze.
At her first British Championships, Ruby was the espoir silver all-around medalist, and she also won the bars title along with a bronze on vault. She earned her first international assignment later in 2018, finishing seventh all-around at the Olympic Hopes Cup, where she won another bars title along with the bronze medal on floor.
In her first year at the junior level in 2019, Ruby was 14th all-around at the English Championships, a ranking she improved to sixth place at British Championships a few weeks later. She also earned several big international assignments this year, helping her team at the FIT Challenge in Belgium, getting the alternate spot at the junior world championships, and then competing at the Top Gym Tournament, where she struggled on beam to finish just 12th in the all-around, though she was good enough in the apparatus finals to finish fourth on floor and fifth on vault.
Most recently, Ruby has been competing an FTY on vault, and her beam and floor difficult is pretty consistent with that of a young junior, generally coming in at around a 4.5, though she’s got a ton of talent on floor and I anticipate some upgrades coming. She’s an especially great twister, and recently showed off some training footage of a whip to triple, which looked excellent, though I don’t think it’s something she’ll be competing this year.
Ruby’s best performances typically come on bars, where she is constantly training upgrades and connections. In just the past few months, she went from competing a Maloney to bail to toe shoot as her opening sequence to instead going for a Chow to Pak followed by a Maloney to bail to toe full to toe shoot, and she’s also trained the Pak into a Maloney to stalder, making her incredibly versatile in what she’s capable of here already.
Her go-to release is the piked Jaeger, but she’s also trained a pretty strong Ray, and she currently dismounts with a double tuck, though I think that will likely be getting an upgrade at some point in the next year.
Ruby was a consistent standout last year as a first-year junior in a sea of super-talented juniors with more experience. Now that many of those juniors have bumped up to the senior level, Ruby is going to be in a position to be a leader for the squad in her immediate future. She’ll be working for a spot on the Euros team as her number one priority this year, and will hope for a top-three nationals finish to help get her there.
Next year, Ruby will reach the senior level at a time when most of this quad’s top seniors take a break or contemplate retirement. That’s a great time for young seniors to really prove what they’re capable of, and I could see Ruby absolutely taking advantage of the opportunity.
Why We Love Her
Her bars are so good already, and I feel like she’s at about 25% of her potential there. It seems like she’s taking it slow and steady on this event, only adding upgrades when needed, but she clearly has an arsenal of skills under her belt and once she gets older and gains a bit more experience, I have a feeling she’s going to be one of the greats for GB on this event. She’s also a super fun and outgoing kid, and she brings so much light and joy to her gymnastics. It’s hard not to love her!
What to Watch
Bars, obvs. Unfortunately there aren’t a ton of Ruby’s routines on YouTube, but here’s a clip of what she did at the British Team Championships last year, which is pretty recent, though is one of her more basic routines in terms of the skills she’s doing. You can also check her out on Instagram, where she posts her competition routines pretty consistently.