West Virginia University gymnastics coach Jason Butts announced today that Brooke Alban and Anna Leigh have signed National Letters of Intent to compete at WVU next fall.
Alban joins the Mountaineers from Frederick, Maryland, where she is a four-year level 10 gymnast for Heather Galpin at Frederick Gymnastics Club, which is the same club that graduates Carly Galpin and Julia Merwin competed for.
A 2019 Junior Olympics National Championships qualifier, Alban most recently earned five top-15 showings at the 2019 Region 7 Championships, including a tie for second in the all-around, a fourth-place finish on uneven bars, a fifth-place showing on floor exercise, a tie for fifth on vault and a 13th-place finish on balance beam. That same season, she finished as high as third on bars and tied for fourth on vault at the Maryland State Championships.
In 2018, Alban placed second on bars and tied for ninth in the all-around at the Region 7 Championships. Leading into regionals, she earned five top-10 performances, placing fourth on beam, sixth on vault, seventh on bars and in the all-around and ninth on floor at the 2018 Maryland State Championships.
Alban also is a three-year member of the outdoor track and field team at Urbana High. As a freshman, she qualified for the New Balance Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the triple jump. She also competes in the pole vault and long jump events.
Additionally, Alban is a member of the Student Government Association, as well as Fellowship of Christian Athletes, at Urbana High. She also is involved in several clubs: Community Outreach Club, Envirothon Club and Helping Hands.
The daughter of Scott and Sabrina Alban, she intends to major in psychology at WVU. Scott was a member of the Virginia Tech wrestling team from 1988-1992, while Sabrina was a varsity cheerleader. Additionally, her brother Carter plays golf at Indiana.
“I chose WVU because the environment is amazing,” Alban said. “It’s exactly what I was looking for in a college. I also have had former teammates who were on the WVU gymnastics team, and they all loved their experience there, as well as the coaching staff.”
“We are so thrilled to have Brooke as part of our Mountaineer family,” Doak said. “She has long lines that will make for great scoring potential in college. As a coach, we strive to find athletes who are not just athletic, but that are the right fit for the program. I believe we have found that perfectly with Brooke. She is holding up her end of the commitment with continued updates, and I think that speaks to her drive to make an impact when she arrives here at WVU next fall. We are so excited!”
Leigh comes to Morgantown from St. Michael, Minnesota, where she is a four-year level 10 gymnast for Bryon Hough and Meghan Hargens at Classic Gymnastics.
A two-time Junior Olympics National Championships qualifier, Leigh most recently won beam and finished second in the all-around at the 2019 Region 4 Championships. Prior to the meet, Leigh earned four top-six showings at the Minnesota State Championships, including a third-place finish on floor, a fourth-place performance on bars, a fifth-place showing in the all-around and a sixth-place finish on beam.
In 2018, Leigh tied for 10th overall on beam at the Junior Olympics National Championships. Leading into nationals, she earned a first-place finish in a pair of events – beam and floor – and placed third in the all-around at the Region 4 Championships.
The daughter of John and Tammy Leigh, she currently attends St. Michael-Albertville High and intends to major in biology at WVU.
“I chose WVU because I really loved the team and the coaches, as well as their coaching style,” Leigh said. “They were all super welcoming and made me feel like family.”
“It was evident after getting to know Anna that WVU is home,” Doak said. “To say Anna is humble is an understatement. She is continuing to progress in the sport and is so excited for college gymnastics. She is a dynamic athlete that we believe will score very well in college. It has been fun to get to know her throughout this process, and we are already excited to get her on campus.”
Of note, the 2020 Junior Olympics National Championships were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Even during these trying times of COVID, Brooke and Anna have had fantastic attitudes and optimism. They continue to work hard despite the unknowns to have the best senior season. They are motivated to come to WVU and improve the program. Their proven perseverance will make a lasting impact on our program. As a staff, we are thrilled!”