Meet the Athlete: Veronica Jones


Char Priadka

Freshman Veronica Jones salutes the judges after finishing her routine on uneven bars, Jan. 10.

Maya Nieves

When did you start gymnastics?

I started gymnastics when I was around four. I would do cartwheels and handstands at my house and after my parents saw me tumbling, they got me into the sport. 

What was your gymnastics experience like before coming to Park?

Before, I was at a club gym that I would compete for. My gymnastics experience was a little different there because practices were more rigorous. We would condition for 30 minutes, stretch, focus on two events and condition again.

How has the season been going so far?

It has been going great. I have made a lot of connections and relationships with everybody on the team.

Are you proud of any specific accomplishment in the sport this year?

I am proud of my dismount on beam, which is a cartwheel arabian. I have never done it in a competition before. I also am proud of placing second on bars at the MGGOA meet.

How has transitioning from USAG (United States Gymnastics) and club to high school gymnastics been?

High school gymnastics has been very different. I have had to adjust a lot, especially considering competition requirements. The jump combinations and skill requirements for the routines on certain events are new to me.

Do you have a pre-meet ritual, and what do you do to prepare?

Before a meet, I make sure I have everything in my bag that I need, especially my grips and tiger paws. I normally have a protein shake and Z Bar. I try to stay positive.

What is the best advice you’ve been given? What is the best advice you’ve received? 

My advice to other gymnasts or athletes is to never give up and challenge yourself constantly. Challenge yourself on some skills and don’t be afraid to try them. The best advice I have received would be to not compare myself to other gymnasts.

Do you have a favorite gymnastics memory?

My favorite gymnastics memory would be learning my back handspring on the high beam without any spot. I just went for it and my coach was so happy for me.

Who or what has been your biggest inspiration in the years you have been doing this sport?

My biggest inspiration was one of my old coaches. I really looked up to her because she did an amazing job coaching me. She pushed me, and because of it, I would be 10 times better than before. I don’t like soft coaches — the ones that are not as harsh and let you do what you want. She was more of a harsh coach and that motivated me to be the best that I could be.