WHS gymnast ‘balances’ teams, school
By Bonnie Adams, Government Editor
Westborough – Gymnastics can be one of the most deceptive sports. Athletes who are often tiny in stature tumble or perform amazing skills on apparatuses with what appears to be great ease. But behind every successful routine is an athlete who has worked hours at his or her craft to get to that level.
Kylie Jones, a 15-year-old Westborough High School (WHS) sophomore, is just such an athlete. Kylie is not only one of the top competitors for the Westborough-based Mass. Gymnastics Center (MGC) Prep. Op. Level 7 team, she also competes for WHS. During the winter season, Kylie consistently placed well, including a first place all-around finish at the Kids Celebrate Life Classic at Algonquin Regional High School Jan. 7.
Kylie, who resides in Westborough with her mother, Patti and her sister Erin, 12, was born in Florida and lived there until she was about three.
“I was very off the wall and energetic,” she said, “so my mom signed me up for tumbling classes so I could work off that energy.”
Her mother is still very supportive of her participation in the sport, she added.
“It gets pretty busy,” Kylie said, of fitting in practice for two teams with her schoolwork. “I usually practice 10-15 hours a week.”
Kylie currently competes in all four disciplines – uneven bars, floor, vault and beam.
“I like floor the best right now,” she said. “You get to use your creativity.”
During the fall she also plays soccer for WHS, where she was a forward for the JV team last year. Although she is small in stature [only about 5’2”], and soccer can be rough at times, she said she has been “fortunate” not to have any injuries so far in that sport or in gymnastics.
When she has time, she also helps out at MGC with kids’ birthday parties or just assisting some of the younger gymnasts as they work on their skills.
Danielle Montiverdi is her coach for both MGC and WHS.
“Kylie is so impressive to me, not just for what she does with gymnastics, but also with the rest of her life,” Montiverdi said. “She typically scores at the top of our team, and often at the top of the entire competition. She has already increased the difficulty of her floor routine since the start of the season, and is working on upping her other events as well, yet she continues to perform these new skills well.
“In the gym she is always ready to work, giving me her full effort on every turn,” she added. “We also love to have her around for her fun personality and the way she interacts with the younger gymnasts. “
Kylie admits that since she is still a sophomore, she has just started thinking about life after graduating from WHS.
“I’m interested in different types of communications so maybe something like public relations,” she said. “And I’d like to compete for a smaller club team in college, too.”
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