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Jones signs with Penn State

November 20, 2014
By J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

On Nov. 12, Canfield gymnast Jessica Jones signed her letter of intent to continue her gymnastics career with Penn State University next year.

Jones will head to Penn State early in the summer, but won't begin her collegiate gymnastics until fall.

''I'll start this coming summer,'' she said. ''I'll get adjusted then start gymnastics in August.''

Article Photos

Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Jessica Jones was surrounded by family and her coach last week as she signed her letter of intent to continue her gymnastics career at Penn State University next year. She is pictured with her grandmother, Elaine Jones; coach, Sandy Sabo; her parents, Rich and Linda Jones; and her younger sister, Erin.

Jessica's career began when her mom enrolled her in the Mommy and Me classes at Youngstown Gymnastics Center in Boardman when she was two. As she grew, so did her passion for gymnastics, and she began perfecting the skills that would see her competing with top level gymnasts.

Her mother, Linda Jones, said Jessica had tried soccer and dance and even the Mommy and Me swimming classes, but she always came back to gymnastics. Her father, Rich Jones, said that was obvious after an injury on the soccer field.

''She twisted her ankle while playing soccer,'' he said. ''She told me she was going to quit soccer. She said she is a gymnast and can't afford that kind of injury.''

Over her gymnastics career, Jessica has risen to the top and competed in the highest level, level 10, for the past six years. She has traveled throughout the United States and garnered a host of state, regional and national titles.

She had a banner year in 2014, qualifying for USA Gymnastics' level 10 national championships in Jackson, Miss., and is now preparing for the Junior Olympics level 10 competitive season.

When Jessica began looking at colleges, she visited Ohio State, Michigan, Arizona State and Arkansas before finally deciding to accept a full scholarship to Penn State.

''I felt Penn State was the best fit for me,'' she said. ''It was also a good fit for the academic side.''

As a 4.119 GPA student at Canfield, she plans to major in kinesiology and exercise science and hopes for a career as a physical therapist or in some form of sports medicine.

''When we visited Penn State, I knew almost immediately this was the school for her,'' Rich said. ''I think she knew, too.''



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