Gymnast Jackie Bernardo Qualifies for States


By Geena Kim

After the gymnastics team’s great season with 9 wins this season out of 10 competitions, junior Jackie Bernardo qualified for state championships during sectionals which took place on November 6. She will compete at states this Saturday, November 13, against gymnasts from all over the state at Brick Memorial High School. We got the chance to interview Jackie to see how she’s feeling about going to the states.

Q: How did sectionals go?

Bernardo: “Sectionals was so much fun because it was the first time in 9 years Wayne hills went as a team! Despite having a fall on beam I had a strong bar, floor, and vault routine. Which led me to come in 4th place all around! I don’t know what I would have done without my team’s support at sectionals. We ended up coming in third place as a team, which is amazing! Although it was a long competition, I enjoyed watching other gymnasts from other schools compete!”

Q: How old were you when you started gymnastics?

Bernardo: “I started gymnastics classes when I was five years old and I started competing around the age of seven.”

Q: What skill do you enjoy the most?

Bernardo: “‘I do enjoy most of the skills in my routine, however, I love doing back tucks on the balance beam. Whenever I watch a video of myself doing a back tuck on beam, I think to myself “how do I do that!” I love the satisfaction of landing this skill.”’

Q: Compared to freshman year how have you improved?

Bernardo: “Since freshman year, I have been working hard in the gym to gain more skills to incorporate into my routines, and ultimately that’s how I improved the most. But I also think my confidence when competing has gotten better which makes me perform better on meet days.”

Q: How has this season been for the team?

Bernardo: “As a team, we are really proud of how we did this season with our record being 9-1. We won counties this year which makes us back-to-back county champions. At the league meet, we ended up coming in second! Our team scores throughout the season were high enough to make us one of the 6 top schools, which qualified us for state sectionals! Besides competing, we all have bonded so much throughout the season and there is never a dull moment in practice!”

Q: Are you nervous about states and how are you preparing for it?

Bernardo: “I am both excited and nervous for states. It is such an honor to be able to go, so I just want to try my best and have fun! I am preparing for it by going through my routines throughout the week in the gym and gaining confidence in my training.”

Q: What expectations do you have for states, and how do you think it will go?

Bernardo: “At states, I would like to hit all of my four routines on all of the apparatuses. I think it will be a different atmosphere than normal high school gymnastics competitions because I will not have my team to cheer me on, on the competition floor. I think states will be a tough but fun competition considering the number of talented gymnasts attending!”

Q: Do you want to be a part of a gymnastics team in college?

Bernardo: “I am unsure if I want to compete in gymnastics on a college level but I am considering joining a club team!”

It is notable that Jackie Bernardo has worked extremely hard since five years old and is an incredible and talented gymnast. We wish you the best of luck!

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