Jennifer Roche, Gymnastics

When March 1 rolled around and the gymnastics team was still without a coach, star gymnast senior Jenny Roche became particularly concerned for the team’s fate. Luckily for Roche, her coaches Ursula Bright and Deena Nasr stepped up for the position, and the team was able to begin tryouts and training. Now beginning her senior season, Roche is ready to take on her position as captain and lead the team to success.

“She contacted me before the season started to let me know that she wanted to be captain,” said former coach Jill Neustadt. “She is helping the rest of the team members by teaching them new skills and helping out the new coach.”

In terms of her individual success, Roche, who has been doing gymnastics since she was a toddler, has been able to gain more knowledge about her sport with experience. She knows what she has to work on to improve and understands the toughness of her sport.

“It’s mind over matter,” said Roche. “You have to be willing to just let yourself go for the skill or you will never improve.”

Even though competitions can be stressful, Roche has been able to shine during the past year. She performed particularly well on the beam as one of WJ’s highest scorers at the county meet last year. Roche enjoys the competition aspect of gymnastics most.

“Even though [competitions are] very stressful, I am able to show a bunch of people what I’m capable of doing and I like seeing how my routines score and if I have been improving so then I know what to work on more in practice,” said Roche.

Track coach Tom Martin was able to see Roche’s true athletic ability when she competed on the indoor track team last spring. In her first year on the team she place in both the triple jump, long jump and high jump.

“She was very talented and definitely would have been a top competitor had she stayed with the sport,” said Martin.