Our next 20 Questions Athlete is a 2x JO National Qualifier from Gym Nasti Gymnastics in Illinois. Ashley is a solid all around competitor but stands out with her power especially on vault. In 2019 Ashley was third all around at the Illinois State Meet and 4th All Around at Region 5 Championships. So, let’s get to know Ashley a little better as she heads into her senior and readies herself for her final another JO season before heading to the University of Illinois.
How did you get into gymnastics? How old were you? I started gymnastics when I was two years old when my babysitter took me to classes while my parents were at work. Neither of my parents were gymnasts, nor did they know anything about gymnastics, but they saw how much I loved it so they decided to keep putting me in classes. If it wasn’t for my babysitter, I would’ve never done gymnastics in the first place.
What is your favorite event? My favorite event to train is beam, but my favorite event to compete is floor.
Favorite Skill to train/compete? My favorite skill to train is a front tuck on beam. My favorite skill to compete is a full out off of bars.
Dream Skill? My dream skill would either be a full-in on floor or a double-double off of bars.
What is your favorite part of gymnastics? My favorite part about gymnastics is being able to set goals that in the moment feel so unattainable, then being able to work towards them, and later achieve them. I also love to be with my best friends all the time. As much as I love getting new skills, I love watching all my teammates do something they’ve been working so hard for and deserve so much.
What college do you plan on attending? The University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign
What is your favorite meet to compete at? Why? Like most people, my favorite meet to compete at is JO Nationals. It’s crazy how you meet a group of girls, spend three days with them, and leave with an inseparable bond. The memories I made with those girls are some I’ll never forget.
Biggest accomplishment in gymnastics so far? My biggest accomplishment was definitely qualifying to JO Nationals.
What is your favorite Region 5 Insider Feature or Series? I like watching the All-Access videos because I think it is cool to see how other level tens train in our region.
What is your go to playlist or song before meets? I don’t really have a “go to” playlist but I like to listen to upbeat music, or really just anything to calm my nerves.
3 Things you could not live without? My phone, my family, and Julia Armbrust
If you could be any animal, what animal would you be and why? If I could be any animal, I would be an octopus so that I could have 4 chances to catch my releases on bars.
5 Most Important or Must have Items in your gym bag? I would need my grips, heel pads, tiger paws, prewrap, and my phone.
Do you have any pre-meet rituals or superstitions? I don’t have any superstitions or anything like that, but I normally just hang out with friends or family before meets.
What do you like to do outside of Gymnastics? When I’m not doing gymnastics, I like to go anywhere with my friends or watch Grey’s Anatomy.
Most embarrassing meet moment or gymnastics moment? This past season I forgot my whole floor routine at Chicago Style, and then proceeded to fall on the rest of that routine. Needless to say, it wasn’t my best moment.
If you weren’t a gymnast, what sport would you do or try?If I didn’t do gymnastics I would probably play softball. I played when I was younger, but then I started training more for gymnastics, so I couldn’t fit it in. Also a lot of my friends play softball, so I think it would be fun to do a school sport with them.
Which athletes (any sport) do you respect the most and why? Our gym hosts the St. Jude Benefit Meet where we raise money for kids fighting cancer, so I’d have to say I respect Kate Foster. She was diagnosed with leukemia and lost her leg. She then was able to come back to the sport and compete, which I think takes a tremendous amount of determination, and I look up to her for that.
Something you learned from Gymnastics that you will take with you?Something I have learned from gymnastics is that if you want the best results, you have to be willing to buy into the process and give it your best effort. You can’t expect great results with mediocre effort.
Most Memorable Gymnastics or JO Nationals Moment? My favorite moment from JO Nationals was after our meet when we all looked up at the scoreboard and saw that we won. It was something that we all wanted really bad, and we were so happy that we were able to accomplish it.
What is the most valuable piece of advice or wisdom your coach has given you? The best piece of advice I’ve been given is that one performance doesn’t define you. As much as you want to do well, one bad meet doesn’t make you a bad gymnast. It isn’t what happens at those bad meets, it’s how you come back from them. You can’t always control the outcome, but you can control your attitude and your effort.
Bonus Question: Tell me something interesting about yourself…. I played travel soccer until 7th grade.