Mangahas is headed to ASU
Since she was two-years old, Jada Mangahas has been doing gymnastics and over the years, has become more and more elite at the sport. Her dedication to the sport has earned her the ability to continue her education at Arizona State University, where she’ll participate in gymnastics and pursue a degree in kinesiology, the scientific study of body movement. The two are a great pairing and Mangahas hopes to continue on toward becoming a physical therapist.
Like a lot of gymnasts, she has had some experience on the other side of physical therapy with a few minor injuries here and there. Her one significant injury was a broken wrist, but she has been able to push through to get to where she is today.
Mangahas started in gymnastics with her two brothers. After two years of gymnastics in a smaller gym, she moved up to the Parkettes gymnastic program, but her brothers branched off into playing soccer, which they still do today.
Mangahas has been with the Parkettes ever since and she credits the instruction and exposure that she gained there as helping her get to ASU.
“It’s been fabulous,” said Mangahas. “When I look back, I’ll remember how important the team aspect is and I have really enjoyed being a part of that for all these years.”
The feeling of truly being a part of a team is something she looked for in a college and found with Arizona State. Her college choice, along with that of Parkettes teammate Sandra Jessen, who chose Stanford, will put the two on different teams after they’ve competed alongside of each other for the last five years.
“I really liked the program at ASU and the coaching and the team atmosphere was really great,” said Mangahas, a senior at Parkland High School. “The academics are great and so I know I’ll be at the right place. It’s going to be different competing against Sarah, but we’ve always encouraged each other and we still will be doing that in college, so it’s going to be fun.”
Mangahas enjoys all of the different exercises in gymnastics and believes that she has some skills in each of them.
In addition to gymnastics, Mangahas has competed in track and field at Parkland. She broke a school record in pole vault last spring and went on to take first place in the East Penn Conference with a vault of 11 feet, 6 inches. She cleared that same height to earn second place at districts and qualify for the state meet, where she finished 15th with a height of 10-feet, six-inches.