Diving into the competition

Freshman Alex Jones competed in the Junior Olympics, winning four metals and ribbons.


Photo by Zac Baker

Freshman Alex jones standing with her Junior Olympic medals.

Story by Kristin McCasland, staff writer

Even as a freshman, Alex Jones knows what it’s like to dive into pressure.


This summer, Jones competed in the Junior Olympics in Ann Arbor, Mich., with Team Arkansas.


“When I was about 9 years old, I watched the Olympics and saw all of the swimmers,” Jones said. “After that, I wanted to go to the Olympics.”


Swimming competitively since her sixth grade year, Jones spent many hours at practice in order to prepare for the Junior Olympics.


“My coach and my mom pushed me really hard,” Jones said, “And swimming long course over the summer helped me improve a lot.”


During the competition, she swam the 100m backstroke, 200m backstroke, 50m free, 100m free, 100m breaststroke and 100m fly, winning four medals and four ribbons.


“My favorite experience from JO’s has to be just being able to stand on that podium––not even being in first place,” Jones said, “[You still feel] really excited and happy when everyone is around taking your picture and congratulating you.”


That feeling drove her passion for swimming.


“I really love everything about swimming,” Jones said, “Even though the practices can sometimes be challenging.”


This year, Jones wants to improve her times, especially in the 100m backstroke.


“Backstroke is my favorite stroke, and I’m really good at it,” Jones said, “I’m definitely looking forward to this year.”