Jana Reardon (USA)

1988 US Classic (junior division): 7th AA
1988 Junior US National Championships: 23rd AA
1989 Parkettes Invitational: 4th V, 3rd B,  6th FX
1989 American Classic (junior division): 2nd AA, 1st V, 1st FX
1989 U.S. Olympic Festival/Jr. US Nationals: 10th AA, 3rd V, 3rd BB
1989 Konica Australian Grand Prix (Brisbane): 4th V
1990 US Challenge (Las Vegas): 2nd after round 1
1990 US Championships: 37th AA (didn't finish because of sprained ankle)

Results courtesy of Jana Mowers (nee Reardon)

Jana Reardon rose to the junior elite ranks while training at the Parkettes. She experienced her most dramatic improvement in the late 1980s, rising from 23rd at the 1988 Junior US Nationals to 10th AA at the 1989 US Olympic Festival. During that same period of time she placed 2nd at the American Classic, and in doing so earned the opportunity to represent the United States at the 1989 Konica Australian Grand Prix. Competing against the likes of Natalia Laschenova (URS) and Yang Bo (CHN), Jana performed impressively for a junior gymnast on her first international assignment. She qualified to the vault event finals, finishing just out of the medal standings (4th). Several months later Jana was featured in Sports Illustrated for Kids.   

Televised throughout North America, the US Olympic Festival actually doubled as the 1989 Junior US Nationals. It was at this meet that Karolyi unveiled his "six pack" of gymnasts. These six gymnasts (Kim Zmeskal, Erica Stokes, Amanda Uherek, Kelly Pitzen , Amy Scherr, and Hilary Grivich) all placed in the top 8 at this competition. Having witnessed the success of Karolyi's new gymnasts, Jana decided that Karolyi's was the place to train. She switched gyms right away. 

Jana's parents could not join their daughter in Houston right away, so Jana lived with another family during her first few months at Karolyi's. Jana was lucky though, because she did not end up having to live with strangers. One of Jana's best friends, former Parkettes training partner Robyn Baker, had actually switched to Karolyi's the year before. Jana was able to stay with the Bakers until her parents were above to move to Houston.

Under Karolyi, Jana competed at the 1990 US Challenge - a "pyramid" type competition where the winners from each round continue to advance. Pitted against Wendy Bruce, who advanced through to the finals, Jana suffered defeat early on. During her time at Karolyi's, Jana always missed the style of coaching she received at the Parkettes. As a result, after training at Karolyi's for about one year, she decided to switch back to the Parkettes. Unfortunately, by this point Jana was battling constant injuries (ankle problems and stress fractures in the lower back). Her elite career culminated at the 1990 US Nationals, where she was unable to finish the competition because of an ankle injury. 

Photo courtesy of Jana Mowers

Jana moved back to the Boston area and after some time off from the sport she started playing around at her old gym. She competed in club and high school gymnastics, enjoying it so much that she decided to continue gymnastics in college. She earned a scholarship to the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and once there was reunited with former elite teammates Anne Woynerowski and Cara Leppar.

Jana had a great freshman year, winning the All-around at the Northeast Regional meet and helping her team qualify for the NCAA Championships for the first time in history. She was also named 1994's ECAC rookie of the year and the following year named gymnast of the year. Despite being plagued by her old injuries, in Jana's own words, "college gymnastics was such a great experience, being part of a team and working together to reach different goals was extremely rewarding."

Jana also met her future husband, Mark, at UNH (the two married in August 1999). Mark played hockey for UNH and now plays in the NHL for the Nashville Predators. Jana continues to stay involved in gymnastics as much as possible. She was an assistant coach at UNH for two years after graduating and would like to get back into coaching when she and Mark are more settled. In the summer months she coaches camps and does a lot of choreography for gyms in the New England area.

. This page was created on March 25, 1999 and last updated on March 26, 2000.

 

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