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Jada Mangahas embarks on her final rotation as a Gym Devil

Mangahas has only missed one meet in her Sun Devil career so far. She returns for her final year, scoring at least 9.800 in each meet for the No. 18 Sun Devils


Assistant coaches Lacy Dagen and Jazmyn Foberg cheer on senior Jada Mangahas during floor routine at tri-meet at Desert Financial Arena on Friday, Feb. 2, 2024 in Tempe. ASU placed third (197.250/197.950/198.375).

Senior all-around Jada Mangahas entered her last year as a Sun Devil with a bittersweet feeling. 

So far this season, No. 18 ASU gymnastics is 6-4, winning its last three meets. Mangahas has been a huge part of the Sun Devils’ success, competing in every meet this season in multiple events, scoring 9.800 or higher. 

Mangahas has been an 'iron horse' for the Sun Devils. Overall, she has only missed one meet her junior and said she has a competitive spirit.

"Something I will miss is experiencing the feeling of competing with my teammates," Mangahas said. "Being in this sport my whole life, I live for competing."

Mangahas began when she was just 2 years old. Her parents signed her up for "Mommy and Me" classes, where she played around with her brothers who also shared a love for gymnastics at the time. 

It wasn’t until she was 10 years old she started taking the sport more seriously. She trained in club gymnastics back with Parkettes Gymnastics in her hometown, Allentown, Pennsylvania. Mangahas managed a schedule of online school, in-person school, gymnastics practice, track practice, dance class and family time. On top of this busy high school schedule, she found time to raise money for cancer research. That type of discipline led her to compete on a national level.

Her dream was to commit to a Division I school on a full-ride scholarship. She said she felt intimidated by rejection and the pressure of committing to a collegiate program. She said she committed to ASU at 14 years old and felt supported by the program. 

"The coaches were super nice and kept in touch with me throughout the summer of my freshman year," Mangahas said. "I knew it was the place for me, and even though it was far from home, it made me more independent, and my teammates are now my sisters."

Even though ASU is her home away from home, Mangahas still struggled to manage her mental health especially back when she transitioned into her ASU career. Her mother, Krista Mangahas, called gymnastics a "mental sport."

"Jada is very hard on herself, so a lot of my support came from having long chats on the car ride and listening to her frustrations and challenges, reassuring her that she’s doing amazing, and reminding her that hard work will pay off," she said. "And it certainly has. Her dad and I are in awe of her accomplishments."

Jada Mangahas relates to the struggles other athletes may be going through. Krista Mangahas said her daughter works with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, or SAAC, on campus. Her teammate freshman all-around Halle Gregoire said Jada Mangahas is like a "mother figure" for the rest of the team, particularly the freshmen.

"She took in all the freshmen from the start and took time out of her day to learn about us," Gregoire said. "Even if nothing is going on, she will approach us and ask questions about what she can do to help and give advice from what she has learned over the years." 

With the experience Jada Mangahas has, she said she knows that gymnastics isn’t just a sport where a solo gymnast succeeds in their competition, but everyone else should succeed as a team. She takes the time to guide new members into the team's culture through discipline, and teaching what it takes to be successful. 

Jada Mangahas and her teammates look forward to the rest of the season, taking every opportunity to enjoy and make the most of her time left in a Sun Devil uniform.

"This sport has taught me everything from working with others to building relationships deeper than the surface level," Mangahas said. "It’s gonna be a tough place to leave, but I have a lot of memories to take with me."

Edited by Vinny DeAngelis, Shane Brennan and Angelina Steel. 

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