April 23, 2022

By Fred Liggett

The University of Oklahoma won their fifth national title at the 2022 NCAA Gymnastics championships held the weekend of April 14-16 at Dickie’s Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. Locally all eyes were on local gymnast Jaye Mack a freshman at Illinois State who graduated from Lee’s Summit West.

Mack, a floor specialist, finished with a 9.75 score. Mack performed a floor routine at the national championships that was televised nationally on ESPN with the finals on ABC. Before the trip to nationals in Texas, Mack competed in a regional tournament in Norman, Oklahoma where she scored well enough to become the second gymnast ever from Illinois State University to qualify for nationals. Prior to the post-season events Mack competed in the Midwest Independent College or MIC tournament held at Texas Women’s University.

Mack’s mom and dad have been traveling a lot lately as they follow Jaye’s progress in just her freshman year. Jaye’s mom, Faye, says her daughter is “blessed by great coaches” and “She started to blossom her senior year at LS West.” Faye adds, “She works hard, puts in the work”. Not only does Jaye have an athletic scholarship but an academic one thanks to a 4.0 grade point average. Jaye’s major is Interior Design. Jaye’s dad Jesse and her brothers Jesse and Justin are all “so proud of her.”

Seeing the achievements this season for Jaye Mack was far from an overnight success. Jaye started doing gymnastics at four years old. Helping Jaye a lot has been her coach Alisha Robinson at Xtreme Gymnastics in Lee’s Summit. Faye says Robinson has “been working with her since she started.” Now that Jaye Mack has started her college career so well one can believe her hard work will continue to see a result of higher scores on the national level.