Interview with local champion Alana Jones
With the Olympics wrapping up, and the fantastic way many athletes displayed their faith, we wanted to feature one of our own local Christian athletes, earning championships and putting faith first here in the U.S.
Church Point native Alana Jones, now 15 years old, has been on waterskis since the sweet age of two with her family—mom and dad Lynda and Scot, and her siblings, Adelaide (19) and Asher (17). Skiing competitively for 10 years, and part of the Goode Skis Jr. Team & National All-Star Team, Alana has had a busy summer: JR U.S. Open in June, winning Slalom in the Int’l Girls Division (Under 17), also placing 2nd in Trick event; S. Central Regionals in Girls 4 division (Ages 14-15) in July, winning both Slalom and Trick; U.S. Nationals in Girls 4 division in early August, winning Slalom and placing 2nd in Tricks; and as we went to print, Alana was skiing at the Jr. World Championship (Under 17) where we just learned she skied better than in her prelims and ended up in a three-way tie for 7th place! Alana and her family are thrilled considering this was her very first Worlds tournament.
We had the opportunity to ask Alana a few questions, and we can’t wait to see what the future brings for this amazing young lady!
CSpotlight: How did you learn about the competitive side of waterskiing, and what led you to compete?
Alana: From my parents, Scot and Lynda Jones. They are competitive skiers who met on the University of Lafayette ski team. Growing up my entire family, including my sister Adelaide and my brother Asher, would head to the lake and ski together. We learned to coach each other and loved doing so.
Now, my siblings don’t compete, but they do ski for fun every now and then. Mom and dad still ski some, but not as much as they used to. As I continued to grow in my skiing, I continue to take it seriously and strive for larger competitions.
CSpotlight: How is a competitive skier scored in competition, and what key traits must a winning skier possess?
Alana: In the slalom event, there is a 6-buoy course to complete. As a female, my maximum speed is 34 miles per hour. Each time I run 6 buoys successfully at 34 miles per hour, the rope is shortened to make it more difficult. Eventually, the rope does not reach all the way out to the buoys. I keep going until I fall or miss a buoy. The skier with the most buoys at the shortest rope length in the event wins.
The trick event is like ballet or gymnastics on water. I ski on a shorter, wider ski with no fin. Each trick has a certain value and I have two, 20-second passes to complete as many tricks with credit (like getting enough air) as possible.
CSpotlight: What role does your faith play in your training, your skiing, relating to other skiers, and in competition?
Alana: My faith is everything. Without God I would not be able to do the things I have been given the chance to do. My hope is that people will see God through me both on and off the water, with how I handle my success and failures.
When I’m on the dock, of course I’m nervous. But the Lord keeps me calm because I know that all I can do is my best. He has a plan, so even if it doesn’t go my way, I can learn from it and hopefully be an example.
CSpotlight: Where has your recent Jr. U.S. Open championship win taken you in the last two months?
Alana: I was stoked to win the 2021 Jr. U.S. Open in slalom! It was my first win of this caliber tournament and has boosted my confidence. I also got 2nd place in the trick event with a personal best, so all around it was a great tournament!
I’m super excited for the U.S. Nationals and getting to compete in the 2021 Jr. World Championship this August. I am pumped to see what the Lord has in store for me in my future with the sport.
CSpotlight: Advice for a young person considering competitive waterskiing?
Alana: Absolutely go for it! It is so much fun and the people you meet are so nice!
Check out usawaterski.org for more information on the sport.
Follow Alana on Instagram at @alanadjoness.
Sponsored by Goode Skis for slalom and D3 Skis for trick.