1. Name, Age, Hometown
Alicia Boren, 18, Franklin Lakes, NJ
2. Do you have a nickname?
3. In what cities do you live, train and go to school?
I live in Franklin Lakes, my gym is in Boonton, and I go to school in Oakland. All in New Jersey.
4. When and why did you first become interested in gymnastics?
I went to a birthday party at North Stars when I was younger. I was a ball of energy and my parents saw that so they wanted to put me in classes. There was no room in the recreational classes, so they put me on pre-team.
5. Do you have any good/funny memories from when you first started taking gymnastics classes?
I remember being put in time-out all the time because I had so much energy and couldn’t stand in line when I was supposed to. Even though I was warned a significant amount of times, I couldn’t seem to control my body and always ended up in trouble.
6. When did you decide you wanted to compete? And, when did you want to compete on the elite level? What about competition appeals to you?
I didn’t really decide that I wanted to compete because I wasn’t aware of competitive gymnastics; I was really there for the fun. While on pre-team, one of my coaches, Anne Mead, told my mother, “It was time to move to team.” She felt that I was excelling well in pre-team, and asked my mom if she was ok moving me to level 4.
I love how there are always new goals. With gymnastics, you can always push yourself to go further. Also, I love that there is always room for improvement because there is no perfect gymnast; this gives me motivation and a reason to never stop putting in all of my effort.
7. What is your training regimen? Was that a big change when you made the switch to competitive gymnastics?
I train 4.5 hours Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On Wednesdays I train 1.5 hours.
8. What is your favorite event?
9. What is your favorite skill?
Double Layout off bars
10. What music do you use for your floor routine?
My music is very powerful. The music itself tells a story and the choreography helps you understand it.
11. Who is your favorite gymnast or who is your “idol”?
12. How have you grown as a gymnast during your career, both skill-wise and mentally?
In the beginning of my career, I did gymnastics more so for fun. I didn’t really understand what gymnastics was about. The competing was for a ribbon and I enjoyed it. Once I was old enough to understand the sport, I realized how it felt to lose. Although I won nationals my second year of level 10, my skill level wasn’t where it should have been until my third year. I am known as a power gymnast meaning floor and vault come naturally with hard work. Bars however is a struggle. It wasn’t until my third year of level 10 that I could call myself a bar worker. To have changed my skill level so drastically was quite an accomplishment for me. In gymnastics they say, “You must go through the battle if you want to win the war.” Growing up, that battle wasn’t necessarily physically for me, but mentally. My coach, Tony, really taught me how to mentally endure the sport because in gymnastics, the main problems and limits you create are within your own mind.
13. How has gymnastics helped you as a person?
I have constantly been forced out of my comfort zone since I can remember. Life is filled with times in which you have to make decisions or do things that make you feel uncomfortable, however you have to do them. Part of growing up is about making sacrifices and doing things you don’t want to do in order to succeed in all aspects of life. Without gymnastics, I would have been taken out of my comfort zone, but in a completely different manner.
14. If you had to select one life-lesson that gymnastics has taught you, what would it be?
One of the many life-lessons I have learned in gymnastics is that if you put your mind to it, and you’re willing to work hard enough, you can accomplish anything.
15. What are your biggest accomplishments or best memories in your career?
My biggest accomplishment is to be able to say that I am 3-time Junior Olympic National Champion. My best memory was definitely the first time I won. The year before I had fallen on floor and my level of gymnastics wasn’t nearly as good, so being able to win the title proved how hard I worked.
16. What grade are you in school, and where do you go to school?
I am a senior at Indian Hills High School.
17. Do you want to compete in collegiate gymnastics?
Yes, I have signed with the University of Florida.
18. What is your favorite subject?
19. What do you want to study in college?
Sports Management and/or Veterinary Medicine
20. What are your goals for the future, both as an athlete and after you are finished competing?
After this J.O. season, I plan on attending the University of Florida and joining their gymnastics team. My goal there is to help the team win another national title. After I’m done competing, I plan to study either veterinary medicine or sports management; I am very interested in both.
21. When you’re not in the gym, how do you enjoy spending your time? Do you have any hobbies or favorite activities? Charities?
I love hanging out with my school friends and teammates whether it be at the movies, at home, or other places. I also love to dance whenever I get the chance.
22. What is your favorite food?
23. What is your favorite movie?
I love to watch movies and I can’t even imagine picking one out, but one of my favorites is the 1969 version of True Grit.
24. What is your favorite book?
The Twilight Saga Series
25. What is your favorite music group/singer?
Beyonce is my favorite artist.
26. Are any of your family members current or former athletes? Which sports?
My mom, Alice Tucker, rode open jumpers and three-day eventers, and my brother was a fencer.
27. Do you have any competition rituals? Lucky charms?
The day of every competition, I have the same breakfast consisting of orange juice, scrambled eggs, bacon, home fries, and toast. Before every competition I have to listen to the speech, “War of Inches” from start to finish with no interruptions.
28. What’s on your IPod right now? What type of music do enjoy listening to? How about before a meet when you’re trying to get focused and pumped up?
My IPod consists of pop, rap, gospel, country, and contemporary music. As you can see from the genres on my IPod, I enjoy listening to all types of music. Before I listen to “War of Inches,” I listen to “Fall Back” by Sammy Adams, and “Jungle(Remix),” by X Ambassadors & Jamie N Commons ft. Jay Z.
29. If you had to pick 3 words to describe yourself as a gymnast, what are they?
If I had to describe myself as a gymnast, I would say I’m powerful, rhythmic, and determined.
30. What 3 words describe you as a person, not the gymnast?
If I had to describe myself as a person, I would say that I’m energetic, happy, and compassionate.
By Lauren Ely
“Alicia is the coach’s dream,” North Stars Gymnastics Academy coach Tony Gehman said. “If you need someone to go in last up on the beam in the last meet of the year to try and win the national championship – the ultimate pressure situation – she’s the one I want on the team to do it.”
Alicia Boren, 15, of Franklin Lakes, N.J., possesses the strength, power and determination it takes to be a successful gymnast. She began gymnastics when she was 5-years-old after going to a birthday party at North Stars.
Boren placed first in the all-around in the 2012 Women’s Junior Olympic Level 10 National Championships. She said the competition gave her a chance to redeem herself from her first nationals in Level 10.
“I fell on floor in my last pass,” Boren said. “It really motivated me, and I was determined to be better the next year. I had to do it for myself.”
Boren, a power gymnast, most enjoys competing on floor. She says her floor routine at the 2012 J.O. Nationals is her most memorable moment competing. In her spare time, Boren does ballet and African dance, and she likes the tumbling and dance aspect that floor allows her to mix in to her routines.
A fierce, focused competitor, Boren knows that gym time isn’t a time to play with friends. She enjoys spending time with her friends outside of practice going to the mall and the movies.
After she graduates high school in 2015, Boren plans to attend the University of Florida to join its gymnastics team.
“She’s a leader by example,” Gehman said. “She’s upbeat and encouraging. She’s headed towards being a fantastic collegiate competitor.”
By Josh Weinfuss
Alicia Boren’s wait to qualify for the Nastia Liukin Cup seemed to take an eternity.
It started early last year, when, unfamiliar with the rules, Boren thought she could qualify as a Level 9. When she found out the Nastia Liukin Cup is only open to Level 10 gymnasts, she was crushed.
As a Level 10, this year, Boren’s sights were set. The Nastia Liukin Cup was her goal and nothing was going to stop her – except for time.
At the WOGA Classic this year, Boren won her session, the first of the day, and had to wait until the rest of the competitors finished to find out if she’d be going to New York City.
After the event, Nastia’s mom, Anna Kotchneva Liukin, approached Boren’s group and asked who won.
“They all pointed to me and she said, ‘Congratulations, you qualify,'” Boren said. “I was waiting so long for it and I was so excited. I thought someone might have beat me because it was the first session. It was amazing.”
Boren might have the shortest drive to Madison Square Garden among the entire field, living in Franklin Lakes, N.J., about 28 miles from Madison Square Garden.
Now that she qualified, Boren needs to focus on calming herself down before the big meet.
She doesn’t have a process per se, instead going through a series of deep breaths. Then it’s off to compete.
“I get really excited to compete,” Boren said. “It’s one of my favorite parts of gymnastics, to show off all my skills and show all my hard work paying off.
“I get really excited to compete in front of a lot of people.”