Georgetown College welcomes Alicia Castagneto. Photo by Richard Davis
Acrobatics & Tumbling - Tue, Jan. 27, 2015
Georgetown College decided in the fall of 2014 to start an Acrobatics and Tumbling team. On January 1, Alicia Castagneto joined the Tiger staff as head coach for A&T, bringing her vast knowledge and experience in the gymnastics world to Georgetown.
The California native understands the competitive drive involved, starting her gymnastics career at age two. She competed on the regional scene from age seven to 14, stopping at level 8. She took two years off from the circuit before starting to compete again nationally in Trampoline & Tumbling.
Castagneto did that until age 19. At her final nationals, she placed second in tumbling, fifth on double mini trampoline and eighth in trampoline.
"Gymnastics has such a wide range of skills and we are starting to enhance the opportunities by broadening our disciplines and emphasis," Castagneto said. "That's how Acrobatics and Tumbling was created. There is only so much room for the elite gymnasts on the top level, but we have so many talented athletes that are missing out on competing in the sport they love.
"This hybrid focuses on the skill sets you might see in a high level cheer routine, a diving competition and gymnastics. It has been really exciting to be a part of this growing process, and when I heard Georgetown was looking at doing this I knew it was the right time to take the next step in coaching for me."
Castagneto was head Trampoline & Tumbling coach at SCEGA in 2004 as well as judging Elite & Junior Olympic National Championships in 2012 and 2013.
"Acro & Tumbling has really gotten a lot of attention out west, but the chance to expand and bring it east was a chance I couldn't pass up," Castagneto said. "It is also really awesome the way this whole sport is working together right now as we look to become a more recognizable option for gymnasts, trampoline and tumbling or high competition cheerleaders.
"I'm getting my feet under me and learning the ropes of being a collegiate coach, but the awesome thing is having all my connections and the great help of all the current college coaches wanting to see this sport grow. I see really exciting things in the coming years for this program at Georgetown. We have the right base and location to really attract some top tier athletes."
She has hit the ground running, looking for recruits for the 2015-16 season when GC plans to compete varsity.
"There are so many untapped markets as we branch this new hybrid sport out from the West Coast," coach Castagneto said. "Between the club and high school levels, more than 300 thousand athletes compete in Acro and Tumbling. With just now 12 colleges offering this, we have a lot of talent out there looking to continue competing."
Georgetown joins the ranks of Adrian College (Mich.), Alderson Broaddus (W. Va.), Azusa Pacific (Calif.), Baylor University (Texas), Concordia University (Wis.), Fairmont State University (W. Va.), Gannon University (Penn.), Glenville State College (W. Va.), Hawaii Pacific, King University (Tenn.), University of Oregon and Quinnipiac (Conn.) as the lone collegiate level A&T programs.
"As we investigated what to add, Acrobatics and Tumbling seemed like a perfect fit for Georgetown College," said GC Director of Athletics Brian Evans. "Then to interview and hire Coach Castagneto only further solidified that decision for me. She has the right energy and knowledge to make Georgetown a staple program for this sport as it expands. I think we are in for some really exciting things over the next few years as our fans get familiar with the sport and a new brand of athlete begins to enroll at Georgetown."