International competition is within reach for 2 gymnasts

       Sam Chiacchia and Philip Gifford, who compete for Westside-based ArtSports, have each earned the right to compete for a trip to the world championships for the double mini trampoline event.

Sam Chiacchia won his event.
Courtesy of ArtSports

       In a March 6-8 event in Birmingham, Ala., Chiacchia, 13, won his event by more than a 3-point margin. According to his ArtSports coach, Richard Womack, the victory makes him the number one seed in the age 13-14 category at the qualifying event in Las Vegas Aug. 28. The top four there will be selected to represent the United States at the World Age Group Championships of Trampoline and Power Tumbling in St. Petersburg, Russia, in November.
       Gifford, 15, placed 10th in Birmingham, but his score was high enough to qualify him for the Visa Cup in Dallas, Texas, Aug. 12-16 in the 15-16 age group. Four will also qualify there for Russia, Womack said.
       Chiacchia (pronounced “Key-ah- key-ah”) has trained at ArtSports for more than six years and has qualified at a national level for his age group each of the past three.
       “Both athletes have great international careers ahead of them,” the coach enthused. This would be both Sam's and Philip's first international competition if they qualify in August.

Westside Pioneer/press release