Gymnasts head to France for Worlds

       Sam Chiacchia and Kristen Bowman, who train at the Westside's ArtSports gym, will compete in Metz, France next week at the World Age Group championships.
       It will be the second straight year at Worlds for Chiacchia, who has qualified in age 13-14 trampoline and double-mini trampoline. Bowman, a first-timer, qualified in age 15-16 double-mini.
       They will be accompanied by their ArtSports coach, Richard “Tex” Womack, who has been selected as the American team's assistant double-mini coaches. “I can only assume it will be like last year, with very tough competition,” he said in a pre-meet interview. “These are the best kids in the world.”
       Chiacchia was the highest scoring age 13-14 American in double mini at last year's Worlds in St. Petersburg, Russia, taking fifth place. He had also come into the event as the top U.S. trampoliner, but fell in an early routine.
       “He is looking pretty consistent right now,” Womack said. “He won't have the difficulty level some of his competition will have, so he needs to show his best side, which is a beautiful, clean routine, and then go with it and see if he can make the finals.”
       The schedule calls for the qualifying and finals in 13-14 boys trampoline Nov. 17, with the boys and girls double mini qualifying and finals Nov. 19.
       Chiacchia goes to Eagleview Middle School and Bowman to Peyton High School. They qualified for the Worlds event through points earned at World Age Group qualifying meets last summer in Virginia and Connecticut.

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