By: Megan Roche
The 2019 New Jersey State Gymnastics Championships were much to celebrate for the folks at USA Twisterz Gymnastics. Several of the gym’s athletes placed extremely well in all age and level categories. For Emelie Greenlee, Giuliana D’Angelo, Rachael Kaminski and Abigail Luciano, the four girls from West Caldwell, the overall competition couldn’t have gone any better.
According to the Fairfield based gym, many of the teams and individual gymnasts’ broke records at the meet that was held from Feb. 8 to 10. The gym, which competes as members of the United States Association of Gymnastics, brought home several titles and placed high amongst many other teams in the state.
“It’s been amazing and we’re a new studio. The talent that these girls have comes from their love of the sport. They are very positive and this sport is really challenging. They have this ability to just want to do their best.” Erin Gloor, owner of USA Twisterz and head gymnastics coach, said.
The Xcel Silver Team placed third out of 26 teams while the Xcel Bronze Team placed eighth out of 17 teams. For two Xcel Silver gymnasts, Greenlee and Luciano, each are 2019 State Record Holders for the 8 and 9-year-old age level on the floor exercise. Both Luciano and Greenlee scored a 9.7 on the floor exercise to earn their individual titles.
While Greenlee and Luciano did well on the floor exercise, they also ended up doing extremely well in the all around competition. Greenlee, age eight, finished second in the state out of 32 gymnasts with an all around score of 37.675. Luciano, age nine, placed first in the state out of 28 gymnasts and posted an all around score of 37.875.
The Xcel Bronze team also had another one of their gymnasts step up. Rachael Kaminski, age seven, became the floor state champion with a 9.5 for her age group. The Xcel Bronze Team was made up of primarily newbies to the sport, 14 out of 15 gymnasts competing the sport for the first time this year. Giuliana D’Angelo earned first place on vault with a 9.25 in the six to seven age group.
“These girls truly work at their 110 percent. What we’ve fostered is this growth mindset that is really hard to find. It’s great to have a positive flow of energy that comes at USA Twisterz.” Gloor said.
These young gymnasts have much to be proud about. Not only did they compete well, but for some, this was their first ever exposure to the lifestyle of competitive gymnastics. To join the team at USA Twisterz, all girls must be able to commit to training 8 to 16 hours a week. They have to attend every competition but also remember to show good sportsmanship, self-discipline, and respect.
“While this sport asks the kid to be more mature, this sport is largely individual. This sport really teaches you to handle challenges and how to overcome roadblocks. I always try to teach them to work hard and keep trying. In life, there are challenges and obstacles and gymnastics helps teach them the skills to overcome the challenges.” Gloor said.
What’s next for these young gymnasts? They will continue to train throughout the remainder of the year until the competition season closes. After the competition season, training will be a little bit lighter but will continue through the summer months.