Georgetown College A&T head coach Alicia Castagneto and Athletic Director Brian Evans
© Richard Davis

Release Written with Assistance by Georgetown College and USA Gymnastics

GEORGETOWN, Ky. – National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association (NCATA) President Dr. Renee Baumgartner, Executive Director Janell Cook and Director of Expansion Felecia Mulkey join Georgetown College (Ky.) President Dr. M. Dwaine Greene and Athletics Director Brian Evans in announcing the institution’s entrance into the NCATA, announced on Wednesday, Jan. 28 by the NCATA Executive Office.

“Congratulations to NCATA for continuing to build the acrobatics and tumbling varsity programs,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “The addition of Georgetown College extends the opportunities for women to enjoy competing in acrobatics and tumbling for their university while gaining an education.”

In addition to the announcement of the sport, Georgetown College has also announced the hiring of Alicia Castagneto as the first coach in program history. Castagneto arrives in Georgetown after coaching acrobatics & tumbling for 10-plus years, additionally serving 12 years as a judge for USA Gymnastics, most recently at Southern California Elite Gymnastics Academy.

“This is an exciting time in athletics as we announce our second new sport in three years,” commented Evans. “It is one of the fastest growing female sports, behind women’s lacrosse, which we recently added.”

“We couldn’t be more excited to get the approval of the (Georgetown College) board of trustees to start the ball rolling on this. We have hired one of the premier leaders in this sport in Castagneto as our first head coach.”

Castagneto comes to Georgetown from Southern California. She has been coaching acrobatics and tumbling for 10-plus years, including most recently at Southern California Elite Gymnastics Academy, and served as a judge for USA Gymnastics.

“We are very excited about Alicia and the skills she brings,” Evans said. “She will hit the ground running in January, and we will be competing in 2016. Alicia is high-energy, highly motivated and extremely passionate about this sport. We had a lot of great candidates for this position and couldn’t be more excited about the future of this program and how it fits with what we do here at Georgetown College.”

“I am extremely excited to pioneer the first Acrobatics & Tumbling team at Georgetown College,” added Castagneto.

“The amount of enthusiasm and support from President Dr. M. Dwaine Greene, Director of Athletics Brian Evans and the entire Athletics department, has been invigorating. This is an amazing opportunity to open up another collegiate opportunity for many female athletes and grow the Georgetown College athletics community. I am looking forward to expanding the sport and helping these young athletes achieve their collegiate dreams.”

Georgetown College is a small-private, Christian liberal arts college located in Georgetown, Kentucky. Chartered in 1829, Georgetown currently enrolls approximately 1,000 undergraduate students and over 250 graduate students, and will add Acrobatics & Tumbling as its 19th sponsored sport when the Tigers begin competition in 2016.

“The NCATA is delighted with Georgetown’s addition of acrobatics & tumbling,” commented Dr. Baumgartner. “The rapid expansion of the sport along with the vision shared by the NCATA and its member institutions is continuously developing opportunities for females within intercollegiate sport, and we are very excited for the future that acrobatics & tumbling can anticipate within the collegiate landscape.”

The Tigers become the 13th member of the NCATA, becoming the first institution from the state of Kentucky to add the sport. In addition, the Tigers, members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), are the second team from the southeast region of the nation to add the sport, joining King University in Tennessee.

“Georgetown College’s entrance into the NCATA is another benchmark moment for the organization,” commented NCATA Executive Director Janell Cook. “Acrobatics & Tumbling continues to grow that the varsity collegiate level and provide opportunities for the millions of young women across the country who train within the skill sets.”

The NCATA is the governing body of the sport of Acrobatics & Tumbling, organized as a 501c3 non-profit entity. Varsity collegiate competition began in the Spring of 2011 and Acrobatics & Tumbling was adopted as a discipline of USA Gymnastics in 2013. NCATA member institutions include all levels of the NCAA – Division I, II, and III.

Member institutions have team roster sizes of 30-45 athletes. . The recruiting base for Acrobatics and Tumbling is broad pulling from artistic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics, Team Acro & Tumbling youth sport, and high-level competitive cheer teams. Acrobatics & Tumbling competes in the spring each year, beginning February 1 and with the National Championship tournament held in late April. Each season a team typically competes in 6-8 meets.

Teams compete in meets with six events including – compulsories, acro, pyramid, toss, tumbling and team event. Typical meets include 2-3 teams consisting of 28 member game day rosters. Meets last roughly two hours and have six different events – total of 20 heats – all taking place on a mat that is set on center court. Depending on the heat, there can be anywhere from one to 24 athletes on the floor for a particular team. The sport is judged based on execution of the skills that are competed, much like gymnastics or diving.