With a work hard, play harder approach, the Giacomazzi girls, Devyn and Addison, struck gold at the USA Acro Gymnastics National Championships last week in St. Louis.
Under a bright spotlight, Devyn, 9, teamed with Gigi Johnson in Level 8 Women's Pair, and Addison, 11, partnered with Morgan Sweeney in Level 9 Women's Pair. The polished group represent the fast-emerging national force WestCoast Training Center Gymnastics in Livermore.
The Giacomazzi girls’ national championships came on the heels of state titles in Livermore and Regional crowns in Las Vegas.
“The sweep, right? They got the states, the regionals and the nationals, so that was awesome,” said a proud James Giacomazzi, the girls’ father and the athletic director and men’s basketball coach at Las Positas College.
Reaction to Devyn and Addison’s national gold medals with their partners came swiftly in the community.
“(The news) got out quick and everybody was just ecstatic,” James said. “Everybody in the WestCoast Training Center that went to nationals ‘podiumed.’ Everybody got gold, silver or bronze, which is outstanding.”
The Acro competition has a Cirque du Soleil vibe with dance moves, twists, flips and spins. Each Acro level is scored by a panel of judges based on difficulty, artistry and execution.
Addison and University of Oregon-bound Morgan Sweeney had the highest score for the entire Level 9 category — which included 38 competitors for women's pair, women's group and mixed pairs — for their balance routine score of 27.9 (out of 30) and overall score of 54.170.
Devyn and Johnson had the top score in the women’s pair category of 71.0 — a full 2.35 points ahead of second place. Impressively, Devyn, who earned her first state, regional and national titles the season, was undefeated this summer.
James and his wife, Kristi, marveled at their daughters’ sensational summer capped by peak performances in St. Louis.
“Addison and her partner on their first routine, it was like their best performance of the year,” James said. “They really stepped up when the lights were brightest.”
Nationals were held nearby at The Dome where legendary Simone Biles secured a trip to the Tokyo Olympics by handily winning the women’s all-around at the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials. So there was excitement in the air all week in St. Louis.
Addison now has two national titles on her growing resume, which also includes a national runner-up finish, five state championships and five regional titles.
Addison told James after the competition she was excited about how they did and that they wanted to send Morgan out on a high note.
Dad asked Devyn if she was a little nervous to be on such a big stage.
“She said, ‘I was a little bit nervous, but as soon as I walked out onto the floor, I knew it was go-time!’ And that was cute,” James said of their conversation.