RANDOLPH, NJ- Lady Rams senior Paige Zangara formally signed a letter of commitment to flip her way out to Erie PA, where she will be a member of the Gannon College Acrobatics and Tumbling team.
“One factor that influenced my choice of schools was the community feeling around the campus,” said Zangara. “Gannon has a beautiful campus with such a close knit community, where everyone knows everyone and it felt like home to me.”
Zangara has been a key member of the Randolph Varsity Gymnastics team for all four of her high school years, where she competed in every event but cited Vault as her best. In the Fall 2017 season, Zangara represented Randolph competing in the Vault at the state tournament.
“High school gymnastics was such an incredible experience for me, and every day, whether at practice or a meet was so special,” said Zangara. “I have some of the best teammates who push me to do my best, and my coach sue has made every practice, meet and event memorable. She always told us, ‘Be Strong, Smart, Beautiful, Women’… I will always remember that saying.”
Zangara began competing in gymnastics at the age of 5, when she started attending Northern Elite Gymnastics and Cheer in Flanders. Twelve years later, she still competes for the club team, while still training under a couple of the same coaches.
“One of the things I attribute my success to is my club coaches,” said Zangara. “My two coaches there, Sergio and Jackie, have coached me since I was about 5 years old. They have inspired me and motivated me throughout my gymnastics career.”
Zangara, who is leaning towards physical therapy or business for her academic studies in college, reflected on some other key influencers in her success.
“My best friend Marykate ia on an acrobatics and tumbling team at Azusa Pacific University and has been someone who has inspired me and showed me what hard work and dedication looks like,” said Zangara. “My physical therapist Marla, has motivated me and inspired me to overcome many obstacles including recovery from surgery. She pushed me to do my best and always had my best interest in mind. I would not be where I am today without all of these people in my life.”
Acrobatics and Tumbling is the evolution of different skill sets used in gymnastics and cheerleading, including tumbling, tosses, acrobatic lifts and pyramids. The skill sets of tumbling and acrobatics are also the athletic aspects of cheerleading, while the lifts and tosses in cheerleading are actually acrobatics gymnastics skills.
During a meet, teams compete in six different event categories, including compulsories, acro, pyramid, toss, tumbling and team event. The sport began competition at the collegiate level in the Spring of 2011.