By Kasey McMillian
Baylor’s acrobatics and tumbling team hosts the 2012 National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association National Championships today through Saturday at the Ferrell Center.
“We’ve done a lot of different repetitions just working with specific skills,” sophomore Lori Williamson said. “We’ve had to re-group a few times, but it has been working out great so we’re just doing as much as we can, and we’ve been working on just perfecting all the little things that we can fix.”
Teams from Azusa Pacific, Fairmont State, Maryland, Oregon and Quinnipiac will compete, making the championship a six-team bracket, and the individual event National Championships will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday after the meet.
During the last meet on March 11, Baylor defeated both Fairmont State and Quinnipiac but was not as successful against Oregon, Maryland and Azusa Pacific. The Bears lost two meets against Oregon and one meet to both Maryland and Azusa Pacific.
“I think our goal right now is just to focus on our team and to focus on what we can go out and hit and knowing that we’ve done our best whether we have a win or not,” Williamson said. “Just knowing that we’ve put out there what we’ve worked for and what we’ve practiced.”
The NCATA National Championship will be a single-elimination tournament and the team seeds have been determined based on every teams top two home and away scores.
Maryland received the No. 1 seed, and the No. 2 seed went to Oregon, therefore, they will not compete until Friday. The first round will begin on Thursday with the bottom four seeds.
After those meets, the first-round winners will compete against the top two seeds in the second round on Friday and then on Saturday the winners remaining will compete in the Championship finals.
The No. 4 seed Quinnipiac will be competing against the No. 5 seed Azusa Pacific in the quarterfinals at 4:30 p.m on Thursday. Competing at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday will be Fairmont State, the No. 3 seed, against Baylor, the No. 6 seed.
“We decided we’re going to stay as clean as possible,” Baylor head coach LaPrise Harris-Williams. “We simplified some of our skills and enhanced others. We basically just want to go in there and present the cleanest routines and skills that we can so we can get our scores maximized.”
If the Bears are victorious in the first round, they will move on to the second round to compete against Oregon in the semifinals at 6:30 p.m. on Friday. If the Bears defeat Oregon in the semifinals then they will advance to Saturday’s finals at 4:30 to the winner of the other bracket semifinals including Quinnipiac, Azusa Pacific or Maryland.
“Students should come out because we’re a new sport, we are on the rise and we are Baylor University,” sophomore Tori Jackson said. “We are going to continue the legend that Baylor has right now and we are going to continue to produce good things and come out victorious and be confident. Confidence is key.”