By Caroline Lindstrom
Baylor acrobatics and tumbling kicks off its 2014 National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association season against three-time reigning national champion Oregon at 9 p.m. today in Eugene, Ore.
“Oregon has tough competitors, clean skills, a polished team and won’t disappoint their home crowd,” head coach LaPrise Harris-Williams said. “However, I’m looking forward to our team staying confident and taking everything step-by-step like we have trained.”
The Bears are hoping to compete against Oregon at their best, to see how they match up on the road.
The Bears are returning with 22 of 24 letter winners from the 2013 season. The returnees include 2013 Aerial Pass NCATA champion junior Keegan Johnson and two of the three reigning Trio Pass national champions with senior Hailey Cowan and sophomore Courtney Pate.
“I’m excited to see what we have to bring to the table for this season,” Pate said. “We have worked so hard and I hope that shows.”
An acrobatics and tumbling meet is head to head. The team order is predetermined by the head official.
The meet is made up of six events: compulsory, acro, pyramid, toss, tumbling and team routine. Each event has different requirements to hit and possible points to gain. The maximum number of points in a meet is 300.
Pate said the atmosphere in Oregon is “lively and intense” because the home crowd makes sure competitors know that is their home. However, the women feel confident the cheering will help fuel them for the meet as well.
“Oregon is going to be our most challenging meet, but I am ready to beat them and set the bar for the season,” senior Kat Finta said.
The Bears will spend their first three meets on the road before they return home to the Ferrell Center to compete against Oregon once again on March 29.