By Gio Gennero | Sports Writer
With graduate school coming up and a wedding to plan, Baylor acrobatics and tumbling senior top and tumbler Kamryn Kitchens made sure to make it a senior season to remember. Kitchens finished her collegiate career with a national championship at the team and individual levels.
“It’s weird,” Kitchens said of her time coming to a close. “This sport, especially, I’ve been doing in some capacity since I could walk. It’s weird that it’s coming to a close, but I’m so excited for my next steps. I’m getting married and starting medical school, so there’s a lot of fun things coming up that I’m looking forward to.”
Kitchens said she started acrobatics and tumbling when she started to walk. Despite that, she said she never believed she would find a roster spot at Baylor because of how much she felt she needed to work on her craft coming into college.
“I started doing gymnastics at the ‘Mommy and Me’ classes,” Kitchens said. “I really liked the competitive aspect of cheer, and I loved that acro had a more technical element to it. I never dreamed I would actually get a spot on the team; it all kind of fell into place and here we are.”
Head coach Felecia Mulkey said she’s going to miss the Georgia native, as Kitchens’ leadership and vigilance for perfection have made her such a big part of the team’s success. Mulkey said she only wishes Kitchens didn’t get injured her freshman season so the two could’ve spent more time on the mat together.
“She’s a rockstar, we always know that Kam will figure it out,” Mulkey said. “She’s a great athlete [and] a smart athlete. She’s continued to lead by example since day one. I feel I got cheated because of her freshman year injury, but she’s been on such an upward trajectory [ever] since.”
Kitchens said Mulkey has played a huge role in her time in green and gold. From drops of wisdom during practice to consistent check-ins, she said Mulkey has found many ways to impact the four-time national champion.
“Coach Fee is one of my biggest role models,” Kitchens said. “She’s a great mentor. She cares about you as a person before she cares about you as an athlete. She’s invested in all-areas of your life and wants to make sure you’re equipped for what’s beyond. She’s not afraid to give you tough love when you need it, and she’s really shaped my life over the last four years.”