Back-to-Back: Baylor Repeats in Historic National Championship Clash

Back-to-Back: Baylor Repeats in Historic National Championship Clash

The top-seeded and undefeated Baylor Bears tied or bested season-highs in five of six events en route to their second consecutive National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association (NCATA) National Championship, 286.275-282.305, over the second-seeded Oregon Ducks on Tuesday evening at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.

A NCATA Championship record crowd of 2,163 fans filled the Ferrell Center to see the two perennial powers duke it out for the sport’s biggest prize.  The two programs have combined for every championship in the history of the NCATA, with the Ducks holding an organization-leading four national championships, their last in 2014.  Baylor finishes the season with an 11-0 record for the second consecutive year, and will enter the 2017 season on an unprecedented, 22-meet winning streak. 

Baylor kicked off the meet by setting a new season best in the Compulsory Event, recording a 38.90 to the Ducks’ 38.40 en route to the early advantage.  The Ducks scored 9.80 or higher in the pyramid and toss heat, but a 9.95 in the pyramid heat by the Bears sparked the home team to the lead.  In the acro heat, Oregon won the six-element heat, 9.90-9.85, but Baylor scored 9.75 or above in all three heats to post a 29.40 score in the Acro Event, increasing the lead to .75 points heading into the final event of the opening half.

In the Pyramid event, Oregon looked poised to cut into the Baylor lead with a 29.55 total score, but the Bears erupted for a season-high 29.80, including 9.95’s in the twist and release heats, taking a one-point lead into the halftime break.

The Bears set another season-high in the Toss Event, finishing the three heats with a 29.45 score to improve the lead.  Oregon and Baylor tied in the two-element heat with matching 9.85 scores, but a 0.2-point swing in the synchronized heat helped bolster the lead for the Bears. 

Oregon scored an impressive 57.225 in the tumbling event, including a 9.90 by sophomore and 2016 NCATA Individual All-American Taylor Galvin in the six-element pass.  However, a 9.95 duo tumbling pass by sophomore Lauren Sturm and freshman Kaylee Adams swung the needle back in the favor of the tournament host, sparking the Bears to a 58.675 in the tumbling event in comparison to a 57.225 by Oregon.  Baylor clinched the title with a 100.05 in the team event, while Oregon logged a 98.78 in its final team event of the season.