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Tumbling into the spotlight
The Quinnipiac acrobatics & tumbling team entered its 2014 season on a different note compared to years’ past.
The Bobcats went 5-3 in 2013, later advancing to the National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association championships, eventually falling to Oregon 277.35-273.655.
Yet, in beginning a new season at home at Lender Court at TD Bank Sports Center Saturday, the atmosphere was just as intense as any playoff hockey or basketball title game.
Hearing the student-athletes rally together with the crowd in “QU – Bobcats” chants between routines. Seeing a group wildly cheer for teammates following a successful round. Waking up to the sounds of players (or even fans) scream “Acro!” while walking through the hallways of my residence hall.
A thrill for the players, but also popular among the students.
The program has been a hit at Quinnipiac since its inception in 2008. Over the past six years, it has drawn many to its home meets, including a record crowd of 1,107 on Saturday.
Also over said stretch of time, acrobatics & tumbling has been in and out of the headlines due to the Title IX lawsuit. Last April, the university reached a settlement in the original volleyball case. With that, Quinnipiac has since been reviewing its status as a sport, according to a statement given that month from Vice President for Public Affairs Lynn Bushnell.
We could learn the fate of the program on any given day. However, it was clear Saturday the student-athletes don’t let the thought cross their mind when there’s a meet on the schedule.
It was an incredible feeling to see players storm out of the locker room before lining up on the mats and waving to the crowd when their names were called, something rarely seen at today’s sporting events.
For the Bobcats, Saturday was the first meet in which the team won every single event, and all but one heat.
Players were tossed into the air, went into full-on sprints before performing several flips, and created pyramid formations as high as three people stacked on top of each other, sometimes even inverted.
The cheers from the crowd truly engulfed the arena during the Bobcats’ team routine. A barrage of flips, tumbles and tosses drew roars from those in attendance. The emotions especially swirled after the countless hugs between teammates and coaches following the conclusion of the match.
Quinnipiac finished its day with 279.575 – 260.895 win over Gannon University, a victory which may be the first of many for the 2013 runner-up.
Without question, the sport is growing here at Quinnipiac. It deserves its place in the athletic department now, and for the foreseeable future.