Baylor Acrobatics and Tumbling dominated Oregon from start to finish to win their second straight National Acrobatics and Tumbling Association (NCATA) national championship on April 19.
The win capped off an undefeated season for the Bears, who followed last year's title at the NCATA Championships in Fairmont, W.Va., with a win in front of a record home crowd. Baylor hosted the 2016 NCATA Championships, and 2,163 fans attended the championship meet, the largest crowd ever to see an A&T event at the Ferrell Center.
"Every year has its own story," said head coach Felecia Mulkey. "This year had its own story right up through the national tournament. It was no more special than any other, but there's something to be said for winning on your home court and in front of this kind of crowd."
Baylor won all six events in the championship, outscoring Oregon 286.275 to 282.305. The Bears edged the Ducks in the compulsory round and posted their highest compulsory round score of the year to take the lead 38.90-38.40. After winning the acro, pyramid, toss and tumbling rounds, Baylor held on to a 186.225-183.525 lead heading into the team event. There, Baylor secured their second straight national championship with a win, 100.5-98.78.
For junior Kiara Nowlin, winning a second title in front of the Baylor faithful was especially meaningful.
"This experience was way better, because we were in front of our family, friends, fans, people from around Texas," Nowlin said. "We feed off their energy. We can do it when there's no energy in the room. But when there is energy and everybody is yelling for you, it's just so much more fun. It's a better experience."