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Cougars Finish Second at Duck Invitational

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February 21, 2010
John Blake

In front of 1,272 Stunts and Tumbling fans, the APU Stunts & Tumbling team took part in the inaugural Duck Invitational, the first home meet for the University of Oregon in historic MacArthur Court. The Cougars faced off against the Ducks and the Ohio State Buckeyes.

“It was an exciting atmosphere for sure. Seeing so many people come to support Stunts & Tumbling simply shows the interest level there is for our athletes. And to have the opportunity to represent APU to so many fans at the Division I level was an honor!” said Coach Kausrud.

As the fans learned the new format, they became more and more involved throughout the meet.

The first event was Stunts. The Cougars actually jumped out to an early lead after the first heat. However, the next three rounds were won by the Ducks by narrow margins. Ohio State proved they came to earn respect also, but simply couldn’t get past the Cougars throughout the day.

The next event was the Basket Toss, where Oregon edged out APU by the smallest possible margin (.01). OSU again finished third.

In the Pyramid Event, again the Cougars hit three clean structures in a row, yet fell .34 behind Oregon. Ohio State’s creativity didn’t overtake the Cougars, however, as they finished .79 behind APU.

“We knew we had a clean first half, with a solid lead over Ohio State and closely following the Ducks. The message was simply: Continue to execute” said Coach Kausrud.

The second half of the meet featured the Tumbling Event and Team Routine, both of which proved to be crowd favorites. The Tumbling Event finished in the same order: Oregon, APU, and Ohio State.

The team routine (2min 30sec) performed to music, proved to be the one of the highlights of the Cougar’s day, finishing with a clean performance and a total score of 86.97. Ohio State wasn’t able to hide their mistakes (79.00), leaving only Oregon to perform. Though not a clean performance, the officials awarded them an 88.57, giving them the Meet victory at their home opener.

“We came to be a part of a revolution in our sport, and not only did we gain experience in this new form of competing but we did exceedingly well. We left the competition with a sense of pride and excitement to finish our season stronger than ever,” said APU Junior Sanja Stark.

“To earn respect, you have to perform difficult skills and you simply can’t make mistakes,“ coached Kausrud. And that’s precisely what the Cougars did, finishing the entire meet with the overall low in mandatory deductions for errors.

The Cougars now prepare for an exhibition at home on Saturday (2:15PM; Felix Event Center), and a competition at Long Beach State on Sunday.

Notes: Sharon Lehman (APU Asst. Athl. Director), Mike Belotti (U of O Athl. Director), and Richard Lariviere (U of O President) were all in attendance for the meet.

Box Score:

Stunts Baskets Pyramids Tumbling Team Meet Total

AZUSA PACIFIC 36.93 38.26 36.93 37.10 86.97 236.19

OREGON 37.45 38.45 37.27 38.24 88.57 239.97

OHIO STATE 36.48 37.29 36.14 36.68 79.00 225.59