The first NCSTA that the Cougars participated in had over 1200 spectators who knew very little about this emerging sport. We figured you might be in the same boat.
So, to give us a little perspective on it, we thought it might be helpful to interview a few people for their perspective on last weekend’s meet.
Sharon Lehman, Senior Woman Administrator, Asst. Athl. Director
What did you learn about the sport of Stunts & Tumbling this past weekend?
The competition demands athleticism and focus. It is an exciting, emerging sport – the fastest growing among younger female athletes. The sport allows a variety of athletes to compete and excel – former gymnasts, former cheerleaders who are athletes, etc. This sport has the potential to open doors otherwise closed for female athletes.
How did your perception change from the beginning of the meet until the end?
My perception really did not change. Having seen our team perform at half-time of a basketball game, I knew they were good. After the meet and the trip, I discovered that APU’s Stunts and Tumbling team is comprised of really good and committed athletes, who are also outstanding people. My perspective and approach has changed in that I am a stronger advocate for the sport and our athletes and program at APU now then I was before experiencing the meet. The meet showed me that this is a viable and exciting sport that I believe should and will catch fire.
Coach Colleen Kausrud
What is the most significant different between Stunts & Tumbling and other comparable sports?
I think that the most comparable sport would be gymnastics and the difference would be combining gymnastics with stunting to make it more exciting and show off some real athletisism.
How did the team perform given this unique format?
The girls absolutely loved this type of competition and are going to have a hard time going back to a “cheerleading competition”. They performed better than they ever have and had more than 2 ½ minutes to prove themselves and they stepped it up!
What did you learn about yourself as a coach in preparation for this new sport?
I had to definitely look at the girls individually in using their skills to better our score. It was different in that we could actually use a bench or substitutes. It felt like there was coaching strategy. To be able to use different talents for different skills gave our coaching staff a new perspective on how to recruit for next season. LOVED IT!
Ali Bundrant, Sophomore Base/Back on S&T Team (#14)
Describe the atmosphere of MacArthur Court for the Stunts & Tumbling Meet.
The atmosphere of the MacArthur Court was unlike any atmosphere I have ever experienced regarding a competition setting. For the first time I felt like a collegiate athlete! I think this is what it should feel like. The arena was exciting and filled with great energy. Being in front of the crowd for the entire competition, including warm ups was also a new experience. This felt similar to a gymnastics meet! I loved how the meet was not just 2mins and 15 seconds for us to show our skill, but rather we had a chance to prove ourselves with the heats of stunts, pyramids, baskets, tumbling! It made it more worthwhile, and more worthwhile for the audience.
What was your favorite aspect of the meet?
My favorite aspect of the meet was the visible head to head competition between the different colleges. I think it helped the viewers to see the difference of the teams.
What do you wish people understood about Stunts & Tumbling?
I wish people knew more about how hard we work, for our 2min 15 second routine. And how it is not as easy as it maybe looks!
Mike Belotti, University of Oregon Athletic Director
What was your perspective on the Stunts & Tumbling Meet?
I’m picking it up as we go. It’s impressive. I’m excited by the athleticism of the group. I mean, wow, the coordination, the skill level. I’m understanding more the competitive aspect, the judging aspect and we’ve worked really hard to make it a fan-friendly deal.
Ok, so if Mike Bellotti has been won over with this sport, it might be time to take a closer look.
The Cougars are planning on hosting three meets next year, and traveling to at least two other NCSTA sanctioned meets.