A new team on the Converse Valkyries’ roster, Acrobatics and Tumbling will host its home opener against Gannon University Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 6 :00 p.m. in the Weisiger Center’s Hannah Gym. The team’s inaugural season began with two wins on the road against King University (Tenn.) and Georgetown College (S.C.).
Preseason rankings placed the Valkyries among the top-10 in the country, and as the highest-ranked program among the four teams debuting this February. Converse faces a full schedule with matchups against Baylor and Fairmont State on the horizon.
“My goal is to be as competitive as possible throughout our first season and continue to progress each meet.”
“I believe we are going to have a solid first-year,” said coach Keegan Johnson. “My goal is to be as competitive as possible throughout our first season and continue to progress each meet. When we first received our schedule, we knew this would be a challenging year, especially with all of our meets being against well-established teams. My main desire for this team is to perform to the best of their abilities and ensure they compete clean events each time they go out on the mat.”
Acrobatics and Tumbling is among the Valkyries 13 sports, and brought to Converse 36 students from 13 states. “We are delighted to join such a rapidly growing sport as Acrobatics and Tumbling and to see our team launch with such a strong showing,” said athletic director Joy Couch. “Converse Athletics has enjoyed tremendous success over the past several years, more than doubling our roster of sports to 13 and quadrupling our number of student athletes. Acrobatics and Tumbling continues Converse’s mission of providing access for students in areas where they have interest and ability to excel.”
Acrobatics and Tumbling is the evolution of different forms of gymnastics. The sport involves tumbling, tosses, acrobatic lifts and pyramids. Teams compete in six events including – compulsories, acro, pyramid, toss, tumbling and team event. The skill sets of tumbling and acrobatics are the athletic aspects of cheerleading. Lifts and tosses seen in cheerleading are acrobatics gymnastics skills. Competitors in this sport demonstrate significant strength, power, flexibility, and balance in their skill set performed.
Member institutions have a team roster size of 24-40 athletes who compete in 6-8 meets each year. The season begins in February and continues through the end of April with the NCATA National Championships.
Converse became the 14th member of the National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association (NCATA), which has grown to 22 members over the last year. Current members include Baylor, Oregon, and Quinnipiac at the Division I level. Alderson-Broaddus, Azusa Pacific, Converse, Davis & Elkins, Fairmont State, Gannon, Glenville State, Hawaii-Pacific, King (Tenn.), Urbana, West Liberty, and West Virginia Wesleyan compete in Division II, with Adrian, Concordia (Wisc.), and East Texas Baptist in Division III; and, Arizona Christian and Georgetown (Ky.) in the NAIA. Presbyterian and Limestone Colleges are set to join next season.
The National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association (NCATA) is the governing body for Acrobatics and Tumbling. All NCATA events are sanctioned through USA Gymnastics. For more information, visit www.theNCATA.org.