April 6, 2011WACO, Texas - Baylor competitive cheer wraps up its inaugural season at the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association National Championships starting Thursday at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Ore. The event runs through Saturday.
"With a month off from competing and a lot of down time, there was time to lose focus and attention," head coach Karry Forsythe said. "The girls have really pulled it all together, and going into the championship, I think it's anyone's game."
The tournament is a six-team bracket in which the bottom four seeds face each other in the first round on Thursday and the winners continue on to compete against the top two seeds in Friday's second round. The winners of the second-round matches will compete Saturday in the Championship final.
The Skill Event National Championships in the Stunt, Pyramid, Basket Toss, and Tumbling Events will also be held Saturday.
"We had seven individual events qualify for the championships on Saturday, which means we had one of the four highest scores in each of those events this season," Forsythe said. "Our girls will be able to go out on Saturday and compete for some kind of award regardless of how they do in the team competitions on Thursday and Friday. We also had five girls qualify for All-American and we'll find out tomorrow at the banquet if they received it or not. We're really excited about that."
Team seeds were determined by the average of every team's top two home and top two away scores. Oregon (6-1) received the No. 1 seed and Maryland (8-0) also received a first-round bye as the No. 2 seed.
Baylor (2-4) secured a fourth seed and takes on against No. 5 seed Fairmont State Thursday at 7 p.m. CDT in the first round. Azusa Pacific claimed the No. 3 seed with a 3-4 overall season finish and will compete against No. 6 seed Quinnipiac in the first round.
"Fairmont is ranked fifth, but I think they're probably one of the better smaller schools competing," Forsythe said. "I think they've had a really tough schedule this season and they are going to come out fighting. Our girls are really going to have to give it their all. It should not be an easy win. We have to remain focused on what we're doing."
If the Bears defeat Fairmont State in the quarterfinals, they will continue on to face No. 1 Oregon in the second round. With wins in the first two rounds, Baylor would take on either Maryland, Quinnipiac or Azusa Pacific in Saturday's final.