Fisk College debuts as first HBCU workforce in NCAA gymnastics

When Fisk gymnastics head coach Corrine Tarver first reached out to potential recruits, she led with a easy query:

“Do you wish to make historical past?”

On Friday, those that accepted her supply did simply that — and Fisk turned the primary HBCU gymnastics workforce to compete on the NCAA degree.

Dealing with North Carolina, Southern Utah and Washington on the Tremendous 16 occasion in Las Vegas, the Bulldogs made their eagerly awaited debut simply 14 months after the college initially introduced the formation of the workforce.

Fisk wasted no time in making its presence identified. Beginning the meet on flooring, Naimah Muhammad — the leadoff gymnast — confirmed no indicators of nerves and as an alternative wowed the gang together with her large tumbling. Ending the routine with a double tuck, she was met by her teammates and coaches as quickly as she walked off the ground, and plenty of, together with Muhammad and Tarver, had tears of their eyes.

“It is humbling,” Tarver instructed ESPN forward of the meet. “One thing that is a very long time coming and so I am so proud to have the ability to convey the workforce to the ground that may be a traditionally Black school and college. It is the primary time ever so we’re able to go.”

Morgan Value, the Bulldogs’ five-star recruit who had initially dedicated to Arkansas earlier than switching to Fisk, was the workforce’s strongest performer on the day, competing on all 4 occasions and incomes the meet’s highest rating on vault with a 9.9, due to her caught Yurchenko full.

Value, who beforehand instructed Sports activities Illustrated she had dreamed of being an HBCU gymnast even earlier than there was a workforce, knew what the day meant to the game.

“It feels actually cool,” Value instructed ESPN on Thursday. “We now have plenty of eyes on us as a result of we’re the primary and since we’re making historical past, so it is simply so thrilling to be part of the primary workforce ever.”

Tarver mentioned she was amazed by the nice and cozy welcome the workforce had acquired by their friends — and even some who weren’t in Las Vegas did so publicly. The Stanford workforce posted a video on social media wishing the Bulldogs luck earlier within the day.

Finally Fisk completed in fourth place with a rating of 186.700. Southern Utah (195.800) narrowly topped Washington by 0.325 for first place.

The Bulldogs will subsequent compete in opposition to the 2021 NCAA champion Michigan workforce on Jan. 13.