Fisk University 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 want to make history?”

On Friday, those that accepted her provide did simply that — and Fisk grew to become the primary HBCU gymnastics workforce to compete on the NCAA stage.

Going through 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 recognized. 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 huge 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 lots of, together with Muhammad and Tarver, had tears of their eyes.

“It’s humbling,” Tarver informed ESPN forward of the meet. “Something that’s a long time coming and so I’m so proud to be able to bring the team to the floor that is a historically Black college and university. It’s the first time ever so we’re ready to go.”

Morgan Worth, 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.

Worth, who beforehand informed 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 really cool,” Worth informed ESPN on Thursday. “We have a lot of eyes on us because we are the first and because we are making history, so it’s just so exciting to be a part of the first team ever.”

Tarver mentioned she was amazed by the nice and cozy welcome the workforce had obtained 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 towards the 2021 NCAA champion Michigan workforce on Jan. 13.