QU Acrobatics & Tumbling Claims Open Toss at NCATA Individual Events; Two Bobcats Recognized as All-Americans

QU Acrobatics & Tumbling Claims Open Toss at NCATA Individual Events; Two Bobcats Recognized as All-Americans

Fairmont, W.Va. – The Quinnipiac University acrobatics & tumbling team captured the Open Toss to take home their only event at the National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association (NCATA) Individual National Championships on Thursday evening. Along with the event title, two Bobcats were recognized by the NCATA for their achievement on the mats for the 2015 season. Juniors Brooke Artz (Whitman, Massachusetts) and Taylor Johnson (Foxboro, Massachusetts) were named to the All-American Team. Quinnipiac opens the team competition at the Joe Retton Arena in Fairmont, West Virginia this weekend.

For the first time in program history, the Bobcats took home the Open heat of the Toss event. Quinnipiac entered as the number one seed after scoring a 9.85 in their final meet against Gannon. The Bobcats took on two Alderson Broaddus teams and Baylor. Sophomore Kelsey Rule (Kendall Park, New Jersey), Christine Rochester (Waterford, Connecticut), Kayla McCormack (Hanson, Massachusetts), Allee Tallman (Farmington, New York) and Brittney Kusmierski (Omaha, Nebraska) all combined in the event for the individual title. This is the fourth individual event the Bobcats have won, after finishing first in the Twisting Pyramid the last two years and also winning the Release Pyramid in 2013. Last season, Quinnipiac scored a perfect 10 in the second heat of the pyramid and in 2013, the Bobcats took a three-way tie with a score of 9.85 in the event along with Azusa Pacific and Oregon. QU made it two straight, when the squad scored a 9.90 in the release pyramid and clinched a share of the title with Oregon who posted an identical score.

In addition to team accolades, two Bobcats were presented with NCATA individual honors as well. Artz was named to the All-American team for the second consecutive year while Johnson takes home her first honor. Artz, a back base competed in the Compulsory Pyramid, Flip and Twisting Pyramid, 7-Element Acro, 2-Element Toss, Duo and Aerial Pass and the Team event in every meet this year. She also took part in the Compulsory Acro in the first two meets of the year. She scored a season best 9.40 in the Aerial Pass at home in a tri-meet with Alderson Broaddus and Hawai'i Pacific. Johnson, a top competed in the Compulsory Pyramid and Tumbling, 7-Element Acro, Twisting and Release Pyramid, Quad and Open Tumbling Pass and Team event in every meet this year. She also took part in the 2-Element Toss heat against Gannon and Compulsory Acro in the first two meets of the season. Johnson is 7-1 in the Open Pass while recording a season high score of 9.85 in the final competition at Gannon.

Alderson Broaddus' Jacqueline Eshleman was rewarded with NCATA Coach of the Year honors; Baylor's Kiara Nowlin was named Most Outstanding Athlete; Azusa Pacific's Claire Dresselhaus earned Academic Athlete of the Year honors and Baylor's Shayla Moore was tabbed Freshman of the Year.

The Baylor Bears fared well throughout the evening, taking eight event titles before night's end. Oregon took four events while Alderson Broaddus, Hawai'i Pacific and Quinnipiac each had one.

The No. 5 Bobcats will take the mats Friday afternoon in the NCATA National Quarterfinals at Fairmont State. Quinnipiac will face No. 4 Azusa Pacific at the Joe Retton Arena with competition scheduled to start at 12 p.m.

2015 NCATA All Americans
Oregon:
Tara Lubert – Senior – Base – Yorba Linda, Calif.
Krista Phillips – Sophomore – Base – Murrieta, Calif.

Baylor:
Shayla Moore – Freshman – Base – Alpharetta, Ga.
Kiara Nowlin – Sophomore – Top/Base – Oxnard, Calif.
Keegan Johnson – Senior – Back Base – West Chicago, Ill.

Hawai'i Pacific:
Amara Poquette – Freshman – Base – Spokane, Wash.
Melanie Hew – Senior – Base – Toronto, Ontario
Ahnaliese Spitzer – Junior – Base – Lakewood, Colo

Alderson Broaddus:
Alia Nolan – Sophomore – Top – Reno, Nev.

Fairmont State:
Danielle DiCarlo – Senior – Top – Steubenville, Ohio

Quinnipiac:
Brooke Artz – Junior – Back Base – Whitman, Mass.
Taylor Johnson – Junior – Top – Foxboro, Mass.

2015 NCATA MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER
Baylor:
Kiara Nowlin – Sophomore – Top/Base – Oxnard, Calif.

2015 NCATA FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Baylor:
Shayla Moore – Freshman – Base – Alpharetta, Ga.  

LOUISE GOODRUM ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
 Azusa Pacific:
Claire Dresselhaus – Senior – Top – Wheaton, Ill.

NCATA COACH OF THE YEAR
Alderson Broaddus:
Jacqueline Eshleman