FAIRMONT, W.Va. – An impressive season for the Fairmont State acrobatics and tumbling program continues on a much larger stage.
The Falcons qualified for the NCATA national championship tournament in Eugene, Oregon.
It all started with a 9-1 regular season and finishing with an undefeated record in Mountain East Conference competition that led to the program’s third-straight MEC title.
“This was extremely special for me. Just knowing that they’ve worked so hard all season and they’re energetic, they’re so positive and they’re great teammates to one another so just seeing them win and it just being a heartfelt win was pretty awesome,” Danielle Cutri, Fairmont State acro and tumbling head coach said.
The win was even sweeter for the Falcons because of how it played out. Cutri, two-year head coach of the Falcons and former Fairmont State acro and tumbling athlete, and her team recorded a comeback win to claim the championship over Frostburg State.
“Beating Frostburg three times is extremely difficult. We probably had one of the best comebacks in MEC history. We were down three points, we came back and we were a one point deficit after tumbling and then we knew if we hit our team event it was anybody’s game,” Cutri said.
Fairmont State enters the national tournament as the seventh seed in an all-division, eight-team, single-elimination field held at the University of Oregon.
Two-time MEC Athlete of the Year and Parkersburg South grad, Alexis Smith, takes pride in putting a small program in West Virginia on a national stage.
“It was really exciting. We get to compete against Division I schools like Oregon, Baylor, Quinnipiac so it’s really cool to see. I’m actually from West Virginia so it’s really cool to see Fairmont be able to go and showcase our skills at nationals,” Smith said.
Fairmont sees a somewhat familiar opponent in its first meet, two-seeded Azusa Pacific. Both the Falcons and Cougars are founding members of the sports and have a history of competing against each other.
“Azusa is an extremely talented team. But what’s awesome is they’re also division II so it’s kind of come full circle for me, I started competing against them and now we get to go to nationals and compete against them,” Cutri said.
The Falcons head to Eugene in hopes of continuing their run past the first round starting on April 28.