Oregon: For the Win! Ducks Soar Past Terrapins for NCATA Title

Oregon won three of the first four events and held off Maryland’s late rally for a thrilling 283.481-283.352 victory in the NCATA Team Championships.

EUGENE – Consider it even.

Weeks after preseason No. 1 Maryland rallied past the Oregon acrobatics and tumbling team to end to its undefeated regular season, the Ducks returned the favor by jumping out to an early lead that was never relinquished in a 283.481-283.352 win at the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association Team Championships at Matthew Knight Arena on Saturday.

In a fitting championship matchup, the top-two teams in the preseason poll and the tournament display did not disappoint the crowd of 1,021. Each squad showcased its own individual strengths at various points of the meet in what turned out to be a fight to the finish.

The Ducks jumped out to an early lead in a competitive compulsories round. Oregon won both the stunt (9.78-9.61) and tumbling (9.87-9.69). The teams tied in both the pyramid (9.80) and basket toss (9.65) heats to grab a 39.10-38.75 lead after the opening event.

UO took two of three stunt heats, the five-element (9.70-9.65) and seven-element (9.69-9.54), but UMD posted a decisive win in the six-element heat, 9.59-9.33. The second-heat score allowed the Terrapins to creep slightly closer with a final event score of 28.78-28.72.

Oregon’s national champion pyramid lineup executed its strongest routine in any dual with a 29.65. An early bobble in Maryland’s routine dropped the Terps’ score to 28.65, which gave the Ducks a 97.470-96.130 lead at halftime.

The Ducks stormed out of the break and swept all three heats of the basket toss. Oregon’s heat scores of 9.50, 9.65 and 9.45 outdid Maryland’s totals of 9.35, 9.32 and 9.20 and equaled a 28.60-27.87 event win for UO.

Maryland gained ground early in tumbling, outscoring Oregon 8.72-8.35 in the duo pass and 8.65-8.53 to eat into the deficit. Oregon’s edged out Maryland in the final group pass, the quad, 8.26-8.17 to expand the lead heading into the three solo passes.

The Ducks claimed two of the three passes with Kelsey Rowell besting individual champion Season Daugherty, 8.60-8.35, in the ariel pass and individual champion Natasha Katzaroff winning the open pass, 9.55-9.15. The Terrapins did post a decisive, 9.50-8.60, win in the six-element pass and took the event 52.54-51.89.

The Terps’ win in tumbling trimmed the Ducks’ lead to 1.42 points heading into the team routine. Oregon opened up with a clean routine and scored a 105.521, four-tenths higher than their score against Baylor the night before and the fifth-straight meet the Ducks scored above a 105 in the final event.

Maryland put together an impressive display of its own, outscoring Oregon with a 106.812. Still, the Ducks’ early lead held strong by .129 points to give Oregon the inaugural team title.

Earlier in the day, the Ducks and Terrapins each put forth strong performances at the NCATA Individual Event Championships. Oregon and Maryland took 10 of the 13 individual national titles, with UO once again leading the way with six. Oregon claimed titles in the six and seven-element stunt heats, the pyramid, the last two heats of the basket toss and the open tumbling pass.

Oregon finishes the year with an 8-1 record with the championship win over the preseason NCATA favorite.

NCATA – Team Championship 2011 & NCATA – Individual Events Championships 2011