Acrobatics & TumblingSports

Four home meets and a spread out schedule brings advantages for Oregon acrobatics and tumbling

Last year, at San Francisco International Airport, the Oregon acrobatics and tumbling team went viral — performing to Beyonce’s “Flawless” on a moving walkway.

The performance was inspired during a 13-hour flight delay.

Long flights and quick road trips were something the Ducks had to go through last year. Their travel extended from Quinnipiac University (Hamden, Connecticut) to Fairmont State University (Fairmont, West Virginia) and Hawaii Pacific University (Honolulu, Hawaii).

This season, the schedule — which was unveiled last Wednesday — is more travel-friendly, with road trips spread out and no trip to the Hawaiian islands.

“Our kids always make traveling really fun,” head coach Chelsea Shaw said. “They’re a fun group to travel with, but hopefully all our flights are on time this year.”

Shaw sat down with the Emerald to discuss the team’s schedule this year.

Emerald: You had three home meets per year the last two years. This year, you have four. How does it feel to get that extra meet at home?

Shaw: We were really excited. So, the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association (NCATA) puts out a schedule and we’re able to add or kind of change around meets however we need. One thing that was important for me this year was to try and get another home meet because our fans love our sport and our girls love our sport. But sometimes, the home season is over in a few weekends. We tried to spread them out a little better this year where we have one in February, two in March and one in April, which is hopefully going to make this season feel longer for our home fans.

E: On the idea of spreading the schedule out: What kind of advantages does that have to get more fans out there?

CS: I just think that it’s exciting for the fans because they’ll get to follow our season and our progress throughout the whole season. In the past, our meets, like you said, were pretty close together so the fans didn’t really get to see how our team progressed throughout the year, how they got better, and how things evolve and change throughout the year. So I’m excited for them to see how we start and then how we finish. They’ll get to follow us the whole way through.

E: You have Baylor and Hawaii Pacific within the first three weeks: How excited are you to get those two early and try to overcome those losses from last year?

CS: It’s exciting. Both those teams are really good teams so we’re excited to go head-to-head with them again, but our team is ready. This team is pretty incredible — not only talent-wise, but their mindset is right and they’re motivated. It’s refreshing. It’s a good start and it’s a whole different dynamic from last year to this year so we’re excited to go up against the best teams.

E: In regard to traveling, last year you would have road trips where you had three meets in a week and a half. Now it’s a little more spread out. What kind of advantage, from a traveling standpoint, does it have to spread out?

CS: Usually that happens on our spring break trip, which is fun, but it is tiring. It’s exhausting. This year, on our spring break trip, we’re hitting two teams on a Saturday and one on Tuesday. I think it’s great and our kids are ready to rally. We train them no matter what the circumstance is. And they could compete five times in a row if needed. Plus it’s kind of good preparation for the national championship because those meets are kind of back-to-back-to-back and sometimes there are two meets in a day and that happens to be the biggest meet of the whole thing — the finals of the national championship.

E: No Hawaii trip this year, right?

CS: Nope. Not this year, but maybe next.

E: A little somber?

CS: [Laughs] You know, the girls loved the Hawaii trip last year. It was such a fun team bonding experience. We got to go the majority of spring break last year, which was so fun. They got to go snorkeling and paddle boarding and a lot of team meals — just a lot of bonding time because normally our trips are pretty quick because we have to get back before school. It was nice for them to get away and have some down time even though it was a tough meet.

The team’s regular season schedule is listed below:


Feb 07
Concordia-Wisconsin at Concordia, WI TBA

Feb 13
Hawaii Pacific Eugene, OR TBA

Feb 21
Baylor at Waco, TX TBA

Mar 07
Adrian and King Eugene, OR TBA

Mar 12
Quinnipiac Eugene, OR TBA

Mar 19
Gannon and King at Erie, PA TBA

Mar 22
Fairmont State at Fairmont, WV TBA

Apr 01
Baylor Eugene, OR TBA

Apr 04
Azusa Pacific at Azusa, CA TBA

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Joseph Hoyt

Joseph Hoyt

Joseph is in his third year as a sports reporter at the Emerald. If you have any questions for the reporter, email Joseph at [email protected]