Making History: Talladega College Gymnastics Team Makes HBCU Proud with NCAA Victory

Making History: Talladega College Gymnastics Team Makes HBCU Proud with NCAA Victory
  • PublishedMarch 4, 2024

In a groundbreaking achievement, the Talladega College gymnastics team has etched their name in the annals of history, becoming the first Historically Black College or University (HBCU) to clinch an NCAA Team Competition title. This monumental feat underscores the team’s rapid rise since the inception of their gymnastics program just last January.

On February 9th, Talladega College made waves at the Centenary College Gymnastics competition held in Shreveport, LA, where they faced off against Centenary and Alaska. Competing across disciplines including vault, uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercises, Talladega’s standout performer Kyrstin Johnson led the charge with an impressive score of 38.95. Following closely behind were Alexa Chuy and Kiora Peart-Williams, with scores of 38.275 and 37.375, respectively.

Speaking to the local CBS affiliate, Talladega’s head coach, Aja Sims-Fletcher, expressed her pride in her team’s historic achievement. She emphasized the significance of their win for minority athletes, particularly gymnasts, who often lack opportunities to compete at the collegiate level. Sims-Fletcher’s mantra for the inaugural season, “BTU: Bigger Than Us,” reflects the team’s collective mission to transcend boundaries and pave the way for future generations.

For Peart-Williams, a native of Ontario, Canada, the victory holds profound significance. “A lot of people don’t even get to make it to college gymnastics, especially being from Canada where we don’t have that and I have to go to a different country to try and find that,” she shared. “I’m so grateful that I got to be one of the few girls to do that and make history.”

The triumph of the Talladega College gymnastics team not only marks a historic milestone for HBCUs but also serves as a testament to the power of determination, talent, and collective vision. As they continue to inspire and blaze new trails, their victory resonates far beyond the confines of the gymnastics arena, leaving an indelible mark on the landscape of collegiate sports.

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