Athletics and Tumbling Shines in Second Full Season

Apr 21, 2022 10:00 AM

The Frostburg State Acrobatic & Tumbling team’s quest for an MEC championship came up just two points shy as their memorable team season came to an end, falling to Fairmont State in the conference final meet. It was Frostburg’s first appearance in the MEC final in just their second full season, one year after having made the conference tournament semifinal in their inaugural season.

At the beginning of the season, an MEC preseason poll predicted that the team would end up in third place. By the end, they were in second place, and a student-athlete and coach had won top awards.

The championships kicked off with the compulsory event, with the Bobcats coming out with a slight advantage, scoring 35.375 to the Falcons’ 35.125. Frostburg took narrow heats with a 9.425 in the pyramid and an 8.825 in the acro heat to set the sides apart in the early stages. Scores in other heats were even.

In the acro event, both teams again were very sharp, with the Bobcats taking narrow wins in the six-element (9.425) and the seven-element (9.35) to go on to take the event 27.975 to 27.325.

With each team separated by less than a point, they headed to the pyramid event. The Bobcats and the Falcons performed identical skills in the inversion heat, but it was the synchronized heat that separated the two, as Frostburg scored a 9.425 to Fairmont’s 8.45, the largest heat difference of the day. The overall score for the pyramid event came in at 28.55-27.250, as the teams went into halftime with Frostburg leading 91.90-89.7.

The toss event started off the second half of the meet, with the Bobcats again coming out on top. The teams scored evenly in the first two heats, but Frostburg earned a strong 9.5 out of a possible 9.9 in the open heat to take the event 27.2-26.375.

In the tumbling event, the Falcons pulled the meet back to almost even with an overall event score of 54.4, using big performances in the six-element (9.675) and open (9.85) passes to top Frostburg’s score of 52.65. With the overall score now at 171.75 for Frostburg and 170.475 for Fairmont, the meet was in the balance going into the team event.

Frostburg scored a solid 83.8 for a 255.55 total scored on the day, but Fairmont put together an impressively clean event to score an 86.22 and narrowly take the championship with a score of 256.695.

The impressive season also resulted in a number of individual honors, including conference-leading accolades.

Sophomore Alexis Palmieri was named Specialist of the Year after starring in the pyramid event for FSU this season. During the synchronized and open pyramid heats, Palmieri competes as the primary base in a backbend position. During the event, she has helped Frostburg average a 9.38 in the synchronized and a 9.55 in the open. Palmieri and the Bobcats scored a season-high 9.60 in the synchronized pyramid against Davis & Elkins and recorded back-to-back scores of 9.80 in the open pyramid against West Virginia Wesleyan and West Liberty to wrap up the regular season.

Katie Nunley was voted the league’s Coach of the Year after leading Frostburg to a 4-2 conference record and the No. 2 seed in the MEC Tournament in just the second season of competition for the Bobcat program. Having been picked to finish third in the conference preseason poll, Frostburg finished the year with a 5-4 overall record, while breaking the 250-scoring mark in five of seven meets, including a season-high 258.990 at Davis & Elkins (3/19) and 258.820 at West Liberty (4/2).

Among the All-MEC performers, sophomores Navah Marierose, Abbie Baker and Laiken Spahr all were named to the first team, while senior Hannah Krumpach earned a place on the second team. It is the second straight year Baker has earned first team honors, as she was the only MEC athlete to win multiple Athlete of the Week honors, earning three during the season. Spahr also earned her second straight All-MEC honors, having been named to the 2021 second team, as Marierose and Krumpach earned their first All-MEC honors.