The gymnastics team at Private HBCU, Fisk University, made history with its recent NCAA debut in Las Vegas, Nevada.
According to ESPN, the team traveled to Vegas for the Super 16 event against various D1 schools, including North Carolina, Southern Utah and Washington.
“Fisk University’s gymnastics team is the first-ever gymnastics team from an HBCU. The Bulldogs make their debut tonight in Las Vegas. @FiskUGymnastics #ThatsaW,” ESPN’s social media team tweeted on Jan. 6.
Fisk University’s gymnastics team is the first-ever gymnastics team from an HBCU.
— ESPN (@espn) January 6, 2023
The team appeared less than 14 months after Fisk announced its inaugural gymnastics team.
“It’s humbling,” coach Corrine Tarver told ESPN. “Something that’s a long time coming, and so I’m so proud to be able to bring the team to the floor that is a historically Black college and university. It’s the first time ever, so we’re ready to go.”
The team’s leadoff gymnast, Naimah Muhammad, stunned attendees with her tumbling abilities, while Morgan Price, a five-star recruit who transferred to Fisk from Arkansas, proved to be the team’s best athlete. She competed in four events and earned the meet’s highest marks on the vault with a whopping 9.9 score.
“Sometimes gymnasts that are Black and Brown are looked at as not having the ideal body type, or they don’t have the right lines or things of that nature,” Traver added, explaining that Black women are viewed to have a “less feminine” shape in comparison to their white peers. However, she wants to change that.
“If they are not the superstars, they have a tendency to get overlooked a little. This is an opportunity for them to have a place because I understand how that feels, and I invite those girls to come on our team,” she said.
Despite their efforts, Fisk’s gymnastics team came in fourth place during the Las Vegas meet with a score of 186.700, but they have a chance to redeem themselves. The HBCU’s next appearance is scheduled for Jan. 13 vs. Michigan, the 2021 national champion.