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  • Writer's pictureHBCU CARES

Talladega College Gymnastics Becomes First HBCU To Win An NCAA Team Competition

Originally reported by Quintessa Williams at HBCUBuzz

Talladega College Gymnastics are writing their own story. This past month, they won the team competition against Centenary and Alaska at the Centenary College Gymnastics competition in Shreveport, LA, on Friday, Feb. 9. The win marks Talladega Gymnastics the first HBCU team to win an NCAA team competition.

The Lady Tornadoes Kyrstin Johnson led the all-around competition with a 38.95 score, followed by teammates Alexa Chuy (38.275), and Kiora Peart-Williams (37.375).

The TC gymnasts competed on the vault, uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercises, led by Coach Aja Sims-Fletcher, who’s been with TU since February 2023. Sims-Fletcher is a Southeastern Conference (SEC) champion, who has coached at various levels, including collegiate, club, and high school. “BTU, —” bigger than us” is the team’s 2024 motto.

“It’s bigger than us, but truly bigger for the whole sport,” Sims-Fletcher tells Arielle Schafer at CBS 42. 

Talladega set a new HBCU women’s gymnastics record by winning the team competition with an overall score of 192.2. Centenary posted a score of 189.15, while Alaska recorded 191.525. The Tornadoes topped three out of four events.

Talladega College is the second Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the Nation to sponsor collegiate women’s gymnastics. The college announced its gymnastics team last January, partnering with Brown Girls Do Gymnastics (BGDG) and the HBCU Gymnastics Alliance to create their gymnastics team.

Congratulations to the Talladega Lady Tornadoes on this historic achievement!!!

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