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Collins Commits to Baylor's NCAA Division I Program

The sport of Acro & Tumbling (A&T) is relatively new, especially at the collegiate level, but once Zöe Collins '20 discovered it, she knew it was just what she had been searching for. As a gymnast since the age of three, Zöe grew up loving the sport. However, a couple of years ago, she began to feel that she had given gymnastics all she had to offer. After being injured and away for the sport for a while, she came back to compete one last year as an artistic gymnast and finished up her gymnastics career at Regionals as a Level 8. A new twist on the sport presented itself at just the right time for Zöe, who had long been associated with First State Gymnastics.
Zöe was more than happy to try the new sport of Acrobatic Gymnastics when it was initially offered by her club in 2018. The combination of tumbling, gymnastics, and cheerleading stunting appealed to Zöe, as it played to her physical strengths—so much so that she happily became an inaugural member of the First State Gymnastics Acrobatic Gymnastics team.

Collins and her partner won the Level 8 National Championships in Acrobatic Gymnastics in 2019, just one year after being introduced to the sport. She attracted the attention of Baylor University’s Acro & Tumbling Head Coach Felicia Mulkey. Coach Fee, as she is well known, is one of the integral creators of the sport and responsible for the successful A&T program at Baylor. This began a ten-month long recruiting process that ended with Collins recently accepting Coach Fee’s offer to attend Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and join their Acro & Tumbling Division I program.

With approximately 30 colleges and universities now fielding Acro & Tumbling teams, Baylor has distinguished itself with five consecutive national championship titles. Zöe is very excited to know that her A&T career will continue at Baylor, and she is looking forward to being a member of such a successful team. For now, Zöe is also excited about the remainder of her competitive season with First State Gymnastics, which will end in June 2020.

Zöe, a member of Sanford’s Fellowship for Christian Athletes, stated: “I want to thank Sanford for recognizing that this sport is so important to me and for allowing me the time required to devote to practice and to travel across the country to participate in competitions. I dedicate at least 20 hours a week at the gym practicing.”

As she thinks ahead to college, Zöe is not quite ready to select a major. She remains open to the academic possibilities that she knows await her at Baylor. As Zöe’s family prepares to have their daughter trade in Sanford’s blue and gold for the Baylor Bears' green and yellow, she shared this thought: “My family—including my younger brother—have made many sacrifices so I could pursue this dream. I thank my entire family for the time and energy that they have invested in order to help me become my best self. I am looking forward to my future at Baylor University. Sic ’em Bears!”

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