The Boise State gymnastics team is sending two members to the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics National Championships this weekend.
Despite not qualifying as a team, the Broncos are sending juniors Ciera Perkins and Kelsey Morris to the biggest stage of collegiate gymnastics.
“I’m excited. We are going against teams we haven’t competed against and girls we haven’t seen before,” Perkins said. “I’m just excited to go out there and show people who Boise State is and show them we have amazing talent and we can go to nationals next year.”
Both Perkins and Morris won their respective events to qualify for nationals: Perkins on floor exercise and Morris on uneven bars.
“Just being able to represent Boise State is such an honor,” Morris said. “I want to put us on the map and let people know that we are out there.”
Perkins and Morris join a shortlist of national qualifiers in school history. Only seven other individuals have qualified for nationals.
“I’m so proud of them and I am super excited to see these two particular girls going to nationals,” co-head coach Tina Bird said. “They are both leaders and work harder than anyone else in the gym.”
Morris became the first ever Bronco in school history to qualify for uneven bars. Morris is the first to go in floor exercise since Hannah Redmon did it back in 2010.
They are not letting all the attention and pressure that comes with making it to nationals get to them.
“The most important part for me is to take a moment and sit back and enjoy it,” Morris said. “I realize how lucky I am and how cool of an experience this is going to be.”
Whatever happens at nationals the girls are just happy to be able to have this opportunity.
“Pretty much go out there and have fun is the way I am looking at this,” Perkins said. “Show people I’m happy to be there and realize this is a life experience that I will always remember.”
Both Morris and Perkins wish though they would be able to share this experience with their teammates.
“That’s one of the bittersweet parts of going to nationals — not being able to go there with our teammates,” Morris said. “But just knowing that they are supporting us and wishing us well will get us through the meet.”
Morris and Perkins attribute all their success this season to their team and will be competing for them.
“Without our teammates support we definitely wouldn’t be standing here,” Perkins said. “They definitely motivate us to be the best we can be.”
They know they are more than capable of being successful and know exactly what they need to do in order to make that a reality.
“We have done the work already,” Morris said. “Now it’s just a matter of going out there and executing it like we have all season.”
Perkins and Morris have cemented their legacies at Boise State and Bird sees the national championships as the perfect capstone.
“I’m expecting them to go in and do what they have been doing all season long and do the best routines they can do,” Bird said. “When they do that no matter what the outcome is I will be happy with that.”