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Bali part of national championship squad

By Staff | May 12, 2011

Noelle Bali and her team won the first National Collegiate Athletics Acrobatics and Tumbling Association Championships.

LAHAINA — Noelle Bali is a member of the University of Oregon team that captured the overall title at the inaugural National Collegiate Athletics Acrobatics and Tumbling Association Championships held last month in Eugene, Oregon.

A member of the Lahainaluna High School Class of 2008, the daughter of Pearl and Derek Bali of Kahana was a cheerleader at Lahainaluna.

She has been participating with the Oregon acrobatics team for two years.

“It has been a truly surreal feeling to participate in this historic event,” she explained.

“We already felt like we accomplished something by just being there at the first national championships, but to win it is really amazing — we were totally shocked!”

This first-ever national event drew the six top teams from across the nation — Quinnipiac College, Fairmont State, Baylor University, Azusa Pacific, the University of Maryland and Oregon — to the Matthew Knight Arena on the “U of O” campus for the first national competition of its kind on this level.

In the end, the Oregon team edged past Maryland by .131 of a point to win the overall championship.

The competition spanned three days and included individual, partial team and full squad events that featured acrobatic and synchronized stunts and routines that wowed the crowd.