Price, Fisk Gymnastics turning heads

Posted at 9:43 AM, Jan 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-20 10:43:52-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As the nation’s first HBCU gymnastics program, Fisk University has taken the sport by storm this winter.

Gyms in Las Vegas, Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Athens, Georgia have been packed to see them compete. Lines have formed to greet the gymnasts.

"Everyone is super welcoming of us," Fisk freshman Morgan Price said. "And they're just proud of us for being pioneers and making history."

No one expected the Bulldogs to already be competing for medals, but Price has already shown this team is one to be reckoned with.

In her first collegiate meet Price stuck the landing on her vault, scoring a near-perfect 9.9 to the delight of the Vegas crowd. Then Monday, in just the program's third meet, Price captured the individual all-around title at the University of Georgia Quad-Meet.

"I didn't actually know I got first place until they said it," Price said. "It's just super exciting to be the first Fisk gymnast to win an all-around title."

Price tied for first on the vault, tied for third on the parallel bars and took home the all-around title with a score of 39.375. She beat out upperclassmen stars from Georgia, Ohio State and Rutgers to take home the honor.

"I know that's a confidence boost (for her)," Fisk head coach Corrinne Tarver said. "To be able to know that even though she's at Fisk she can still be competitive with SEC and Big Ten schools."

But as big of a surprise as Price's win was, perhaps the biggest upset is the fact the Lebanon native's competing for Fisk in the first place.

Tarver described the commitment of the five-star local product as huge for the validation of her start up program. Price was originally committed to Arkansas where she was planning to join her older sister Frankie on the team. But when she learned that Fisk was launching a program in time for her freshman year she decommitted from the Razorbacks so she could stay closer to home and help the Bulldogs make history.

"I always wanted to go to an HBCU and do the sport that I love," Price said. "So when I saw I could have the opportunity to come to Fisk and do gymnastics I knew I wanted to be a part of this team."

The early success in her freshman season has helped validate Price's decision to buck the trend, skipping the glitz and glamour of a larger SEC program for a program in its infancy.

"I think some people thought, 'oh, she's going to Fisk, she might be able to do as well as if she went to Arkansas' or 'if she had gone there she would have been able to do better,'" Tarver said. "Well, obviously not."

And she hopes further helps Fisk put HBCU gymnastics on the map.

"I just hope it shows the younger African-American girls and boys not to be afraid to go to a HBCU," Price said. "Just because it's smaller or not as pretty or not as big as an SEC school or something like that, you can still do just as amazing and be yourself at an HBCU."