The small co-ed cheer squad won the National Cheer Alliance Collegiate National Championship for the second year in a row.
The cheer and pom squads competed at the NCA and National Dance Alliance Collegiate National Championships on April 8-12 in Daytona.
Both squads won national titles last year. The teams planned to defend their titles and bring more banners home to hang in Henry J. Freede Wellness and Activity Center, according to the team captains.
The cheer squad only brought one routine, which placed first in the prelims and the finals after competing against 16 other teams.
Kat Evens, elementary education and cheer sophomore, said the team was surprised they placed first in prelims because of some of the mistakes they made during the first day of competition.
Their final score was 92.60, beating Rogers State University (Claremore) by only 2.62 points.
“I think it is great that we were able to defend our title,” Evans said. “It is hard to get to the top and even harder to stay there.”
The pom squad competed against eight teams and brought two routines, a team performance and a hip-hop, which took third and fourth place.
“We weren’t happy with pom’s placing, but it only gives us more fire for next year,” said Tasha Hinex, interim head coach. “I think that it is great that cheer continues to win and excel.”
The cheer squad also won the small co-ed NAIA Cheer Invitational title March 14 in Fremont, Neb.
Evans said she is happy with how the year ended.
“I’m happy that, with all the obstacles that this team has been through this year, we were able to go show everyone that we are the best,” Evans said. “Hard work pays off.”
This was the Stars’ first season without former Head Coach Brandy Corcoran, who had coached since the programs began in 2008 and 2009. Hinex stood in as the interim head coach for this season.
“This was an interesting year and time in Daytona, but I wouldn’t change the time spent with the teams we have,” Hinex said. “They’re a great group of hard working, determined athletes.”