April 14, 2014
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina's Spirit Squads - the Catamount Cheerleaders and WCU Dance Team - both competed over the weekend in the 2014 National Cheerleading Association (NCA) and National Dance Alliance (NDA) Collegiate Cheer & Dance Championship in Daytona Beach, Fla.
The WCU Dance Team made program history at the competition by becoming the first team from Western Carolina to advance into the championship round, finishing fifth out of a combined 22 teams overall in the Open Division I competition, which included fellow Southern Conference member, Georgia Southern, which also made the 12-team final.
Following the preliminary round of competition, the WCU Dance team sat in seventh place in the largest division in the championship, which advanced the team into the finals. The squad then advanced two spots in the overall standings in the Dance Open I finals, compiling a score of 9.438 from the judges to record the highest-ever finish by a WCU squad at the competition.
Utah Valley edged Sam Houston State to win the Dance Open I competition with a score of 9.840 over SHSU's 9.822. Idaho State (9.487) was third followed by Illinois State (9.469) and WCU.
Catamount Cheer just missed the finals from the preliminary round, finishing as the first team below the cut-off line for the six-team championship round. The cheerleaders performed a second time in the Challenge Cup round marking their second performance at the 2014 event.
The first NCA College National Championship was held at SMU in Dallas, Texas, back in 1981. The event was moved to Daytona Beach, Fla., in 1996. All told, the 2014 championships featured 11 dance divisions and 17 cheer divisions separating tams by designation of All-Girl or Coed, skill level, style of dance and university enrollment (Division I, IA, II, III), junior college and NAIA.
The events from Daytona Beach will be rebroadcasted on the CBS Sports Network in the coming weeks. The NCA College Dance program will air on April 27 with the NCA College Cheer show to air on May 4.
Tryouts for the 2014-15 Catamount Cheerleading squad will be held Friday, April 25 through Sunday, April 27 in historic Reid Gymnasium on the Western Carolina campus. Auditions for the 2014-15 WCU Dance Team are slated for that same weekend on Saturday, April 26 in Studio One of the Campus Recreation Center (CRC).