Cheer Squad Takes 10th at Nationals

The BYU Cheerleading squad earned its highest finish ever at this year's national Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championship.

The BYU Cheerleading squad brought home its highest finish ever at the NCA/NDA Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championship, finishing 10th at the 2007 competition held April 6-7 in Daytona Beach, Fla.

"I'm so proud of how far we've come in such a short time," said cheer coach Nicole Pratt. "This is a very dedicated and committed team. They worked so hard all year long to support BYU athletics. We're proud to be able to represent BYU at a national level. It's a great honor."

In just their fourth appearance at the national competition, the Cougars advanced to the final round for the first time in program history. Their score of 7.90 landed them the 10th-place finish as Louisville took the title.

Teams begin the qualification process for the Championship in December when they are required to send in a qualification video. Teams are then invited to participate in the event based on their videos. A preliminary round is held with the top 50 percent of competitors plus one additional team making the finals. Those who do not make the finals can participate in the Challenge Cup with the winner also advancing, which BYU took advantage of this year after a rocky preliminary performance.

Judging is similar to gymnastics in that teams can achieve a certain number of points based on criteria such as tumbling, stunting and crowd involvement. Deductions are also taken for boundary and safety violations.

The competition will be aired nationally on Saturday at 1 p.m. MDT on the Fox Sports Network (FSN). The Cougarettes also competed in the event on the dance side, winning their seventh national title in a tie with the Cardinals.

Tags: Feature