Stars take cheer and pom titles in NAIA South Regional qualifier

Oklahoma City Dance Team celebrates the victory at the NAIA South Regional Qualifier. Photo by Janice Houx.

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City competitive cheerleading team and dance team each took first place in the NAIA South Regional Qualifying Championship on Friday.

For the NAIA defending national champion OCU cheer team, it was the fifth consecutive year to take the title in the qualifying round. The Stars finished with 92.85, more than three points better than second place Bethel (Kan.), which earned 89.68 points.

OCU Competitive Cheerleading Team competes in the 2016 South Regional Qualifying Competition. OSN Staff photo.

OCU Competitive Cheerleading Team competes in the 2016 South Regional Qualifying Competition. OSN Staff photo.

“It feels really good,” said Alicia Bailey, OCU head cheerleading coach and spirit coordinator. “Our kids went in and had great energy and hit their skills great today.

“We had a couple of mistakes, but it was a really good stepping stone for us for nationals and in the future.”

The team earned an automatic bid as the winner of the South regional competition. The other regional qualifiers – North, East and Midwest – each will send an automatic bid, and eight other at-large bids will be determined from the four regions.

St. Gregory’s and Southwestern Christian also represented Oklahoma in the cheerleading competition, finishing fifth and ninth, respectively.

SGU coach Mandy Thomson reflected on her team’s performance.

“We did well today. We went into the final competition in third and in the final dropped a couple of stunts and ended up in fifth.

“But we’re pretty happy with that.”

The Cavs will wait to see if they will receive an at-large bid to NAIA nationals.

It marked the second year in a row for the OCU pom squad to earn a first place finish at the regional level, and an automatic bid to the national level.

The Stars scored 111.12 points overall and distanced themselves by more than five points from second place Baker (Kan.) who scored 105.61.

Tasha Hinex, assistant coach for the Stars’ competitive cheerleading and pom teams, who directs the pom squad, spoke about her team’s preparation for the event, specifically as the competition drew near.

“I feel great,” Hinex said. “I think this week’s hard work definitely paid off. They did a great job.”

Hinex also said she feels the team is where it needs to be at this point in the season.

“I think they’re on the right track. I think they’ve worked hard and learned to not settle, but to continue getting better and find more things to improve on while they’re improving on everything else.”

Oklahoma City will compete March 11-12 at the NAIA National Competitive Cheer and Dance Invitational in Davenport, Iowa.

Final Results

Cheer

1. Oklahoma City – 92.85
2. Bethel – 89.68
3. Texas Wesleyan – 86.7725
4. Kansas Wesleyan – 86.14
5. St. Gregory’s – 86.0525
6. Baker – 82.3825
7. Sterling – 82.1775
8. Wayland Baptist – 80.7225
9. Southwestern Christian – 80.2475
10. Central Christian – 78.135
11. Saint Mary – 72.2475

Dance

1. Oklahoma City – 111.1225
2. Baker – 105.61
3. Stephens – 99.28
4. Wayland Baptist – 95.9225
5. St. Mary – 85.7725
6. Kansas Wesleyan – 78.22

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