Earning the squad’s highest national finish in school history, the Ouachita Baptist University cheerleading team finished seventh among NCAA Division II schools in the 2012 UCA/UDA College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship.
The annual competition was held Jan. 13-15 at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla. Ouachita was the only Division II team from Arkansas and one of only two teams from the state, along with the Division I University of Arkansas cheer team. Ouachita also was the only Great American Conference school participating.
Ouachita competed in the semi-final round on Saturday and advanced to the finals on Sunday. The seventh-place finish not only marks the highest finish by a cheer squad from Ouachita, but also the highest finish ever by a university from Arkansas.
Describing the UCA/UDA College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championships as “the most prestigious college cheerleading competition in the country,” Ouachita head coach Brian Bridges said, “I am so proud of my team this year. They really gave it their all. They have worked so hard this year not only to prepare for this huge competition but also to lead the Tiger Nation in supporting our athletic teams at Ouachita.”
He added that squad captain Leah Harrington “has played such a vital role with the team as she has helped lead them to this prestigious finish.”
Bridges, the head coach for the Ouachita cheerleaders and spirit squads since 2008, has led his team to the national finals twice in the past four years. The team previously finished eighth nationally in 2009.
By Josh Fink, Sports Information Director