Ouachita Baptist University cheerleaders placed eighth in the nation in their division during the recent College Cheerleading National Championship in Orlando, Fla.
Competing in the Division II co-ed squad category, Ouachita was among more than 200 squads at the national event held Jan. 16-18 at Disney World. The event marked the first time any Ouachita cheer squad had competed on the national level.
“It was a great feeling knowing these men and women were embarking on something no other previous squad at Ouachita had done,” said Brian Bridges, head OBU cheerleading coach and former University of Arkansas cheerleader.
Shortly before leaving for Orlando, the cheerleaders performed their routine, which consisted of tumbling, partner stunts, pyramids, basket tosses and dance, during halftime of an OBU basketball game.
“I was more nervous performing here than at nationals,” said the squad’s captain, Stephanie Glenn, a senior biology major from Little Rock. During the national competition, “we performed in front of a relatively large crowd but it did not phase us at all,” she added.
The goal of the squad heading into competition was to make it to the finals. Gaining an eighth place title was icing on the cake, according to members of the squad.
Bridges noted that “nailing our semifinal routine and hearing our name called out as we made it to finals” was the most important aspect of the trip from a cheerleading perspective. He said an added bonus was “getting to spend time with everyone at Disney World.”
“It was an amazing feeling getting to help lead the squad to nationals,” Glenn emphasized.
“The experience was definitely a success,” she continued. “We all had a great time, and it made us more confident in ourselves and our squad.”
by Rebecca Rambin