Cheer earns fifth at Nationals in Daytona

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The Gannon Competitive Cheer team traveled to Daytona Beach, Fla., last week for the first time in school history for a chance to take the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) Collegiate Cheer championship.
On Thursday, Gannon’s coed team opened in the preliminary round, where the top five teams would earn the right to move into the finals.
The Knights finished fourth, doing just enough to advance to the finals of the Intermediate Small Co-Ed Division II competition, posting a solid score of 80.65. Their 0.25-point deduction proved to be the second-best in the division.
The Knights were joined in the finals by Valdosta State (Ga.), Lindenwood (Mo.), McKendree (Ill.), Long Island (NY.), and Newberry (S.C.).
The following day, the Gannon squad managed to post a fifth-place finish in the finals for its division.
The Knights earned a score of 80.68, and had only one point deducted, which equaled the fewest amount of deducted points of any team competing in the finals.
Lindenwood took home the national title, while Long Island, McKendree, and Valdosta State rounded out the top four.
Gannon recorded perfect 10s in 45 seconds and collegiate image categories, and the Knights received scores of 8.78 in degree of difficulty, 8.75 in overall effect and 8.73 in choreography. The Knights’ 7.48 score in the part stunt category was the second-best among all teams competing in the finals.
Gannon’s all-girls team also made the trip to Daytona Beach with hopes of competing in the All-Girl Division II championships.
After failing to finish in the top five during prelims, the Knights were forced to compete in the NCA All-Girl Division II Challenge Cup, with only the winner of the Cup receiving a berth to compete in the finals.
Gannon narrowly missed the cut, finishing second in the Cup competition.
The coed team will certainly view the weekend’s competition as a huge success, as a fifth-place finish in the finals is very respectable for a team in its inaugural season.
Coach Meghan Foran said she was incredibly pleased with the team’s performance seeing as it posted an 85.85, the highest score in Gannon comp cheer history.
“The future for both teams looks incredibly promising – we’re already looking forward to next season and having a truly experienced program for the first time in our history,” Foran said.
She and the team have come a long way in the last three years and the Knights are all looking forward to building on the foundation that they built this season.
To make things even better, there is only one senior graduating from the girls team and every member of the co-ed team plans on returning for next season, leaving a plethora of experienced talent to lead the teams in the years to come.
The obvious goal for next season for both teams is to return to Daytona Beach and improve upon their respective performances.

STEPHEN BOLTRI
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