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September 29, 2023

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BGSU cheerleading places first in World University Cheerleading Championship, competition airs April on ESPN

The University’s Cheerleading team took first place at the 2013 World University Cheerleading Championship in Orlando, Fla. Jan. 20, a victory that will air nationally on ESPN this April.

The team qualified for the World Championship after placing second at the College Cheer National Championships the day before. The World Championship featured other top Division I schools and international teams from seven other countries, coach Anne Marie King said.

“After winning Worlds it seemed like the years of hard work and dedication to the program and University paid off,” said Tyler Strom, a senior on the team. “Getting those gold medals was a feeling I would never be able to describe. It was a weekend I will never forget.”

The team received a partial-paid bid, a certain amount of money paid by the Universal Cheerleading Association, to compete at the 2013 National Championships for placing fifth in this past year’s competition, King said.

“Our team goal each year is to cleanly execute and hit all skills in our routine,” King said. “While placing second at Nationals was an overwhelming experience of joy for the entire team, the feeling of the team coming off the floor after hitting our routine in the World Championships was a great sense of accomplishment. The placement of first is just an added bonus after meeting our goal of executing our routine.”

Some cheerleaders said placing first at Worlds was a positive experience and exceeded the team’s goals.

“I felt honored, excited and filled with joy to have BGSU represent the USA at University Worlds after placing just .07 behind first place at College Cheer Nationals,” junior cheerleader Michelle Bowles said. “It was like someone was giving BG a second chance to prove that we were better and we were champions.”

The cheerleaders practice two times a day, four days a week, August through April and get five days off during winter break, King said.

But practicing isn’t the only thing that helped the team through the competition.

“We bonded and became very close as a team,” said senior Taylor Tanner. “The team bonding helped us to do our best. When you love each and everyone like family, it makes you want to work harder for those people and makes you want to push through everything to excel your teammates, the program and University.”

Since the team placed second in the competition, they will receive a full-paid bid to compete at the College Cheer National Championships next year.

Preparing for next year’s National Championships will include an end-of-the-year program review, a recruitment of new members, a retreat and a summer training camp.

“I often tell the team ‘Hard work pays off; always, everyday, always,’” King said. “Moving into next season with a full-paid bid to Nationals, we will continue to set high expectations, work hard, be disciplined and meet our goals.”

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