The WSU Cheer team made history over the weekend when they took to Lake Buena Vista, Fla. to compete at the Universal Cheerleaders Association Cheerleading Team National Championships and took 12th place.
The Cougar cheer squad sent 16 of the 32-member squad. It is the first Division 1A team to advance to the finals in its debut year of competition since Kansas in the early 2000s.
Of the 16 WSU cheer squad members who participated in the competition, seven are freshmen, while just one is a senior.
WSU faced tough competition in the finals, including last year’s champion Memphis and last year’s runner up Kentucky, among others.
Prior to the competition, the Cougar squad received perfect scores of 15 in crowd interaction tapes, meaning the squad did not start down any points, providing a significant advantage.
“We’re on the rise and the spirit program is too,” Head Cheer Coach Chris Opheim said in a press release. “We want to be a part of that conversation, that everyone is gunning for a championship when they come to WSU.”
The WSU Crimson Girls dance team competed in the Division 1A Hip-hop and Jazz competitions, but did not advance to the finals.