Cheerleaders win second national title

For the second straight year, the Northern Kentucky University Cheerleaders won a national title. Jan. 13, the squad traveled to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., to compete in the Universal Cheerleading Association Division II Small Co-Ed Championship, defeating nine other schools.

The 16-member team placed first in the championship’s taped pre-competition skills category before arriving in Orlando, which guaranteed NKU free airfare and hotel accommodations, plus a first-round bye in the competition.

“We worked really hard for this and our goal was to come down here and defend out title,” captain Jamie DeLong said. “We have been through a lot. We pulled together and came to do what we needed to do.”

The cheerleaders had been working on their routine for about a month and a half.

They came up with some of the routine themselves, but also worked with choreographer Craig Monte, who works for the Varsity Cheerleading Company.

The team’s advisor, Daren Harris, had been an inspiration and helped pull the team together.

“He made this year possible,” DeLong said.

The team had the motto: “We believe,” and during practices, Harris would randomly yell out to say the motto, and the squad would yell, “We believe” at the top of their lungs.

“It was a dream to actually be there,” said freshman Aly Arnold.