UK Cheerleading Continues Dominance
Jan. 18, 2009
Evan Crane, UK Media Relations
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Dominance is the only word that is needed to describe the UK cheerleading team. For the 17th time in school history, the Kentucky Wildcats are home of the Universal Cheerleading Association National Championship trophy.
The back-to-back national champions have now claimed the national championship trophy 13 times since 1995. During that stretch, Kentucky only lost possession of the trophy in 2007 and 2003. Before 1995, Kentucky won the 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1992 national championships.
Kentucky won the competition by a margin of 14.5 points on Sunday night. Kentucky finished with a score of 473.5 out of 500 with the next closest being Alabama with 459 points and UCF with 454 points. Rounding out the top five was Memphis in fourth, and Louisiana and Kansas tied for fifth. Other Southeastern Conference schools in the top 15 were Tennessee, who tied for eight with Cincinnati, and Mississippi State and Mississippi finishing 11th and 12th, respectfully.
"This one was special for us because this year there were several really good teams here," cheerleading Coach Jomo Thompson said. "We had a great routine, but Alabama and UCF drilled their routines as well, so for us to win by 14.5 really is something special."
Thompson said that he was also excited about Alabama finishing in second place because former UK assistant David McDowell is now a coach there. Thompson said they talked about wanting to finish in the top-two spots and was pleased that it happened. McDowell was a UK cheerleader from 2001 to 2003 and took over assistant coaching honors from 2004 to 2006.
Thompson said he is most excited about bringing the trophy back to all the UK fans and great people at Kentucky.
"I am so excited that we are bringing back our 17th national championship trophy to the Bluegrass," Thompson said. "I am happy to bring this trophy back to the fans and so glad that we represent the University and everyone at Rupp Arena."
The University of Kentucky dance team finished in a tie for seventh place this weekend at the 2009 College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championships. The National Championships were produced by the Universal Cheerleaders Association and the Universal Dance Association.
The top-10 finish is one of many for the squad at the UDA National Championships. In 2000, the team finished in fourth place at this event. Kentucky shares the seventh-place finish with Louisiana State. Tennessee took home the top honor this weekend followed by Florida State, Minnesota, Cincinnati and Wisconsin-Madison rounding out the top five. Michigan finished in sixth place with Michigan State finishing eighth, Central Florida ninth and Memphis 10th. Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arizona, Rutgers, Alabama and Mississippi finished 11th through 17th, respectfully.
Most of the dance team's success has come in the United Spirit Association College Nationals. In the USA Nationals, the Blue and White have gathered six top-four finishes since 2003. Kentucky has finished third in the last two years and second in 2006. In 2005, the squad won the national championship, finishing first in the jazz category. Before winning the national championship, the team finished in fourth place in 2004 and third place in 2003.
UK dance team head coach Cathy Coyle said the team was hoping for a top-10 finish and is proud they achieved that goal. She said the team's motto heading into the weekend was "one team, one dream, believe."