Cheerleaders Champs Again

ORLANDO, Fla. ? The University of Kentucky cheerleading squad used a near perfect performance to capture their 13th Universal Cheer Association championship Sunday at Walt Disney World.

The cheerleaders had advanced to the finals of the competition based on a tape submitted to the UCA in November. They were the 12th team to compete in the 16-team final round and were named the champions shortly after the last team?s routine. It is the 13th overall title for the Cats and the ninth in the last ten years. The squad placed second last year, breaking an eight-year streak of championships.

?We wanted to bring the trophy back to the Bluegrass,? Coach Jomo Thompson said. ?We wanted to make the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the University proud once again of the cheerleading team.?

The squad had one deduction in the judging on a step out of bounds. But they were able to hit every other component of their extremely difficult routine.

?As soon as we were done, I knew we had a great chance to win,? Thompson said. ?Lots of people that were watching told us we were the best team. But there was still a little time where we had our fingers crossed.?

The University of Central Florida, the defending champions who upset Kentucky last year, placed third in this year?s competition. The squad from Alabama came in second.

In the mascot competition, the Wildcat came in eighth while Scratch placed 13th in the finals made up of 19 mascots.

Complete results can be found at . The cheerleading squad will fly back into Lexington on Tuesday. They are scheduled to arrive at 2:25 p.m.