Kansas Spirit Squad Earns Three Top-10 Finishes at Nationals

Jan. 26, 2009


The University of Kansas Spirit Squad brought home three top-10 finishes from the 2009 Universal Cheerleaders Association/Universal Dance Association (UCA/UDA) College Nationals in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 16-18. The KU Cheer Squad, Rock Chalk Dancers and Big Jay finished the competition fifth, ninth and ninth, respectively.

The KU Cheer Squad tied for fifth place out of 19 teams at the UCA competition. The squad made the trip on a full-paid bid after placing first in the Mid-American Region – a first in school history.

“Choreographer Leighton Clarke gave us a great routine, and assistant coaches Nami Stone and Jimmy Godfrey did an amazing job preparing the team,” Head Cheer Coach Corey Stone said. “Fifth place is a huge success for us.”

First-year head coach Mandy Pruett lead the Rock Chalk Dancers to a ninth-place finish in the Hip Hop category and 11th in Jazz. Pruett said she was proud of her team’s performances in the Division I-A category that included 28 teams.

In his first national competition, Big Jay placed ninth out of 22 competing mascots. The Jayhawks’ mascot performed an exciting routine, using extravagant props created by D.W. Acker, Graphic Designer at Kansas Athletics.

The competition featured 152 collegiate spirit squads from 43 states. Both the KU Cheerleaders and Rock Chalk Dancers were the highest finishing Big 12 Conference squads in the competition. To watch video of the KU Spirit Squad’s performances at the national competition, visit www.varsity.com.

Spirit Squad participants include:


Lauren Adams – Freshman from Olden, TX

Lacey Baxter – Senior from Lawrence, KS

Elizabeth Bellinger – Junior from Plano, TX

Haley Hoffman – Freshman from Shawnee, KS

Emily Kempf – Freshman from Highlands Ranch, CO

Meghan Trefry – Sophomore from Sudbury, MA

Leslie Wanning – Sophomore from Omaha, NE

Cassie Hatt – Sophomore from Andover, KS

Sam Archer – Junior from McPherson, KS

Scott Borgmier – Junior from Overland Park, KS

Ben Falk – Junior from Wichita, KS

Chris Lindsey – Freshman from Alton, IL

Chace Moeder – Freshman from Clearwater, KS

Charles Schoket – Sophomore from Wichita, KS

Chad Spoor – Freshman from Shawnee, KS

Jarell Staten – Junior from Chicago, IL

Stan Strecker – Sophomore from Wichita, KS

Reid Hollander – Grad Student from Quincy, IL

Rock Chalk Dancers

Darcy Stanger – Junior from Davenport, IA

Claire Penzler – Junior from Lawrence, KS

Gretchen Siebert – Sophomore from Eden Prairie, MN

Nikki Chanon – Sophomore from Plymouth, MN

Erin Devine – Freshman from Mendota Heights, MN

Whitney Schieber – Freshman from Blue Springs, MO

Amy Penney – Sophomore from Lee’s Summit, MO

Katie Arp – Freshman from Walcott, IA

Alex Payawal – Sophomore from Shawnee, KS

Kristen Young – Olathe, KS

Allysa Orlanes – Sophomore from Shawnee, KS

Kaitlin Still – Sophomore from Lonetree, CO

Lauren Guthrie – Freshman from Lenexa, KS

Maddie Estrada – Freshman from Overland Park, KS

Chelsea Mayta – Freshman from Wichita, KS

Courtney Kuhnhenn – Freshman from Liberty, MO

Allie Fiss – Sophomore from Prairie Village, KS

The Mascots

Tyler Danforth – Senior from Lee’s Summit, MO

Christian Larsen – Senior from Deerfield, IL

Chris Nelson – Senior from Lansing, KS