Spirit Squads to Compete at Nationals

Nov. 11, 2008

University of Kansas spirit squads will compete at the UCA/UDA College Nationals in Orlando, Fla., January 16-18. Teams from around the country submitted videos for pre-qualifying, the results of which were announced this week.

The Kansas cheer squad placed first in the Mid-American Region and received a full paid bid, a first in school history. Head coach Corey Stone said, “We’re all really excited for the great result and are proud of the hard work that the squad and assistant coaches Nami Stone and Jimmy Godfrey have put in to get us to this level.”

Kansas’ Big Jay, one of the most recognizable mascots in collegiate athletics, will participate in the national competition for the first time after placing eighth out of 24 pre-qualified mascots. The mascot squad has been compiling video all year and is excited about the opportunity to showcase Big Jay on the national stage.

Under the leadership of first year head coach Mandy Pruett, the Rock Chalk Dancers qualified eighth among 34 teams in the 1A Division. For the first time, the Kansas dance squad has been awarded a partial paid bid to cover expenses. “Receiving a partial paid bid for Nationals has definitely given my team the determination to take the routine to the next level,” said Pruett. “This is an exciting step for our program; we have been recognized over the past few years as an up-and-coming program by UCA/UDA and the squads receiving paid bids is another notch in our belt,” said spirit squad coordinator Catherine Jarzemkoski.

Kansas fans will have a chance to see the spirit squads’ national routines when they perform during halftime of various men’s and women’s basketball games in January.