The SMU cheer squad had plenty to cheer about after winning first place at the NCA Collegiate National Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida – the first time the team has captured the title. The 20-member team competed against 17 other teams in the Intermediate Small Coed Division in the two-day April event.
“Last year we placed second by .08, so this team was laser-focused on winning,” said SMU cheer and pom coach Tiffany Fettinger. “The students performed a perfect routine at finals. I am so proud of them.”
Qualifying for the competition began during cheerleading camp at SMU in summer 2015 when the team was offered the highest bid to the championship after its performance. In the time between qualifying for the competition and winning the championship, the SMU cheer squad supported SMU football, volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball teams as well as appearing at numerous other SMU events.
Members of the winning squad include Jessie Abernathy, Sarah Almeida, Tess Balentine, Charleigh Berry Meg Bres, Hanna Clarke, Austin Copeland, Reid Burkett, Ashton Chmielewski, Blaise Graham, Stefanie Henger, Isaac Huerta, Kendall Kramer, Camille Monette, Brandon Niven, Janie Pascoe, Lindsey Ray, Colette Rushing, Morgan Silva, Sydney Tomlinson and Nathan Williams.
SMU Pom also performed well at the competition, placing third in Pom Division I.
Pom team members include Natalie Brock, Caroline Carter, Rachel Cocke, Shannon Flaherty, Emma Hill, Lisa Ingham, Jenny Katlein, Alexis Kopp, Katherine McGowan, Karlie Morris, Erika Olsen, Brooke Peterson, Morgan Peterson, Blake Ann Seeker, Rachael Seidl, Grace Stokes, Blair Welch, Jordan Woodruff, Megan Young and Ashley Jo Zaccagnini
The National Cheerleaders Association has its roots at SMU, founded in 1948 by former SMU cheerleader and creator of the “Herkie” jump, Lawrence Herkimer ’48.
— Nancy George