Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s first trip to the national cheerleading championships was a successful one.
The Bulldogs squad finished third in the Division II Small Co-Ed category at the UCA & UDA College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championships on Saturday in Orlando, Florida.
It was a case of coming through in the clutch.
“They did great,” Gulf Coast coach Christy Bowman said. “We had no deductions in the semis. They completed the routine better than they’ve ever done it.”
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Wilmington University and Grand Canyon University, perennially the top two teams in the division, finished 1-2.
Grand Canyon dropped some points in the semifinals. That left the Bulldogs in second place, but Grand Canyon reached the finals for the fifth time and finished behind eight-time champion Wilmington.
“It was very competitive,” Bowman said. “Grand Canyon had to really work to get back to second.”
East Mississippi, the only other MACJC school competing in the division, finished fourth.
Gulf Coast brings home a team trophy and individual bronze medals. It also paves the way for bigger and better things.
“We made a name for ourselves for ourselves representing Mississippi Gulf Coast,” Bowman said. “There were university coaches coming up to (assistant coach) Karlee (Nobles) and me saying that was the best routine and it was so clean. We’ve been hearing nothing but very positive things about Gulf Coast from other teams.
“Karlee and I are both so proud. We’re excited for this to be a traditional thing. We want to keep it going.”