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UTA cheerleaders win fifth consecutive NCA National Championship

The University of Texas at Arlington cheerleading team won its fifth consecutive National Championship title Friday, April 6, at the Nationals Cheerleaders Association collegiate cheer competition in Daytona, Fla.

UTA cheer champs

UTA won the Small Coed Division I group national championship.

UTA’s 20-member Maverick Cheer squad took home first place in the Small Coed Division I group after competing against eight other universities. During the preliminary round, UTA kept the lead by three-tenths of a point and finished with a final score of 95.60, defeating Utah Valley University from Orem and James Madison University from Harrisonburg, Va.

“I’m very proud to represent UTA at nationals because there’s this legacy here that started in 2010 and has grown so much since,” said Caroline White, psychology junior and cheer captain. “Being announced as the 2018 champions was literally an answer to my prayers, a relief to be called in first and have all of our hard work pay off.”

White said she feels a sense of relief and pride after going through the tough practices and determination of getting the routine right for the competition and seeing their hard work pay off in the end.

“Judges are looking for teams to fulfill the criteria on the score sheet, execute all skills and entertain,” White said. “So, basically you want to have as much difficulty in your routine as you can provide, it must be clean and the judges want to have fun watching your performance.”

While this is the Maverick Cheer’s fifth consecutive title, it’s the squad’s sixth championship since 2010.

UTA spirit coordinator Leti Hinojosa said she’s extremely proud of all the athletes and of their head coach, Trey Beaty. Hinojosa said that winning the title for a fifth time not only solidifies that the program is one to be recognized on a national scale, but that the work, time and effort everyone puts into it is all worth it.

“They set a goal and they accomplish it,” Hinojosa said. “Even if we would’ve lost, that last performance in finals was amazing and everyone did their part and left that floor knowing they had done their best.”

Exercise science senior Colby Boyko has been with the team for five years and said it’s not about winning, but about passing the experience and traditions on from year to year to new members.

“Being able to represent UTA at college nationals is a great experience and I always have so much pride representing the university,” Boyko said. “Being able to hear UTA called in first place after working so hard all year was gratifying and reassured us that the work is worth it.”

Hinojosa said, “The nationally ranked UTA spirit program continues to draw attention from students across the nation who are interested in attending the university. The goal is to continue to have respectful, focused athletes as part of the program and produce graduates of UTA.”

-- written by Kimberly Idrogo