DAVENPORT, Iowa - Host St. Ambrose (Iowa) successfully defended its 2015 dance title by edging Midland (Neb.) while Martin Methodist (Tenn.) earned the cheer title at the 2016 NAIA Competitive Cheer & Dance National Invitational Saturday.
St. Ambrose earned a two-day overall score of 112.56 to hold off Midland (110.74) in front of an energetic crowd at the RiverCenter in Davenport, Iowa.
"It's unbelievable. I'm speechless," SAU head coach Danelle Langeneckert said. "They worked hard for it and did a fantastic job. The competition also did great. If we didn't have the competition that we did that pushed us, we couldn't get to where we are."
A strong final-round performance moved Grand View (Iowa) into the top three in the dance category. Morningside (Iowa), with an overall score of 105.81, and Aquinas (Mich.), with a score of 104.81, rounded out the top five.
While the St. Ambrose dance team led from the start, Martin Methodist came from fifth-place after Friday's preliminary round to win the cheer crown.
The RedHawks put together the cheer performance of the weekend to finish with an overall score of 94.44. Oklahoma City finished second with a 92.80 and Concordia (Mich.) placed third with a 91.80.
Host St. Ambrose narrowly missed a top-three finish to take fourth with a 91.07.
In dance, team scores were scored by three judges in each of the following 12 categories with scores ranging from 1 to 10 in: jazz technique, pom technique, hip hop technique, technical skills, execution, staging transitions, degree of difficulty, uniformity, choreography, team turns, turn sequence and leaps.
In cheer, teams were scored the same way in the following 10 categories: standing tumbling, running tumbling, stunts, pyramids, basket tosses, jumps, choreography, degree of difficulty, showmanship and execution. The three judges’ scores were then averaged and deductions were subtracted to account for each team’s final score.
Preliminary rounds were held Friday night with those scores contributing 25 percent of the teams' overall scores. Saturday's performances supplied the additional 75 percent.
Final Overall Standings
1 - St. Ambrose (Iowa), 112.56
2 - Midland (Neb.), 110.74
3 - Grand View (Iowa), 107.43
4 - Morningside (Iowa), 105.81
5 - Aquinas (Mich.), 104.81
6 - Oklahoma City, 102.11
7 - Baker (Kan.), 98.19
8 - Briar Cliff (Iowa), 96.90
9 - Hastings (Neb.), 95.55
10 - Stephens (Mo.), 83.80
11 - Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.), 73.63
12 - William Penn (Iowa), 73.35
1 - Martin Methodist (Tenn.), 94.44
2 - Oklahoma City, 92.80
3 - Concordia (Mich.), 91.80
4 - St. Ambrose (Iowa), 91.07
5 - Saint Francis (Ind.), 87.59
6 - Midland (Neb.), 86.58
7 - Graceland (Iowa), 85.66
8 - Bethel (Kan.), 82.71
9 - St. Gregory's (Okla.), 82.27
10 - Robert Morris (Ill.), 81.16
11 - Texas Wesleyan, 80.92
12 - Kansas Wesleyan, 78.93