Story by NAIA National Office, Photos by Josh Robinson
OKLAHOMA CITY – Midland (Neb.) and Oklahoma City held their No. 1 team position after the preliminary rounds and took home the national championship titles today at the NAIA Competitive Cheer & Dance (CCD) National Championships. Also announced at the event were Coach of the Year winners as Kate Edge of Concordia (Mich.) won it in the Cheer category and Midland (Neb.) Head Coach Trish Ryan was recognized on the dance side.
Today marked the first-ever National Championship in the two sports. The NAIA is the only collegiate athletics association to offer a national championship in these sports.
Midland dance again maintained control in all phases of choreography and formations. The Warriors posted nearly a five-point edge after prelims yesterday and held that momentum through today’s finals. The winning score of 91.38 was enough for Midland to take home the championship red banner for the first time in Association history.
"The team was solid from stretch, to warm ups to the final performance today,” said Midland coach Trish Ryan, the 2017 NAIA Dance Coach of the Year. “They truly relaxed into their preparation, and came out with a solid performance."
I feel such pride in this win as it claims a moment in history – the NAIA is the first-ever athletic association to recognize cheer and dance as official sports. There have been many coaches that have made this possible, and I am so happy with the support that the CCD executive committee and championship manager Hannah Harmon has provided to make this possible. At the end of the day, whether win or lose, these athletes were successful"
Aquinas (Mich.) (86.63) and Baker (Kan.) (85.78) finished the Dance competition in second and third place, respectively.
In the cheer competition, the top three cheer teams all held their rankings from the prelim round through today’s finals. Oklahoma City edged out Saint Francis (Ind.) by an 87.08-82.93 margin to earn the NAIA National Championship. Davenport (Mich.) wrapped up the day with a third-place finish with 80.97 points.
"Obviously I was very pleased with our team's performance,” said Oklahoma City head coach Alicia Bailey. “We're very excited to win the first ever NAIA national championship. It makes it even that much sweeter that it's at home in front of our friends and family. The kids put a lot of work in this year and everything paid off today."
We finally have recognition for our hard work and our athletes. We have always known that our sport was athletic and it's exciting to be recognized like all the other sports. The event ran extremely smoothly and I heard great feedback from all the coaches.”
On Friday, preliminary scores counted towards 25 percent of a team’s overall score. Each team then performed Saturday in the finals where scores counted for 75 percent of the total score.
The event took place on the campus of Oklahoma City University at Abe Lemons Arena.
Final Team Standings (March 11)
Dance Final Standings
1. Midland (Neb.), 91.38
2. Aquinas (Mich.), 86.63
3. Baker (Kan.), 85.78
4. St. Ambrose (Iowa), 85.16
5. Oklahoma City, 84.30
6. Morningside (Iowa), 84.23
7. Grand View (Iowa), 82.46
8. Siena Heights (Mich.), 76.40
9. Missouri Baptist, 76.18
10. Central Methodist (Mo.), 72.65
11. Stephens (Mo.), 70.00
12. Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.), 62.92
Cheer Final Standings
1. Oklahoma City, 87.08
2. Saint Francis (Ind.), 82.93
3. Davenport (Mich.), 80.97
4. Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.), 74.82
5. Concordia (Mich.), 74.11
6. St. Ambrose (Iowa), 73.48
7. Missouri Valley, 73.33
8. Lourdes (Ohio), 72.77
9. St. Gregory’s (Okla.), ,72.59
10. Bethel (Kan.), 69.58
11. MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), 64.93
12. Indiana Wesleyan, 64.48
NAIA Cheer Coach of the Year: Kate Edge, Concordia (Mich.)
NAIA Dance Coach of the Year: Trish Ryan, Midland (Neb.)