OSU Cheer Squad crowned national champions
Monday, April 12, 2021
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The Oklahoma State University Cheer Squad is the 2021 National Champion after topping the field at last weekend's competition at the National Cheerleaders Association College Nationals in Daytona, Florida. The victory marks OSU's seventh national championship in Large Cheer Co-Ed Division 1A and its first since a streak of three-consecutive victories from 2013 to 2015.
Following last year’s competition, which was canceled due to COVID, many teams competed virtually. A total of five teams competed in the live competition, including the top three teams from the past several years — OSU, Texas Tech and Louisville.
Fifth-year and team captain Kennedy Wingbermuehle joined the team in 2016 with hopes of delivering a national title.
“As a freshman, I was excited to carry on the legacy that is OSU cheerleading,” she said. “Every year we had teams that were overflowing with talent, but we always fell just short of our goal: hit a routine at Nationals.
“This year was different and difficult. We all agreed to follow rules that most college students couldn’t, in order to prevent exposure throughout the team and allow us to travel and compete at NCA College Nationals in Daytona. Now, as a fifth year senior, I can say that we have accomplished our goal.”
Title or no title, Wingbermuehle said the OSU program is special.
“As a team, we tried not to focus on winning. We wanted to hit a routine that we, our coach, and our alumni were proud of and that we did. The feeling that followed that routine, is something I will never forget. Winning just made it that much sweeter. Being part of OSU cheer is different than any other program. The support we get from alumni, our spirit coordinator Beki, and Dave Martin is unmatched. We are blessed to have these people in our lives and blessed to have such an amazing and caring coach. Lindsay Bracken will always have a special place in all of our lives. After five years on the team, national champions or not, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.”
OSU Cheer Coach Lindsay Bracken said the team overcame adversity to achieve greatness.
“Obviously, everyone in the world has been navigating a new normal while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said. “This team is no different — our role under athletics was adjusted, our practice space wasn’t ideal, and masks were worn during all practices. We followed strict behavioral guidelines to limit disease risk and created a practice and competition strategy that we felt would work best this year.
“Hitting our routine and getting the win was so fulfilling because our strategy worked and the sacrifices didn’t seem so great in the moment. This was our first win for this team since 2015 so to overcome so much and come out on top was very special.”
A foursome representing OSU also won the Group Stunt competition, narrowly beating out Louisville. It is the third time a group representing OSU has won the national title in that category. OSU has now won 17 NCA Championships total, including the seven in the Large Co-Ed Division, four in the All-Girl Division and three in the Small Co-Ed Division.