Avila Cheer Team brings home national championship!

KANSAS CITY, Mo., January 29, 2013 – The Avila University Cheer Team made history when it won at the Universal Cheerleading Association/Universal Dance Association National Championships Jan. 19 in Orlando, Fla.

It marks the first time an Avila Eagles cheer team has won a UCA national title. The Eagles placed fourth at the competition in both 2010 and 2012.

The Avila Dance Team, the Glitter Girls, who won a national championship in 2005, earned two top-five finishes at this year’s competition, placing third in the nation in hip-hop and fifth in jazz.

The Eagles cheerleaders competed against nine other semifinalist teams in the All Girl Open Division, which included teams from NCAA Division III, NAIA and junior college schools. According to Coach Melissa Shipman, the Eagles sat in third place after a semifinal round in which they removed a couple of the more difficult stunts from their routine. They re-inserted those more difficult tricks for the final round, and it paid off. Despite a small mistake at the very end of the routine, the Eagles capitalized with their degree of difficulty.

“We had a girl go off a shoulder stand at the end,” Shipman said. “We knew our routine was harder, but thought the penalty would be so high that it would knock us way down. Our main competition absolutely hit their routine. When they said that team finished second and we realized we’d won, it was the most amazing time in our lives.

“It was a great moment for sure. It was a huge honor for us, and a great thing for Avila to see how hard all these girls worked.”

Members of the Cheer Team are: Aimee Adams, junior, Independence, Mo.; Erica Bales, freshman, Independence, Mo.; Natalie Bristow, junior, Kansas City, Mo.; Morgan Brucks, junior, Glasgow, Mo.; Shawnalee Criss, junior, Topeka, Kan.; Lacey Dalton, freshman, Creighton, Mo.; Breanne Evans, senior, San Diego; Shelby Fletcher, junior, Independence, Mo.; Courtney Hansen, freshman, Overland Park, Kan.; Jackie Jimenez, freshman, Iowa City, Iowa; Kelsey Kattau, sophomore, Bucyrus, Kan.; Megan Linder, senior, Sheridan Lake, Colo.; Jessica Lomaglio, freshman, Lee’s Summit, Mo.; Erin Lundquist, freshman, Camdenton, Mo.; Courtney Morgan, junior, Raymore, Mo.; Kaylen Peltier, junior, Kansas City, Mo.; Kristen Raney, freshman, Camdenton, Mo.; Anna Roberts, freshman, Grain Valley, Mo.; Skylar Roberts, sophomore, Grain Valley, Mo.; Sarah Rubin, sophomore, Overland Park, Kan.; Gina Scaletty, freshman, Lee’s Summit, Mo.; Amyliah Smith, freshman, Independence, Mo.; Paige Snyder, senior, Kearney, Mo.; Dessie Sprouse, freshman, Columbia, Mo.; Gabby Sysavath, sophomore, Lee’s Summit, Mo.; and ShaKaila Wright, sophomore, Independence, Mo.

Both the Avila University Cheer Team and the Glitter Girls dance squad will be hard at work this Saturday during the Eagles men’s and women’s basketball games against Heart of America Athletic Conference foes Culver-Stockton. The women’s game is scheduled for 2 p.m. with the men following at 4, both at the Mabee Fieldhouse on the Avila campus.

About Avila University Avila University is a Catholic, co-educational, values-based liberal arts institution founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree programs. Avila University is located at 119th and Wornall Rd. in southwest suburban Kansas City, Mo.

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