The Tennessee Tech spirit program can boast of being among the top in the nation.
At the Universal Cheerleaders Association and Universal Dance Association College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championships held recently in Orlando, Tech came away with a national championship in the mascot division and two top-five cheer squads.
“This by far the best we have ever done at nationals,” said Jordan Benedict, Tech’s spirit program coordinator. “It’s a culmination of a lot of hard work that they have put in. It’s really nice to see hard work getting rewarded.”
Awesome Eagle claimed the top prize in the open mascot division. Peforming his skit ‘Twas the night before nationals,’ Awesome Eagle beat out the mascots of the University of Delaware, Villanova, Morehead State and Northwestern State for the national championship.
“It was really creative and set him apart from everyone else,” said Benedict. “One of the reasons why he won the national championship was the way he represents Cookeville and Tennessee Tech.”
Tech’s coed cheer team and all-girls cheer team also represented Cookeville and their university well. The coed team finished third overall in coed cheer division I behind Morehead State and the University of Delaware, but ahead of Eastern Kentucky, Wichita State and Missouri State.
Meanwhile, the all-girl squad placed fifth overall in the open game day division, behind Cal Poly, Misericordia, Monmouth, Northern Kentucky and ahead of Sacramento, University of Scranton, Brock University, Southeastern University and Concord University.
“It’s really exciting to be a part of this,” said senior Katie Porter. “You are such an ambassador for your university and you learn so much about life in this sport.”
Tech took 52 student-athletes involved in the spirit program to the national championships. The placement for Awesome Eagle and the cheer teams were the best ever for the Tech spirit program.
“It’s pretty phenomenal,” said Benedict. “I think it’s one of those things where people don’t realize the work that goes into all of this. Our teams have worked very hard and put in a lot of hours. I’m glad to see them get some recognition.