By Alyssa Sperrazza, News Editor
OBU pom and cheer headed to Daytona, Florida Tuesday, April 4, to compete in the National Cheer Association (NCA) and the National Dance Association (NDA) Collegiate Cheer and Dance National Championships.
“Cheer finished national runner up this year to defending five-time national champion, California Baptist University,” Coach Stiles said.
“This was cheer’s just second year to compete in [OBU] history.”
This was OBU pom’s first year to compete at the NDA after being inducted as an official sport in 2016.
“Pom finished eighth place in the nation and we are extremely proud of how they represented OBU,” Stiles said.
“They now have a great grasp on what they need to work on for next year and I have full confident that they will finish in the top rankings next season. The recruits for Pom we have coming in are incredible and our current athletes are hungry for success.”
In her Daytona début, junior studio art major, Amber Troppman competed for Pom and enjoyed every minute of it.
“It was amazing to be a part of the first year of OBU pom competing,” Troppman said.
“It was a dream to be able to go and showcase our passion for dance in the second year of pom being an official sport at OBU.”
The cheer team, placing second in the nation for division two, earned their spot through hours of hard work these past few years.
“In just two short years, I have been able to recruit extremely high level talented athletes, which have allowed us to complete at the top, immediately,” Stiles said.
“I am very happy with the placing this year. In our first year, we finished third and in just our second year we finished national runner up. We are improving every year and look to bring home national championship titles every year, very soon.”
In her final year of competition, senior political science major, Mikayla Wolf will miss her team next year, but is planning on supporting them as they continue to the top.
“I do plan on going back to Daytona in the future but I will miss my team the most,” Wolf said.
“The competitive team spends so much time together and there is a bond that other people wouldn’t understand. I love going through warm-ups and watching certain girls pump up the team and then walking to the band shell with my team and knowing that we made it to finals and other teams from Oklahoma and other states are rooting for us.”
The cheer and pom team support each other on and off the mats, bringing that Bison spirit with them to Florida.
“I love to see how excited our coaches are when we do well,” Wolf said. “We have two coaches and the Pom coach is always supporting us too so I’ll miss that because just hearing we did well from them is perfect.”
Both teams represented OBU well this past week and the Bison community will wait in anticipation to see them take on Daytona next spring.
“The ultimate goal is to always glorify God in all we do and showcase the gift He has given to us,” Troppman said.
“We would be ecstatic to make it to the Finals of our competition, but giving our all and showing our Love for His kingdom and leading others to Him will always be a part of the larger picture of this team.”