Story by Chad Waller, Director of Athletic Communications & Media
OKLAHOMA CITY – Missouri Valley competitive cheer and St. Ambrose (Iowa) competitive dance programs win their first-ever national titles at the 2018 NAIA Competitive Cheer & Dance (CCD) National Championships. The Vikings overcame the defending national champions in the finals round, while St. Ambrose led start-to-finish. The event takes place on the campus of Oklahoma City University at Abe Lemons Arena.
Missouri Valley entered the competitive cheer finals competition in second place after the Friday prelims. The Vikings leaped over host and defending national champion Oklahoma City in the finals and ended with an 86.45 score. This signifies the first-ever competitive cheer national championship won by Missouri Valley, after the Vikings collected a seventh-place finish last year.
Oklahoma City takes runner-up honors with a score of 85.42 points. Saint Francis (Ind.) checks with a third-place finish (82.78), followed by Concordia (Mich.).
“This had actually been a really hard year for us,” said Missouri Valley cheer coach Victoria Cox. “Personal struggles. Injuries. Different setbacks at competitions. And they just kept overcoming every obstacle that got thrown their way. They are really, really special. Valley will roll.”
St. Ambrose (Iowa) maintained its lead after the preliminary round to claim its first-ever competitive dance national championship. The Bees tallied a score of 89.21, slightly better than second-place Oklahoma City (88.71). 2017 national champion Midland (Neb.) finished in third with an 85.45 score. St. Ambrose took fourth in the 2017 event.
“This teams deserves every moment of everything here; they put their heart and soul into everything,” said St. Ambrose head coach Danelle Langeneckert. “Their team chemistry they created is great and they left everything out there today.”
Today marks the second annual National Championship, hosted by Oklahoma City. The NAIA is the only collegiate athletics association to offer a national championship in these sports.
Preliminary scores counted towards 25 percent of a team’s overall score. Each team will perform in the finals when scores will count for 75 percent of the total score. Tomorrow, teams are placed in order based on the standings after the Preliminary Round.
Final Team Standings
1. Missouri Valley, 86.45
2. Oklahoma City, 85.42
3. Saint Francis (Ind.), 82.78
4. Concordia (Mich.), 80.25
5. St. Ambrose (Iowa), 79.80
6. Midland (Neb.), 69.04
7. Lourdes (Ohio), 68.38
8. Indiana Wesleyan, 67.73
9. Martin Methodist (Tenn.), 67.34
10. Missouri Baptist, 63.93
11. Tabor (Kan.), 55.11
12. Robert Morris (Ill.), 53.17
1. St. Ambrose (Iowa), 89.21
2. Oklahoma City, 88.71
3. Midland (Neb.), 85.45
4. Point Park (Pa,), 85.42
5. Morningside (Iowa), 83.50
6. Siena Heights (Mich.), 79.83
7. Aquinas (Mich.), 76.93
8. Grand View (Iowa), 76.72
9. Central Methodist (Mo.), 74.40
10. Baker (Kan.), 74.21
11. Loyola (La.), 70.68
12. Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.), 65.67