College Dance Team Central

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

NC State Cheerleaders Finish 3rd, Dance Team 6th at Nationals

By Kate Shefte
The Technician Online

For the second year in a row, N.C. State's varsity cheerleading earned third place at NCA/NDA Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championships in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Holly Humphries, a sophomore in animal science, said that although her team members were proud of their accomplishment, they were hoping for a better result.

"We were a little disappointed because we thought we would be even higher, but at the same time we were proud to be third in the nation," Humphries said.

Chris Hartshorn, a senior in sports management, said his squad hit a few bumps along the way, but he liked the way the cheerleaders handled themselves.

"Everybody was doing their best and trying really hard," Hartshorn said. "We had a couple of things not go exactly the way we wanted, but overall, we did well."

State finished behind Louisville and Oklahoma State. The top five squads will have their entire routine shown on April 26 on Fox Sports Net.

This year marked the first year that the entire varsity squad was able to make it to Nationals. The team carried far more members on its roster last season, but Hartshorn said the reduction in numbers meant that everyone was able to participate -- a detail that made Nationals a more enjoyable experience for all.

"Normally, we take just our competition team, which is about 20 of our cheerleaders plus a couple alternates," Hartshorn said. "This year, we were able to take the entire team, so the experience was a whole lot more fun and a whole lot closer."

Humphries also said having everyone was a positive for the squad.

"It was really nice to have them in the warm-up room with us and yell for us," Humphries added.

In the meantime, the cheerleading squad will still have plenty of things to keep it busy. Spring tryouts begin this Saturday, and the team will be present to support the football team during the spring game Saturday.

"It's going to be another long week," Humphries said.

The dance team also represented the school well, taking sixth place out of more than 20 teams. Holly Faranda, a freshman in psychology, said her team -- which almost didn't make it to nationals due to a plane ticket mishap with the now-defunct airline Skybus -- was happy to be there at all.

"Our coach said that getting there is half the battle," Faranda said. "The first thing we said when we got off the plane was, 'We're here. Let's do this.' It definitely got us motivated to do better."

The dance team also fell to Louisville, and other schools such as Brigham Young will have their routine shown on Fox Sports in the upcoming weeks. While the dance team just missed out on having its routine shown on national television, Faranda said the girls took a step in the right direction.

"Last year, we placed 10th. So it was a pretty big improvement, and everyone was happy with it," Faranda said. "It's what we deserved, and we're happy with what we got."

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