Michigan Cheerleading wins 3rd straight NCA National Championship

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on April 10th, 2015 at 4:15 PM

A dynasty has been born. 3-peat national champions.

Also, fun fact: Michigan head coach Pam St. John is Drake Johnson's mom.



DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The University of Michigan cheer team captured its third consecutive national title at the 2015 National Cheerleaders Association Collegiate Cheer Championship on Friday (April 10) at the Ocean Center.

The Wolverines claimed the crown in the Coed Intermediate I division, besting eight other teams that advanced to the final round following a preliminary round Thursday (April 9).

Michigan sat in third after yesterday's prelims, suffering a two-point deduction off their routine for a score of 85.03. That number advanced U-M from a field of 16 programs -- the largest, most competitive division in college nationals -- into today's finals.

Before today's performance, the Wolverines altered their routine in the hopes of improving upon the jumps and tumbling scores received in the preliminary round and boosting their maximum possible score.

The move by head coach Pam St. John and her staff paid off, as the Maize and Blue edged a talented SMU squad, scoring 85.78 points with no deductions to the Mustangs' also perfect score of 85.70.

Michigan has now won three consecutive national titles, finishing no worse than runner-up in the team's four competitions dating back to 2012.

The nationals team includes: seniors Ira Brandon III, Quinton Carter-Jones, Mimi Conley, Annie Dreisbach, Cassandra Gelov, Nathan Janes, Carly Pinkerton and Brett Schultz; juniors Evan Hampton, Tori Martinsen, Patrick McClosky, Nicolas Millado, Emily Savage, Kevin Waterman and Trevor Zajac; sophomores Hanna Gelov, Kaitlin Hamacher, Nicole Latham, Erica Myrick, Alex Snow; and freshmen Kristina Hollis and Priscilla Huddleston.



April 10th, 2015 at 4:33 PM ^

Don't know that much about it, but from what I can find, it seems that the "NCA" competition that Michigan keeps winning is the lesser of the two  cheerleading competitions.   I think the "UCA" competition has the stronger reputation.

Seems analagous to claiming you are national champions, when you win the NIT basketball tourney.  Strictly interpreting you are correct in making that announcement, but not really...

Wolverine Devotee

April 10th, 2015 at 6:01 PM ^

Maybe they'll move up after winning three more National Championships. A former cheerleader posted on here a few years ago that Michigan started doing these national competitions again in 2011 or 2012 so perhaps they're just easing into it.

Either way, it'll be nice to see all these national championship banners hanging in the Volleyball new arena in 2018 which will also be home to M Gym, Wrestling, Cheer and Dance. 


April 10th, 2015 at 5:02 PM ^

but it looks like there's actually a big stylistic difference so I don't think its accurate to say it's "lower" per se.

UCA = old school 'classic' style cheerleading with a "Gameday" component

NCA = more 'allstar' dance style cheereading w/ more acrobatics for both guys and gals


Here's  a good example

UofM's 2013 Routine (NCA) 

OSU's 215 Routine (UCA)


It does seem correct that average competition level is higher for UCA though.


April 10th, 2015 at 6:02 PM ^

It really sounds like nothing to denigrate despite not being the type of cheerleading we would celebrate or expect if we were all just horny guys on the sideline. It sounds like what they one was closer to an athletic sport then to an exhibition for miniskirts and and (un)healthy diets.

In fact, it sounds like a wonderful corollary to having an elite gymnastics program


April 10th, 2015 at 6:39 PM ^

Remember when you weren't sure if you'd have enough time to continue posting because you were now on college? Apparently you have plenty of time as you continue to pull stuff from the way back of the file cabinet!

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Bando Calrissian

April 11th, 2015 at 9:51 AM ^

I look at it this way: despite what a lot of people in both activities may claim, cheerleading is no more a sport than marching band. That is to say, they're not a sport.

Can there be a competitive element, or some aesthetic criteria for judging good or bad? Sure. But that's not a sport. They're performative, not athletic in that scores are subjective.


April 11th, 2015 at 1:21 PM ^

Congrats to the team. I wish UM would move up to UCA and compete with higher caliber schools. This would be more meaningful. UCA is the best competition in college cheer.

(I only know this stuff cuz my wife is a cheer coach. I'll just shut up now and stick to football)

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