Kentucky cheer wins 23rd national championship


The Kentucky Wildcat and Kentucky cheerleaders create a pyramid during the game against Fort Wayne on Wednesday, November 22, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 86-67. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Chris Leach

For the 23rd time, the Kentucky cheer team won the Universal Cheerleaders Association Division IA Cheer national championship in Orlando, Florida.

Kentucky has now won the last three UCA Division IA Cheer titles, including four of the last five. This is the fourth time in program history that the Cats have won three straight UCA national titles, with the last time coming during 2008-2010. 

“I’m incredibly happy, the kids were awesome!” head coach Jomo Thompson said in a press release afterwards. “They peaked at the right time. We had a really good warmup. We had an impressive opening sequence and a near-flawless routine. I’m very excited for them and very excited for UK.”

Kentucky scored 97.3 out of a possible 100 to finish ahead of second place UCF. Rounding out the top five were Ohio State, Alabama and Hawaii.

The Cats also continued their streak of finishing in the top ten, which they have done in every UCA National College Championships.

“Going into the season we were very strong on all our acrobatic skills but knew we had a lot of work to do on our partner stunts,” Thompson said in the press release. “’Keep Climbing’ became our motto. We had to improve our technique because the degree of difficulty (of the stunts) had increased so much. It’s a testament to the kids that they were able to do it.”

Read: Internet responds to Kentucky cheer’s national championship

Kentucky’s cheerleaders were not the only ones to compete at the UCA National College Championships, as Kentucky’s dance team also went down to Orlando to compete against the top college dance teams in the country. 

Kentucky dance took fifth place in the Division IA hip-hop competition, and sixth place in the pom competition.

“I loved our Hip-Hop routine,” head coach Dawn Walters said in a press release. “We wanted to bring a message of unity, peace and a color-blind world and we imparted that through (the song) Rhythm Nation.” 

The Cats have now finished in the top five in the hip-hop competition for five straight years.

Both the cheer and dance team will be honored at Kentucky’s basketball game against Florida on Jan. 20.