KSU Competitive Cheer Squad Claims Top Spot at National Championship

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Win marks squad’s fourth national championship since 2004 To view videos of the KSU dance and…

Georgia (Apr 14, 2011)Win marks squad’s fourth national championship since 2004

To view videos of the KSU dance and cheer routines, click here.

KENNESAW, Ga. – (April 13, 2011) — Kennesaw State University’s competitive cheer squad took home the top award in their division at the national collegiate championships last week.

The 31st annual National Cheerleaders Association and National Dance Association (NCA/NDA) Collegiate Cheer and Dance Competition brought more than 250 teams from 37 states to Daytona Beach, Fla., to compete for cheer and dance championships. KSU placed first out of nine teams vying for the All-Girl Division I championship.

The NCA/NDA reports that more than 5,000 student athletes and up to 12,000 supporters and spectators convene annually for the competition.

Volunteer coach A.J. Lawrence choreographed the winning routine. Jocilyn Yarnell, club president and a KSU senior majoring in exercise and health science, said the squad has practiced the routine since August.

“We’ve had several competitions before this one, but this is definitely the biggest one of the year,” Yarnell said. “It’s tough to even qualify, which we had to do early in the season.”

KSU received a bronze bid, which provides discounts to team members to come to nationals. One of 25 KSU club sports, the competitive cheer squad provides much of its own budget.

Throughout the year, the 26 team members attend three-hour practice sessions three times each week.   

“Most of us work jobs as well as go to school full-time,” said Yarnell. “We have to really manage our time well.”

“KSU is proud that our student-athletes can take part in a sport they enjoy, balance their academic and personal commitments and be truly competitive in a national competition like this,” said Laura St. Onge, collegiate club sports director.

“This program has been around for 13 years, and it’s been in the hands of many great alumnae,” Yarnell said. “Our team strives to hold up the program, and we’re driven by the knowledge that we’re capable of winning national titles.”

The team was in second place going into the finals, behind the University of New Hampshire.

“We both hit our routines, so we weren’t sure how it was going to come out until we were on stage for the awards,” Yarnell said. “We were thrilled when they announced that we’d won. It was a good, tough competition and worth all the hard work we put into it.”









A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu