UC Merced’s Cheer Team traveled to Anaheim last month to compete alongside 11 other teams in the 2017 USA Collegiate Championships, placing second in the Four-Year Large Coed division.
Overall, 49 colleges were represented at the two-day competition.
“This is huge for our campus because we didn't have a coach or any official funding like most teams, and we still went to nationals,” cheer team President Victor Bahena said. “We had to push ourselves and each other to fight for something we all love, feel is important for school spirit and represents our school in a positive way.”
Countless hours of learning and perfecting their routine paid off.
“I hope with this win we are able to grow and inspire future cheerleaders of UC Merced,” said Bahena, a senior management and business economics major.
For the fifth consecutive year, the UC Merced Bobcat Dance Team attended nationals. They competed against nine Division II and III schools in the Four-Year Open Dance category.
The student-run dance team has a wide range of skill levels, which challenges the choreographers to be creative in their use of choreography and skill placement that accentuate the best aspects of each dancer.
Although they placed last, the team made an impression on judges with a lyrical dance piece choreographed by team President Roxanne Thomas to Andra Day’s song “Rise Up.”
“Attending this competition is essential to pushing the team to learn advanced skills,” dance team advisor and UC Merced staff member Amber Normann said. “It also provides the team exposure to performing in high-pressure environments and allows them to represent UC Merced in arenas outside the Central Valley.”