(Ann Arbor, MI) Concordia competitive cheer will be a part of history this weekend when they take the mat at the NAIA National Championships in Oklahoma City, OK. The event is the first-ever official national championship hosted by a collegiate athletic association for the growing sport.
The team earned an at-large bid to this year's 24-team championship field after placing second in the Northeast Regional Qualifier. The competition was Concordia's best of the year notching a 93.45 overall score after a strong finale. Coach Kate Edge has positioned her team so they can continue to build from that success.
"We have spent the last weeks drilling and drilling each sequence to build their strength and stamina which has been key to reducing deductions. Our last two practices were just what we wanted. This team is prepared and exactly where they should be heading into the National Championship."
The Cardinals are no stranger to the national scene having participated in the last four NAIA National Invitationals, consecutively, including a runner-up finish in 2014. With six seniors on the roster, the group has plenty of athletes who have been there before.
"We are half returners and half freshman," Edge said of her team. "We competed a lot this season to help our freshman get comfortabe in our process. The fact that we have been here before and know the pressure to perform has directed our process all season long."
The preliminary routines begin Friday, March 10 at 5:30 p.m. (EST) in Oklahoma City University's Abe Lemons Arena and finals the following morning at 10 a.m. Final scores are based off 25% of a team's prelim score and 75% of their mark on Saturday.
"Our goals are a cleanly executed performance that we can feel proud of. We want to leave it all on the mat." said Edge.