Mississippi Gulf Coast's first trip to the national cheerleading championship was a successful one.
The Bulldogs squad finished third in the Division II Small Co-Ed category at the UCA & UDA College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship on Saturday in Orlando.
It was a case of coming through in the clutch.
"They did great," Gulf Coast coach Christy Bowman said. "We had no deductions in the semis. They completed the routine better than they've ever done it."
Wilmington University and Grand Canyon University, who perennially are the top two teams in the division, finished 1-2. It wasn't easy for Grand Canyon, though.
Gulf Coast had no deductions in its semifinals performance, while Grand Canyon dropped some points. That left the Bulldogs in second place.
"It was very competitive," Bowman said. "Grand Canyon had to really work to get back to second."
East Mississippi, the only other MACJC school competing in the division, finished fourth.
Gulf Coast brings home a team trophy and individual bronze medals. It also paves the way for bigger and better things.
The squad's first competitive year ends on a very bright note.
"We made a name for ourselves for ourselves representing Mississippi Gulf Coast, Bowman said. "There were university coaches coming up to (assistant coach) Karlee (Nobles) and me saying that was the best routine and it was so clean. We've been hearing nothing but very positive things about Gulf Coast from other teams.
"Karlee and I are both so proud. We're excited for this to be a traditional thing. We want to keep it going."
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