COVID-19 Updates • Strategic Plan 2022-2027
The OUAZ cheer team entered the United Cheer Association College Nationals for the first time ever, and took home a national championship in its first appearance. The cheer squad were awarded first place in the open, small co-ed division, a division that features the best cheer groups from NCAA Division III, Junior College and the NAIA.
OUAZ's Dance Team also participated in the United Dance Association College Nationals, placing third in the Open Division Gameday category. The team finished less than five points behind both the champion and runner-up, and clinched third place by 0.300 over CSU-Dominguez Hills.
The awards mark the second time this Spring both Cheer and Dance have won championships. At the end of March, Dance won three championships at the USA Collegiate Nationals, and Cheer put on an excellent showing that helped build to its most recent title.
From the Team
Freshman cheerleader Jacob Flores: "I will never forget how special this year was. We all have put literal blood, sweat and tears into this season. So many countless hours put into this routine and to see it pay off with a UCA title with people you love is such an incredible feeling. I cannot wait for next year."
Senior dancer Maggie Lewis: "Doing another virtual competition was a little hard to accept since it was my last competition, but to get third place in our first time at UDA was totally worth it."
Junior cheerleader Bridget Gastineau: "It was not easy preparing four our first ever UCA Nationals competition. We spent numerous hours in the gym working to perfect our routine. As a team, we are so proud of everything we were able to accomplish with all of the obstacles that came with this year. While filming our routines, we were all able to come together as a team and give our best effort to hit a zero deduction routine. That is exactly what we were able to accomplish. I am so proud to be a member of this program and to be able to continue to make history over and over again. Competing at UCA was a dream in itself, but being able to call ourselves National Champions at UCA is so incredible."
Sophomore cheerleader Jada Jordan: "We worked diligently throughout the season overcoming so many obstacles that were thrown our way, and it has truly paid off. It means so much to the team and I that we were able to get this opportunity, and I am so greatful to have been a part of this season.
Head Coach Kari Kratchman: "It is with great honor to be able to celebrate our cheerleaders and dancers. They were able to find great success at the UCA and UDA College Nationals. The natty grind is a real thing, and to compete this year was an incredible accomplishment in itself. We are humbled by our win for our Cheer team and our top three finish for our Dance team. I am so proud of all our athletes, and blessed to see their hard work pay off. I am even more proud of our coaching staff and the support they provided for our athletes, on and off the mat. I look forward to what next year has in store for us."
Assistant Coach Bethann Meza: "I am beyond proud of our athletes for the dedication, drive and humility they have showing during preparation and execution of this year's competition season. It is with such a grateful heart I congratulate our 2020-2021 dancers as they rightfully earned third place at UDA Nationals this year. I am so blessed and honored to be leading a team of such incredible dancers both on and off the dance floor. I am so excited for what the future holds and I have no doubt our dance team will continue to succeed and persevere."
Founded in 1865, Ottawa University prepares professional and liberal arts graduates for lifetimes of personal significance, vocational fulfillment and service to God and humanity as a Christ-inspired community of grace and open inquiry. Ottawa University is a comprehensive, not-for-profit educational institution, serving more than 4,500 students through its residential campuses in Ottawa, Kan., and Surprise, Ariz., and adult campuses in Overland Park, Kan.; Surprise, Ariz.; Brookfield, Wis.; and online. Visit Ottawa.edu for more information.