April 6, 2004
Columbia, Mo. - The Mizzou Cheerleaders and Truman the Tiger took top honors at the National Cheerleading Association (NCA) competition held in Daytona Beach, FL this past weekend, bringing home two top 10 finishes and a national championship.
The co-ed cheerleading squad finished 10th out of 18 total schools competing from around the country. The Mizzou all-female cheerleaders placed 5th in the nation, outdistancing 15 other squads in the competition. Schools qualified for the national competition via taped entries sent to judges at NCA. Over 150 schools entered the contest in each division. This was the third straight year that both Mizzou Cheerleading teams finished in the top 10 nationally.
At the same competition, Truman the Tiger was named the NCA National Mascot of the Year, beating out over 50 mascots from other well know schools such as South Carolina, Georgia Tech and North Carolina. The Truman team of Mike Phillippi, Barton Howe, Ben Marshall, Kolby Lee and Christian Badger beat out five other finalists for the award based on performance in a scripted skit, overall appearance and spirit.
Cheerleading and Mascot Coordinator Suzy Thompson was pleased with the performance of both teams and mascots.
"I couldn't be any prouder of this group," Thompson said. "They have worked so hard and it's great to see them rewarded for their tireless dedication. They are tremendous ambassadors for the University of Missouri and a great group of young people."
The NCA competition is considered to be the official national championships for cheerleading and mascots. Over 160 colleges and universities from across the United States and Canada competed at the largest collegiate championships.
Highlights from the competition can be seen on television later this month. The co-ed competition will air on CBS on April 17 at 1 pm CST, while the all-female and mascot divisions will be seen on Fox Sports Net on April 28 at 3 pm CST.