Established 1885

The Washburn Review

Established 1885

The Washburn Review

Established 1885

The Washburn Review

Washburn Cheer makes it to their first National Competition

The Washburn Cheer Team made the national competition this year at Disney World in Orlando City, Florida. This is the very first time a Washburn cheerleading team has appeared in the National Competition. The cheer team participated in the Game Day Small Coed Division Jan. 12, 2024, which means the competition allows less than five cheerleaders to be in this category.

Despite lots of injuries and the absence of some main team members, the squad still performed the cheer routine with fewer people than in the beginning. Mikayla “Lulu” Myers-Arenth, freshman nursing and radiology major, talked about the journey she had this year with the cheer team.

“I think it was, just, it’s a whole new thing for me. And so it was a lot. But I’m so glad that I got to experience that and got to learn all the new skills and be around all these professional people and people with so much talent,” Myers-Arenth said.

There was a lot of time to prepare for the national competition, which helped the team gain new skills and make the team connection stronger. Not only was Myers-Arenth and the team able to learn a new cheer technique, but she was also able to compete in her first cheer competition.

“This was actually my first competition ever. […] I’ve always wanted to do a competition so I was really excited to be able to experience the lights, the mat, the tension, you know, all that,” Myers-Arenth said.

To help Myers-Arenth and the Washburn Cheer Team achieve this goal, Tia Benysherk, coordinator of campus spirit and head coach, had to start early with fundraising.

“Right now, we don’t really have a sponsor for the programs, we don’t have like a corporate sponsor or anything like that. So all the fundraising that we’ve done has just been through individual efforts within the team,” Benysherk said. “So some of the things that we’ve done […] we have open gyms. It’s a dual purpose because we are recruiting students through that, and also working on technique through that and then also making money off of that to put towards nationals.”

A big competition like the Universal Cheerleaders Association College Nationals will have huge impacts on the cheer team in the future. Coach Benysherk also shared that the goal of the team is to participate in the College National Competition every year in the future.

“It’s given us an opportunity to recruit more amazing student-athletes to our program nationwide, it’s given us quite a bit of exposure. […] We want to help bring community campus spirit throughout the community, build that up through our own campus, increase attendance at games, […] moving forward to just have an amazing gameday team give that great game day experience. And then we hope to be able to continue competing at this competition every year,” Benysherk said.

In addition, the team also has the appearance of Lincoln Gibson, junior marketing major, as the Mr. Ichabod mascot in the competition routine. Gibson emphasizes the welcoming atmosphere of the team during practice and competition time.

“I was the mascot for the cheer team, which meant that I got to wear the mask and run around and hype the crowd up, and overall just highlight the cheerleaders doing their stunts and other things […],” Gibson said.

The Washburn Spirit Squad has not only the mission of sending spirit to the community but also encouraging each other in the team to work as a professional sports team and achieve goals together.

Edited by Jeremy Ford and Aja Carter

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Washburn Review
$95
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Washburn University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Huynh Khoa, Content Creator
Hi, I am Khoa from Vietnam, a senior in marketing and data analytics at Washburn University. I am a photographer and content creator for Washburn Review. I enjoy my job for Washburn Student Media because I have a chance to make friends with new students, and participate in many events and activities.I also enjoy photography and filmmaking because I can capture moments for everyone around me. After graduation, I plan to be a marketing manager or art director and continue working with photography.
Donate to The Washburn Review
$95
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Washburn Review Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *