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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M competitive cheer to vie for national title

 
 

Texas A&M Football didnt bring home a national championship this year, but Aggie Cheerleading just might.
The Texas A&M Competition Squad will compete at the National Cheerleaders Associations Collegiate National Championship on Thursday and Friday. After a decade of moving toward University recognition, the squad is now prepared to flip its way to a national title.
We are looking to rank very high, hopefully in the top three of the nation, said Amy Benavidez, junior health major and squad president. This is the best team Ive been on so far.
A&Ms competition squad began as a student organization called AgElite in 2001. Growing the team proved difficult at a University strongly associated with yell leaders not cheerleaders but Alli Schoenberger, senior education major and squad vice president, said the team finally became recognized by A&Ms REC sports in 2009 to compete at a national level.
It took a lot of hard work and a lot of meetings with REC sports and the University, but weve only grown and become better, Schoenberger said.
Schoenberger said the team has faced challenges with spreading the word that Texas A&M has a competition squad. She said the biggest hurdle has been dispelling the misconception that the team would change A&Ms traditions, but acceptance and support has steadily grown.
This Sunday we had our show-off at the REC, Schoenberger said about an exhibition to show the student body what the squad had accomplished. Many people came and President Loftin came. It was a benchmark moment for our team.
In four years as a University club sport, the competition squad already holds a strong record. Last year it finished No. 10 overall within the NCA and it currently ranks No. 5 in the nation in STUNT cheer, a more competitive and athletic division within cheerleading.
Benavidez said the team is ready to seriously compete for the top rankings.
Weve practiced this routine all year and we get to perform it twice [at the NCA national meet], and once more if we make it to finals, Benavidez said. If we do a great routine, we could bring home a national championship.
Landing a perfect routine is a challenge but Madeline Schultz, freshman English major and squad member, said the national championship couldnt have come at a better time.
We are all really focused, and weve been on a good schedule to go to competition, Schultz said. Right now, we are peaking at just the right time.

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