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Texas Wesleyan cheerleaders earn second-straight bid to Nationals

03.01.2016 | By:

For the second straight season, Texas Wesleyan's cheerleaders have earned an at-large bid to the 2016 NAIA Competitive Cheer & Dance National Invitational. 

The event will be hosted by Saint Ambrose University in Iowa, March 11-12. The dance competition is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. on March 11 with cheer routines beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday's action will commence at 10 a.m., with the awards ceremony scheduled for 2:45 p.m.

Over the last two weeks in four qualifying groups, 47 teams faced off for the chance to make it to the national invitational. Led by Carolyn Ikens, Texas Wesleyan's spirit coordinator and head cheerleading coach, the Rams received an at-large bid after finishing third in the South Qualifying Group hosted by Oklahoma City University. Last season, the Rams finished 11th at the National Invitational.

Competitive Cheer & Dance (CCD) is in the second year of "Invitational Sport" status, which means that at least 25 institutions currently sponsor CCD at an intercollegiate varsity level. The NAIA is the only collegiate association to declare CCD as an intercollegiate varsity sport.

After the completion of the NAIA National Invitational, the sport will be reviewed by the National Administrative Council (NAC), which governs the NAIA sport status. If approved at that point by the NAC and if the sport meets a minimum of 40 institutions sponsoring the sport at an intercollegiate varsity level, then the sport of Competitive Cheer & Dance would become a NAIA National Championship sport beginning with the 2016-17 season.